Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Discovering Pitti: CAMO

Finding CAMO at Pitti Uomo

Pitti Uomo's Who's On Next/Pitti Uomo is always an exciting contest dedicated to new talents – Italian or Italian-based – in men’s fashion, promoted and organised by Pitti Immagine in collaboration with AltaRoma and Uomo Vogue. Competition in the contests second season was particularly fierce with FQR by Fabio Quaranta winning the award for pret-a-porter and AI_ by Andrea Incontri winning the award for accessories. One ready to wear label that really caught my eye was CAMO. Now, I have to confess that I was recently introduced to the brand while examining Topman's recently expanded Premium Brands offering. Sitting proudly alongside the likes of Velour, Soulland and North Sea Industries, Camo's fine knitted pieces and double button colourful trousers were particularly impressive. If my appetite was whet for this brand, Pitti Uomo gave my sartorial stomach a satisfying feed and also gave me the opportunity to talk through the latest collection with the designer. For SS11, designer Stefano Ughetti examined the roots of Biellese farmers and shepherds living a simple and proud life. Through using fabrics made in North West Italy, Stefano celebrates his heritage while supporting local industry and Italian craftsmanship. Here we talk to the designer about his experiences at Pitti, creating his SS11 collection and his hopes for the future...

Camo's Country Collection S/S 2011 hanging in the exhibition space.

SS: Camo is your first foray in fashion design. Tell us a little about your background and how you the label came to be?
Stefano Ughetti: Of course. I was born on 11/07/1974 in Biella (North West Italy). After studying at "Vaglio Rubens" Technical Institute for Geometry in Biella and one year studying at the University of Economy & Commerce in Torino, I started to work in 1995 for an interior fabrics company called Arazzo snc. Between 2000 and 2004 I worked for Viceversa Edizioni Design Spa Home design company. In 2005 I founded Superstar, a concept store for menswear, located in Via Italia 82 in Biella. In 2007, I created my own line: Camo.

SS: How did it all start for you? What were your inspirations, your dreams and the driving catalyst behind launching CAMO?
Stefano Ughetti: My purpose for creating CAMO was not to dress people, but to put them in touch with what they wear. My father is painter, my grand father was an artist, for me I found this way to communicate my ideas to the world.

A closer look at the Country collection

SS: What does Camo mean to you?
Stefano Ughetti: Camo is the abbreviation of “camouflage” which means: disguised, camouflaged. It is pronounced in the same way in all the languages of the world and it is often used to indicate a specific pattern of any product. You can find it in different colours but it remains always the same because it is a thought, an idea. My Idea. People have to be camouflaged in their society inside the rules of them but they still want to communicate themselves so this is my purpose for Camo.

SS: What were the first and last item you remember designing?
Stefano Ughetti: The first thing was a simple t-shirt. Everyone can start tomorrow morning and decide to be a designer, the first simple thing that you can do is a simple stupid t-shirt. The last thing was an elegant gillet for my new collection: Camo Country Collection S/S 2011.

My favourite look from the collection

SS: Craft, local manufacture and Italian fabrics are obviously very important to you. You must work with some extremely small and remote factories. Is it difficult to find them and how has your relationships grown over the seasons?
Stefano Ughetti: Yes it's very very difficult to find local fabrics manufacturers and once I found it is difficult convincing them to work for you! After doing that the road was much easier to follow.

SS: You've just taken part in Pitti Uomo which saw you nominated for Who's on Next/Pitti Uomo? How was the experience and the reaction to the collection? Did you get much of a chance to see other brand's offerings?
Stefano Ughetti: It was a really good experience for me to have the opportunity to show my collection at such a big event. This was my third time participating at Pitti. Who's on Next was a great experience for me arriving in second place but everyone of the four finalists were winners!

I particularly love Stefano's fabric choices

SS: Talk us through your latest collection and how the country inspired you.
Stefano Ughetti: Camo Country Collection S/S 2011 took inspiration from the Italian film “L'albero degli zoccoli” of Ermanno Olmi and from studying the books of “Lassù gli ultimi” and “Fame d'erba” of Gianfranco Bini. The “Country Collection” teaches the tight link between who we are and where we come from: the motherland as language, civilization and customs. It is a deep look in to the roots of the Biellese community of the farmers and shepherds living simple and proud life.

SS: What are your favourite pieces from the collection or is there anything that you are particularly proud of?
Stefano Ughetti: I'm totally proud of all my collection, especially the shirts and jackets.
I also love the cover and beanie for summer, in the style of a shepherd. I like to be a touch ironic in the design of my clothes.

A look at the SS10 look book.

SS: How do you see the brand developing over the next few years?
Stefano Ughetti: I am following my road, but I don't know where it will lead.

SS: Is there an item of clothing or accessory that you’d like to see more men wear?
Stefano Ughetti: Camo trousers are always the best seller in all the collection, summer and winter it doesn't matter.

SS: Which fellow brands/designers do you admire?
Stefano Ughetti: Yuketen, Engineered Garments and Our Legacy. I really like them and we have become friends.

A look at the SS10 look book.

SS: If you could go back in time and experience any moment in style or fashion movement, what would it be? .
Stefano Ughetti: I would want to be in the present now. For me the life of the people present, past and future are emotionally the same, but diverse in the way we do the things.

SS: Finally, would you be able to share a few address book recommendations to our readers (hairdressers, tailors, cafes…anything you like really) which we will duly add to our map?
Stefano Ughetti: About hairdresser's I cut my hair myself, so everyone for me can try to do it themselves. When I am in London I like to go eat a cheeseburger in Brick Lane, Kulu Kulu Sushi and fish n' chips in Covent Garden. For coffee I have been in Coffee, Cake & Kink, for a cocktail I like to go to The Big Chill Bar. For tailors I would advise to go to Wow Retro on Mercer Street.

A look at the SS10 look book.


Stefano Ughetti's philosophy of life and design has little to do with the famous military prints that provide the name. The aim of Camo is not so much to cover people, but to make them communicate through what they wear. With his Country collection, Ughetti explores the close bonds between an individual and his roots, issuing an invitation to look to your own roots and follow your own nature. This is an invitation I'm sure you'll enjoy taking up...


Jason said...

Great label, gotta love Italian fabrics

Matthew Spade said...

pretty decent stuff, lovely interview and nice to hear about the background and inspiration of a brand i only know(like you) through topman, online. really like their stuff and why it's called camo but the price is punching above my weight. though some pieces and in the sale online now

KC said...

nice colors and fabrics. and i really like how his inspiration is so deeply rooted.


Masha said...

great combinations


Style Salvage Steve said...

Jason, Masha: Agreed!
Ma: I definitely recommend picking up a one or two pieces in the sale if possible. The quality is worth it.
KC: Stefano was so passionate about his inspirations and this is so telling in the end result.


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