Giovanni Ottonello is the art director of IED (Istituto Europeo di Design) and he spends most of his time in Milan. When he’s not in Milan, he is travelling the world spreading his knowledge to young talents who want to discover, understand and build their own way in the fashion industry.
Giovanni is cultivating in his students design, contemporaneous arts, photography, graphics and fashion. His workshops and classes are interactive, free, direct and creative. Giovanni is also leading his students to a more closer to the nature, eco-friendly and sustainable fashion.
Find out more about Giovanni’s projects with IED & more from the interview below.
1. Hey, Giovanni! First of all I would like you to tell our readers about you. What’s your job at IED and what other projects are you developing in fashion industry?
Giovanni: I am an architect and after various experiences in the field of museums and scenographic exhibits, I approached the world of fashion through the study of fabrics. I collaborated with brands like Salvatore Ferragamo, Bottega Veneta, Procter&Gamble or Rubelli with projects around new trends and visual communication. I experienced also being a food designer for three years. I was working on a new idea on how to eat and create new shapes of food. Now, I’m Art Director at IED (Istituto Europeo di Design) and my current work here involves lectureships and participation in seminars or conferences ranging from graphics to fashion, from design to photography and contemporary art in various institutes and fashion or design weeks in the world. Next project will be during Pitti Menswear in Florence and AltaRoma in January.
2. How is IED preparing young talents to find a sustainable approach for their fashion design and collections?
Giovanni: Every year we create projects and we invite experts, designers or managers to our classes who can help us understand what it means to respect our planet and encourage the students to recycle materials. We have students from 103 other countries and they have different cultural background or attitude and we work with them for a better future.
3. Which are the most notable projects that IED developed or develops to create eco and friendly fashion?
Giovanni: This year has been very important for IED (Istituto Europeo di Design) because many projects have the sustainability like focus. In February, I was in Teheran during the Italian Design Day and I had a lecture around this topic. During Pitti 2018, we have done a long project with Tiziano Guardini (Green Carpet Award winner) to design a collection with our students by using only recycled fabrics or obtained from the transformation of general waste (plastic bottle or wine stalks). The result was presented during Pitti and in Camera della Moda in Milan. Our project had a great impact and every year it will gain more importance
4. Can you please give us your best advice that your students must have in their minds when they want to start a business in fashion?
Giovanni: It’s important to study marketing for business but behind a plan we teach them to have a multidisciplinary approach. It’s impossible to design something without an academic research, a clear knowledge about the communication now or a target or what happens in the world of Art or Cinema or Architecture. Totally different from the past. We live in a liquid world full of contamination and connection.
5. How do you think fashion will look in 10 years form sustainability point of view?
Giovanni: Even before thinking of sustainable market we have to work hard on teaching or educating customers to understand sustainable fashion system. Teaching to read the labels. Learning to touch clothes. Recognizing the fabrics. Buying carefully and recycling everything or transforming them. We must change our behaviours and design a New Fashion for the Future!