Modic Interview: Destroy and then create as Simon Cracker does
Simon Botte is a young Italian designer that puts his soul and emotions into creating. I have met Simone during Paris Fashion Week at 3rdEye showroom and his positive energy, modesty and dedication to change the image of fashion are his power tools. In 2010 he presented his first collection and since then he never stopped working and dreaming even though the odds were against him. With his grandfather’s message in mind: “You should never throw anything away if you’re not sure you won’t be able to reuse that object in any way”, Simone recycles, reuses and redesigns old fabrics into statement items, which also share a story for their future owners. Find out more about Simon and his brand from the #ModicInterview.
1.Simon, tell us how the brand Simon Cracker was born?
Simon: My brand “Simon Cracker” was born from my urge to let go my emotions in the only way I know. I tried painting on a canvas, I sculpted clay, like my grandpa used to do and my mom still does, but I personally have to create something that is brought to life from who knows who and who knows where until it’s ruined and changed over time.
2. Why did you choose the last name as Cracker? What does it mean to you?
Simon: I feel the name Cracker resonates with who I am because of its sound, a “crack”. It’s breakage, destruction that leads to something new. This was a teaching from my grandpa Amedeo: “You should never throw anything away if you’re not sure you won’t be able to reuse that object in any way”, was he saying. This is what I do: I try as much as I can create new fabrics or textures with materials from industrial waste that would otherwise go to the shredder. It’s destruction, but in a totally positive sense.
3. You told me when we met that your grandfather was your role model and that his teachings are found in your collections. What kind of memories do you have about him and the moments spent with him?
Simon: I dedicated the whole Amedeo Collection to him, to those moments when he used to take me with him in old ladies’ apartments. He was painting the walls and I was curiously wandering in apartments that belonged to strangers. Every time I present a new collection, these memories are still there, because I founded my brand on his way of living: creating at every hour of the day and of the night, doing everything on your own, sacrificing everything for what you love, not wasting anything and think twice before throwing something away. And painting on anything you wish, because it’s not a canvas that makes a painting, but what you paint on it.
4. Once you told me that sustainable fashion is a field that caught your attention and that you are going to dedicate some of your collections to that. Tell us more about this. What inspires you and what do you want to achieve?
Simon: In my collections, I’m dealing with the sustainability subject in my own way. I collaborate with nonprofit organizations that select discarded yarns, fabrics from ceased activities and used clothing that I deconstruct and create fabrics and panels that then I use for collections and various items.
I always try, along with my collaborators, new interesting materials and animal-free ones that are produced from apple peels and macerated leaves for example.
Also, I’ve been collaborating for two seasons with DA_QUÌ, a vegan brand, for the realization of my shoes with high-end, luxury materials. This is a way that makes it possible to avoid the use of animal leather without employing plastic and synthetic fabrics.
5. How would you describe the person that wears Simon Cracker’s designs?
Simon: Those who wear Simon Cracker are people who don’t like labels, people who don’t need to define themselves at all costs. People that are free to express themselves through what they do, think and wear.
6. What’s the message that you want to spread to the world trough your designs?
Simon: Each collection, to me, is like a parade against something unjust, a manifesto to shed light onto realities that aren’t considered like they should, to give a voice to those who can’t shout. This is the only way I know to share my opinion.
7. Besides being a designer, you also worked as an editor and stylist for different brands and fashion magazines. How would you describe these experiences?
Simon: I strongly believe any work experience in life gave me something. School can teach you stuff to a certain degree, but then life comes with experiences that teach you how the fashion industry really works. I still work for projects that are different from my brand. This helps me to stay aware of what surrounds me and the fact that I keep challenging myself enriches me every time.
8. What brings new your latest Resort 2020 collection?
Simon: In my Resort 2020 collection I wanted to protest against Fast Fashion, that diminishes the designer’s artistic work and minimizes it to trends that die and fade away in a couple of months.
People believe fashion is that: collections that last a year, at last. But collections leave a mark and they represent one of the few things that really define an era.
I imagined that the influencers are like zombies heading toward the ultimate, dangerous novelty to post on social media: Zombie Island. On the runway were classics from past trends of all times, walking like monsters, Frankenstein patchworks of zebra, leopard, sponge bob, temporary textures and tendencies that were born and died in a short time.
9. Which was the toughest lesson that you had to learn from 2010 when you launched your first collection until now?
Simon: The hardest lesson was the instability and precariousness of the industry I chose.
But I’m happy that I never gave up despite not selling, the crisis – especially in Italy – the government that doesn’t help at all young creatives that are brave enough to follow their ambition without any fear.
I never skipped a season, even when I felt awful because I was sick or because of love, even when giving everything up seemed the only way out.
10. What’s your advice for the students that dream to make it into the fashion world as designers?
Simon: I might sound repetitive, maybe banal, but what I don’t regret is that I never gave up, I never backed down, even when they made me believe that I was talentless because I wasn’t doing things the way I was taught in school and my method was unknown and wouldn’t bring me anything certain.
Surround yourself with people who can enrich you positively even with a pat on the back, trade experiences because they give you more than any book you learned by heart.