“Buy less but buy better” – a strong message as the woman expressing it. Find everything about Lea Detchema in an exclusive interview for #ModicMagazine
We are very impressed with your island roots, Sicilian father and Madeiran mother. How your family background influenced you to choose your path and what drew you to fashion industry?
Both origins are equally important to me. I am very much influenced by Italian fashion and ist sense of beauty. Actually, I travel a lot to Italy and certainly my inspiration is coming from my multiple visits to Milan or Rome. On the other side of the equation, my mother has been working in the fashion industry since many years and has an incredible aesthetic instinct. The colorful island of Madeira with its flower festival is also a source of inspiration.
Tell us few words about how Lea Detchema symbolizes slow-fashion?
All our garments are made on demand, which means that we do not overproduce, we right produce depending on customer’s pre orders. But the main elements that characterize Lea Detchema as a slow-fashion brand are the following.
- The high quality of fabrics ensures durability.
- Timeless designs guarantees that you can wear Lea Detchema for many years.
- Handmade in a small Parisian atelier synonym of quality.
- Eco-friendly (local production and distribution).
- Fair salaries and conditions.
- Eco-responsible packaging (made in Europe).
What is your typical creation process? Do you usually start with a specific idea and let the inspiration come to you? Or is it the other way around?
I do not have a fashion design background and therefore, I do not follow the typical creation process. Everything starts from an initial idea I have in mind with a very precise intention. Then during the design phase some modifications may occur (for example fabric type, buttons etc.) but the result is always very close to the initial idea. The initial inspiration for this collection comes from the idea that garments are armors to protect women from the hostile business environment. Buttons, cuts, fabrics are supposed to protect us by giving us enough confidence and empowerment.
We think your creations are very significant for business women. Did you start creating for this specific target at first?
Yes, this collection is primarily targeting business women and specifically female leaders in business, politics or public servants.
Visit Lea Detchema here
What has been the most challenging part, for you as fashion designer, about the pandemic?
I had to find all suppliers using internet without meeting them in real and everything has been done virtually via video or audio calls. It has been quite difficult to manage the different stakeholders (modelist, graphic designer, technical stylist, fabric suppliers, label suppliers, etc.). Hopefully, technology has helped a lot and new technologies have enabled the possibility to meet virtually people from all around the world.
Do you ever find yourself unable to express your creativity to the fullest? What kinds of things inhibit you?
From a design perspective nothing inhibits me, but I am designing garments for customers and therefore I need to respect the business dress codes, ensure that they are comfortable and of course ensure the sellability of my creations. If I’m inspired with a design that is not really suitable for business, then I use this design for a specific collection of cocktail dresses.
What’s the process for choosing your fabrics in terms of sustainability?
All fabrics must be produced in Europe. All fabrics are of high quality from manufacturers with impeccable reputation that ensure the trackability and durability.
What would you change in fashion industry in order to improve more the slow-fashion process and how a garment durability can change your customer’s life?
My message to customers is buy less but buy better! My message to the industry, is that it is a pity that most of the factories accept only large quantities which forces fashion brands to over produce and create a useless waste of resource and a large number of unsold garments. Factories need to accept lower quantities to enable slow fashion brands to produce at the pace of pre orders.
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A letter to your FUTURE self. What would you write?
Be bold ! Become an international reference brand for business women ! Do not be shy the leaders of tomorrow will be largely women and your brand needs to follow their example !
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