The positivity of colors! Interview with the young designer Valentina Poltronieri

Happy and concrete. With these two words we can describe the work of Valentina Poltronieri, young talent coming from Istituto Marangoni and Istituto Secoli. I met her in the spaces of Contemporary Mood at White Show for the presentation of the fall/winter 2018-19 collection. Here our chat…

Valentina Poltronieri is only 24 years old, but is incredibly determined to reach a dream, become a well-known fashion designer with her namesake brand. A not easy purpose, especially in times like these, but Valentina has many important characteristics that look promising: conviction, good organization, optimism and talent.

She invited me to her trunk show for the presentation of the new fall/winter collection hosted in the Contemporary Mood at White Show Opificio 31, a space dedicated to young designers and emerging brands. I already know her for the participation to the Italian Fashion Talents Awards, but this was an interesting occasion to take a closer look to her joyful and colorful products and discover something more about this nice girl. 

Valentina Poltronieri

Because Valentina always has a smile on. And a particular infectious enthusiasm when she speaks about her creations and experiences. Passionate about everything related to design, from the more technical to architecture and especially fashion, she attended a 3-years undergraduate Fashion Design course in the prestigious Istituto Marangoni and then a Master in Womenswear Pattern-Making in the famous Istituto Secoli, both in Milan. 
Valentina Poltronieri's outfit from the spring/summer 2018 collection "Techno Icon"

In February 2017 Valentina launched her namesake label, presenting in October her first colorful and futuristic collection. The spring/summer collection entitled “Techno Icon” was dedicated to a real go-getter woman who express herself through strong and extreme outfits characterized by geometrical shapes and technological fabrics. 

Elements used also in the fall/winter collection, “The Age of Icons”, which plays with the same concepts, but with a more sophisticated look inspired by the past, from 50s to 90s.
Valentina Poltronieri's outfit from the fall/winter 2018-19 collection "The Age of Icon"

In the meanwhile she began to work for a manufacturing company in Vigevano as fashion designer and product developer for the internal line “Scarlet”. A very busy girl, which addresses everything with positivity and professionalism.

So I was really happy to have the occasion to have a little chat just after her trunk show. 

You have studied at Istituto Marangoni and Istituto Secoli. How was your experience in these two important fashion schools? 

I attended the 3-years course in Fashion Design and the a 2-years Master to better learn patternmaking and tailoring for womenswear. In fact everything you can see in my collection, all the samples and patterns I made by myself. 

About my educational pathways were both very positive experiences, because they are both exceptional schools. About Marangoni, when someone see this name on your curriculum already knows that you’ve reached a good level. The schools were great experiences especially about training, because the teachers are very good and are all person coming from the real fashion world, who have a job in addition to the teaching. All-around professionals.  

Are there differences between the two schools? 

Istituto Secoli’s atmosphere is more relaxed, while people who attend the Marangoni is more trendy and fancy. At Secoli are all more quite, nonchalant, both teachers and students. Maybe because it’s more technical. Instead Marangoni is able to let you express what’s in your mind, bringing out your creativity.  

Valentina Poltronieri's outfit from the spring/summer 2018 collection "Techno Icon"

When you started your experience as entrepreneur with the launch of the label? 

I launched the brand on February 2017, only after a month and half from my degree. I graduated on 13the December 2016 and soon on February, during the Fashion Week,  I had my first event. Because the school contacted me after viewing some of my clothes on internet, asking if I was willing to make a shoot with photographers in a famous club. I presented two dresses of my spring/summer collection. Colorful. That was the launch of the brand.  

What were the greatest difficulties you found? 

Well, for me is quite simple because everybody said me that I have a good organization, so I find it easy to organize everything always being within the timeframe and this is a good thing. However the difficulties are many. At the beginning is to be young, so to establish a reputation is the greatest difficulty. Then there’s the help that doesn’t come soon to create and realize the collection. I’m alone most of the time, maybe with some little help from some seamstress I know, women who already work for others. 

Valentina Poltronieri at Contemporary Mood space at White Show fall 2018

Practically you realized the prototypes, but at the time when you have to sell your creations what are the difficulties about production? 

Production is made by the manufacturing company in which I work, where I’m the fashion designer and head of product of an internal line called “Scarlet”. For this and my own line I should say that the difficulty in production is to control that everything’s okay, in standard with all requirements. Like in a car, if a bolt is missing the car doesn’t work. I have to be coherent both with seamstress and patternmakers that follow me, taking care that everything proceeding properly and everybody follow the timeline. The assembly-line is essential. 

This organizational capacity is innate or did they teach you at school?

I think that it’s innate, that’s me. Also at school I saw people who, despite being excellent, were not so much organized, who had never respected the deadlines. You need to be organized. Is for this reason that in the company where I work they enabled me to progress to senior position, because they have already seen what I’m capable. 

Valentina Poltronieri at Contemporary Mood space at White Show fall 2018

You are continuing this collaboration with this fashion house, which is producing your line, designed entirely by you. How are you able to plan all this? 

Yes, I make the samples while the company will make the production. It’s possible because when you are young you have always the desire to move forward. I’m 24 years old, I want to make everything without conserving my strength. To work you have to learn to manage the timeline, to working hardly. I can work  even 14-14 hours a day never stopping, but when I reach some goal the 15 hours doesn’t matter. 

Valentina Poltronieri at work

Of course you are very young, but it seems to me that things are going well. What are the best satisfaction you’ve had until now? 

Entering the job market, the best satisfactions are when there are people who compliment me for what I’m doing. And having a good and direct feedback by the press is a beautiful thing, because also if they don’t know you they want to discover and know something more. This is a really positive feedback. Coming from Marangoni and Secoli is more easy to enter the job market and this is a benefit. There are many satisfactions, everything I do, also a simple trunk show like this, a simple fashion show. But applauses and appreciations of many people, especially compared with other fashion show I saw. This makes me realize that I’m on the right way, motivating me to continue what I like. 

"Techno Icon" collection by Valentina Poltronieri

Speaking about your collection, I’ve seen the spring/summer and the fall/winter collections that are both a triumph of bright colors expressing the will to live. What are your inspirations?

My inspiration regarding myself, because I’m totally 100% full of joy! Everybody should always smile, always. So the colors are what give me joy and energy. Also for who sees them. Looking colors they have a different gaze, there’s a kind of stuff that makes them dream or remember something. That’s color for me, especially for summer collections. Black is abolished, stop to total black. Ok, everyone use it because it’s our comfort-zone, but when you create something long live the colors! 

Valentina Poltronieri's outfit from the spring/summer 2018 collection "Techno Icon"

Color for you is also expression of a kind of emotion?

Is more a kaleidoscope and an harmony. Of pink and violet. I like to use the same nuance. Here for example I presented pink, violet, fuchsia making a nuance with black and white. In the spring/summer collection instead I decided 5 bright colors that give joy. Blue, fuchsia and green. All colors of Nature, of light. Especially with these eco-leather that I used the color is more accentuated, more visible. 

Valentina Poltronieri's outfit from the fall/winter 2018-19 collection "The Age of Icon"

Yes, it vibrates!

Yes, in fact also in the choice of materials I’m really picky! Because I don’t like the materials used by the most designers, so I research materials or I make by myself.  I create double fabrics or laser-cuts, I don’t look for someone who make them. When I make the prototypes I try to do everything by myself, also the embroideries, trying to make things that I really like, customizing all without asking to none except for prints, supported by other suppliers. But if I can, I try to create in an original way. 

Valentina Poltronieri's outfit from the fall/winter 2018-19 collection "The Age of Icon"

Main inspiration is color, but about geometrical cuts? 

Geometrical shapes come from my own experience, because I attended the high school for surveyors. It’s always in the context of design, because my interest comes from it. I always like geometry, also concerning patternmaking, it’s all connected. I used the triangle because it has a shape more interesting for me comparing to other. It can play well on decorations, giving movement and a sense, creating motifs. I can also play with triangles on patterns of skirts, for example. Patterns play with geometry.
Valentina Poltronieri's outfit from the spring/summer 2018 collection "Techno Icon"

Projects for the future? What are you going to do when you grow up?

(laughing) This job! Of course I have projects! I’ll publish the fall/winter collection with the Italian press and maybe also international. Something will happen in Paris, because my press agency is in Paris. I will have a fashion show on May at the International Fashion Week with Young Generation of Camera Moda Giovani, to which I took part last year. So I have been directly contacted by the director of the event. It was great to get a call from a so important person. 

A sign that your things are appreciated for your force and energy. 

Yes it was wonderful! But I have to work to the new collection. I’d like to participate to two fashion contests, hoping to be accepted. One is the “Città dei Sassi” in Matera. Let’s see if they’ll accept my collection. 

It’s a contest usually oriented on Haute Couture and evening dresses but…

Yeah, but they are opening to young designers. So I said, why not? They know my things, I have also evening pieces and however I can create something more, there’s time. The other contest I like to attend is Mittelmoda, that is probably harder because there are many participants, all high-level, coming from the best fashion schools. I have to try, never give up! 

Evening dress by Valentina Poltronieri

Practically you are going ahead with your brand, but speaking about communication you started with a blog…

Yes I started with the blog trying to make myself known. It’s a more personal blog, I’m not looking for millions of followers! It’s good to communicate a part of my world, to have feedbacks that are few but however important. I’ve always liked to write, so I would never do a blog with only images as many others, but more like your that speaks about details and insights. 

Valentina wearing her creations

Because looking only photos make blogs slightly more than Instagram, instead I like to write and I really make it for this reason. I love to inform people about new things and new unknown brands, not always the same. In fact in a post published on my blog I explained that I don’t’ want to communicate about famous brands, are not interesting for me. I prefer to introduce what is really new now. 

Yes I’m agree and that’s why I’m here!

Otherwise is useless! Everybody’s looking for the collections of Gucci or Prada, that’s enough! 

They already have their right media coverage, but make way for young! 

Everybody knows them, even my grandmother! They don’t need a broader communication. Coming here and meeting other young I’ve seen really high-level items, well-crafted and with a strong communication. What I regret is that many people don’t know all this. There are many talented young but unknown. They work really hard maybe just to perfectly make a sample of a bag that then are unsold or, even worse, are copied! Because we are full of creativity, at 100%!

Surely you are in the peak of vitality! Thanks for this beautiful interview!

Thanks to you!


To better know Valentina Poltronieri and her joyful world these are her contacts:

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