The 15 best creative fashion designers seen at Altaroma July 2019

To give a new impulse to the tradition of Made in Italy there's nothing better than betting on emerging designers and independent brands. That's the purpose of Altaroma that, with exhibition Showcase and the many fashion shows organized during the Roman Fashion Week, wants to enhance the work of the most innovative new generation of talents bringing them under the spotlight of international mass media. Here the 15 best innovative creatives I met at Altaroma.

Edition after edition, year by year, ALTAROMA is becoming the reference point for who are looking for a breath of fresh air in High Fashion. Completely different from the opulent and classic past of Italian Haute Couture fashion week, but never forgetting its propensity for high-end products, Altaroma prefers to focus on something new, betting on young designers, emerging brands and fashion schools. 

The entrance of Altaroma at PratiBus District

In the four days of events, fashion competitions (soon an article dedicated to all the contests), fashion shows and exhibitions, we've seen hundreds of young students excited for their "first time", but especially many emerging talents an independent brands in search of an important occasion to show their collections to an international audience. 

Showcase Altaroma July 2019

At Altaroma I had the great pleasure to meet the most interesting avant-garde and creative fashion designers, some old friends of mine and many new-entries, some more minimalist and other more cutting-edge or street-style, but all with in common the passion for their job and the research for excellence.


The fashion shows are always the core of the Altaroma days. Even if a lot of space was given to the fashion schools, with 10 graduate collections presented on catwalk by important fashion academies, obviously the great part of the mass media interest was given to the shows of the brands. 

The fashion show by Dassù Y Amoroso at Altaroma July 2019

The collection "I Am What I Am" is the brave solo fashion show presented by the brand DASSÚ Y AMOROSO, founded by the design duo formed by Stefano Dassù and Pasquale Amoroso, who I've already met in the past edition of Showcase. Their talent was clear since that time, but with this collection the designers make one decisive step ahead. The collection is strong, audacious, with many references to Punk and Dark 90s aesthetic and shocking neon colors mixed to the omnipresent black, variagated in many shades through the use of shining fabrics, vinyl and technical fabrics.

The fashion show by Italo Marseglia at Altaroma July 2019

ITALO MARSEGLIA is always a refined visionary, a dream-maker. At Altaroma he brought on catwalk and at Showcase a contemporary elegance made of delicate laces, the rich sophistication of Victorian period and a pinch of exoticism (Oh my God his bags!). Mixing with great nonchalance different influences and inspirations, his girls become noble ladies who kindly chat walking on the runway. Nothing is left to the case, but the research for a moment of perfect beauty is made always with grace and spontaneity. While the designer is trying to safe the world (because he uses only up-cycled fabrics and sustainable materials), the idea we have is that eco-fashion has never been so precious and rarefied.

The fashion show by Paola Emilia Monachesi at Altaroma July 2019

PAOLA EMILIA MONACHESI, already Creative Director of the brand Au197Sm, presented at Altaroma her label Pryvice, that perfectly represents the strong point of her visionary creativity. A super-luxurious collection in which the metallic touches of gold, silver, platinum and copper are fused and confused into the beautiful and delicate shades of color chosen for the ethereal but hyper-technological transparent fabrics. As abstract paintings coming from the future and from an oniric world, the dresses fill the space around the body with incredible lightness and courageous modernity.

The fashion show by Sabrina Persechino at Altaroma July 2019, featuring the youngest Italian fashion model Olimpia Caprino (photo on the top right)

The elegant fashion show of SABRINA PERSECHINO gave a touch of sophistication to all the fashion week. Her past as architect provides the basis of her style, made of refined classicism mixed with a linear simplicity and geometrical elements. "Be-Sign" is a collection inspired by the aesthetic codes of Bauhaus, transformed into lines, geometric laser cuts, masterful inlays, rational transparencies and a precise Minimalism just tinged by a note of nostalgia in the references to the Sixties style.


Besides of the fashion shows of single designers, this time the Altaroma's team had the brilliant idea to give an extra visibility also to many fashion designers already present at Showcase. 

The collection of Antonio Martino  in the collective fashion show "Rome is My Runway" at Altaroma July 2019

ANTONIO MARTINO, who I've already met in many occasions, is one of the most bold and strong designer I've seen at Altaroma. With a very long experience with his namesake brand and as teacher of fashion design in important fashion schools, Antonio presented, both at Showcase and at Rome is My Runway collective fashion show, his new collection of the line Urban Park, a beautiful mix and match of glamorous and sensual evening dresses, street-style oversize proportions and avant-garde silhouettes, with innovative fabrics, unusual cuts and transformable pieces really intriguing.

The collection of Caterina Moro in the collective fashion show "Rome is My Runway" at Altaroma July 2019

The encounter with CATERINA MORO was one of the most pleasant, not only because she is decidedly talented, but also for her character, strong and kind at the same time. The designer, who founded her label in 2017 after a Master in Haute Couture, presented at Showcase and Rome is My Runway fashion show an incredibly delicate collection, giving a new meaning to the term Minimalism and adding to it a sophisticate and feminine touch. Her outfits are light as flower petals, just moved by elegant pleats and by the innovative experimentation on textures, underlined by delicious shades of periwinckle and grass green that give freshness to the basic color palette.

The collection of Gall in the collective fashion show "Rome is My Runway" at Altaroma July 2019

GALL is the cutting-edge menswear brand founded in 2014 by the duo formed by the American designer Justin Gall and the Roman-born Chiara Nardelli Gall. The collection "Nihil" plays around the concept of nothingness, in which the sense of vacuity is represented by rarefied modern camouflage prints and by the wrinkled and almost lunar textures. The design is oversize, geometric, technical, modular and extremely practical, but far from being a simple streetwear, it has something languid and disconcerting at the same time.

The collection of Vanta Design Studio in the collective fashion show "Rome is My Runway" at Altaroma July 2019

The label VANTA DESIGN STUDIO, name in which the term Vanta is the acronym for "vertically alligned nano tube arrays" and means the most black element, was founded by Carlotta Robbè Di Lorenzo who, after studies in a law school, was fascinated by fashion world but decided to revolutionized it through a zero-impact design process. The menswear brand is totally sustainable, because it uses only the textile waste of fashion industry, that is regenerated and reused to create new pieces characterized by the taste for simplicity as philosophical way to intend the lifestyle.


Showcase in one of the best initiatives for young designers and emerging brands that we can find in Italy. Organized by ALTAROMA and promoted by the Italian Ministry of Economic Development, this exhibition takes place during the Altaroma fashion week and presents every time more than 60 designers and independent brands able to conjugate the spirit of innovation, the taste for luxury and the respect for the Italian traditional craftsmanship.

Adelbel at Showcase Altaroma July 2019

ADELBEL is the experimental and elegant brand founded in 2017 by the designer Adele Barletta, who was surrounded since she was a child by the beautiful garments created by her family's fashion company specialized in artisanal luxury items. The designer mixes this important heritage to her creativity, finding the perfect balance between craftsmanship and innovation. The s/s 2020 collection is an hymn to the delicate purity expressed by the dance world, with contrasting influences that come from the Renaissance beauty and the contemporary sportswear.

Apnoea at Showcase Altaroma July 2019

The world created by APNOEA, brand founded in 2016 as a collective and now under the direction of Pina Pirozzi and Vincenzo Della Valle, is always fascinating. I met them for the first time in 2018 and I immediately appreciated their innovative spirit and the great aesthetical research they made for every collection. Taking inspiration from the art of Kintsugi and by the concept of a protective ball that can be broken revealing fractures and wounds, the ss 2020 collection "Hyper Fragile" is made by pieces cutted in unexpected ways, with drawstrings creating intruiguing draped volumes, full and empty spaces and a continuous game of asymmetries.

FSTD at Showcase Altaroma July 2019

FSTD is an interesting surprise. The brand was founded in 2017 by the designer Jacopo Fiorentini who, after a past as archeologist and art expert, was fascinated by the world of fashion seen during 1 year spent in Belgium, where he came in contact with the avant-garde style. The brand mission is that of revolutionize and protest against the classic concept of fashion, giving to everybody the possibility to wear what they prefer, without any distinction of sex, age or social class. The urban style is genuinely Italian, funny and irreverent, with comfy pieces that can be worn by both men and women and an affordable price for democratizing fashion business.

Of Hand Made at Showcase Altaroma July 2019

The knitwear created by OF HAND MADE, sustainable brand founded by the designers Nicola Bretagna and Simona Guaini, has a taste really international. In the sense that the collection has something so genuinely creative and conceptually strong that rarely I've seen something similar in Italy. The creativity of the design duo has something innocent and lighthearted, expressed by the handcrafted aspect of the knit, by the revival of the grandmother's doilies pattern, by the simple and genuine words written on the sweaters and the funny and vivid choice of colors mixed with a patchwork effect. Captivating.

Riccardo Sevaggi at Showcase Altaroma July 2019

RICCARDO SELVAGGI is a young designer born in Naples but currently living in Milan. After the studies at Istituto Marangoni and experiences for important brands, he dediced to give life to his namesake label in 2018. Fascinated by the powerful image of the 80s women and by the pragmatism of the early 90s, at Altaroma the designer presents a flashy and colorful collection, pushing on the excesses of bright shades of blue, hot pink and fuchsia, as well as for the shining surfaces of sequins and lurex, focusing on the edonism typical of that years, but making it more suitable for a practical modern and self-confident woman.

Spendthrift at Showcase Altaroma July 2019

SPENDTHRIFT is one of that label for which you can feel an immediate affinity. This was my case, when I met the founders Federico Cancelli and Marco Cuccagna. Who, since 2014, dedicate all their time to give a creative impulse to a simple garment, the t-shirt. Passing the years they implemented the collections also with trousers, jackets, knitwear and shirts and at Showcase they presented "Men at Work", in which the workwear is revisited and combined with the real protagonist of their style, the graphic. Strong, ironic, eye-catching and smart, their prints and patterns turns simple garments into objects of desire.

Yekaterina Ivankova at Showcase Altaroma July 2019

The spring/summer collection of YEKATERINA IVANKOVA is another surprise. I've already met this Kazakh designer, other times at White Show and Altaroma, but usually with her beautiful ikat-style padded coats, featuring big proportions. The collection presented at Showcase has instead in some way a lighter and  fresher mood. Using a mix & match of prints typical of her recycling techniques (that make this brand one of the most interesting in fact of sustainability), now she combines with great creativity stone-washed denim to foulard-print silks, old t-shirts to camouflage, neon touches to classic trench coat pieces.