Sustainability and Contemporary Style, Cora Bellotto
Cora Bellotto, originally from Milan, Italy, is a fashion designer focused on sustainable fashion and waste reduction. Her eponymous label focuses on being sustainable with a luxury soul. The brand conveys a new concept of luxury where the values of sustainability meet a contemporary and sophisticated style, impeccable in details and quality of materials.
Who is a typical Cora Bellotto wearer?
She is a confident woman, authentic, cultured, contemporary and nostalgic at the same time. She knows that luxury lies in fabric quality and tiny details. She respects the environment and recognizes the value of an ethically made product.
How did you get into fashion?
Fashion has always been in my dreams, but I wasn’t sure whether I was going to be a designer until I did a training course in tailoring at the age of sixteen. I always loved to create, to physically make things: that’s my favourite part about being a designer, together with the definition of the design concept, which is for me the stimulating part behind everything. When I found out that the market was saturated with cheap, disposable garments, instead of giving up and conforming, I decided to fight against this movement and believe in a bright future for sustainable fashion.
What’s one of your favourite designs from your own collection?
One of my favourite pieces is the Azoto dress: a very minimalistic dress, made from a zero-waste pattern. It is both extremely simple and sophisticated.
If you could describe your brand as a type of music, what would it be?
I would say Ludovico Einaudi’s music. It is classical and contemporary at the same time. I often listen to it while I work, it helps me concentrate.
How was the experience of relaunching the classic Italian brand Capucci? How did you get involved in this project?
Working with Roberto Capucci was a milestone to me and it was a real honour to work at the relaunch of the brand in pret-a-porter. I remember my first fashion book ever was a catalogue of an exhibition about him, featuring drawings and preparatory sketches. I loved that book, and I couldn’t imagine that one day he would sign it for me! My idea of fashion has been strongly influenced by his artistic approach and in my design methodology, I always try to follow his path. I have to thank Cinzia Minghetti, creative director at Capucci, because she involved me in the relaunch.
Why is it important for you to have a sustainable, zero-waste design methodology?
At the moment not all my pieces are made with the same design methodology. I still draw most of my pieces on paper before making a toile. Nonetheless, I love working with constraints because it gives me a creativity boost. That’s how I started to work on zero-waste pieces: I had only a cut of a fabric and I said to myself “Just use it all, don’t waste anything”. I loved the process, and the result amazed me! Recently, I bought a scaled dummy (1:3) and I work on it, as Madame Vionnet used to do.
In 2016, you showcased your collection at Hong Kong Fashion Week. How was this experience and how would you say it differs from the European fashion weeks?
I showcased my collection in Hong Kong as I took part in the Eco-chic design Award 2016. It was an amazing event that marketed new brands and emerging designers. I may be wrong, but I feel that since Europe has so many historical brands, it costs more to acknowledge a new label.
If you could have any celebrity wear your pieces, who would you want it to be?
My dream would be to walk in the streets and meet people wearing my designs... but if I have to choose a celebrity, I’d choose Florence Welch, singer of the band Florence and the Machine.
What helps you find inspiration for your designs?
The Cora Bellotto aesthetic is inspired by my heterogeneous interests in art, traditional craftsmanship, anthropology and esoterism. I love to translate abstract concepts into practical design pieces.
What can we expect from the Cora Bellotto brand in the next five years?
I promise you will hear from Cora Bellotto more and more in the next few years! Right now the brand objective is to get recognized as a luxury sustainable label and meet new customers. In a few years, it might become a lifestyle brand! I believe nothing is impossible when one works passionately and meets the right people to work with.