PARIS – Italian advanced contemporary brand Forte_Forte has joined forces with indie label Lessico Familiare on a capsule collection of upcycled looks launched during Paris Fashion Week.
To mark the collaboration, the two brands took over the Le Progrès café in the Marais area here on Thursday for a jovial breakfast event. A street casting modeled the quirky clothes among the tables while passersby took in the scene and press and friends of the brands stopped for a quick coffee and croissant before kicking off their daily fashion marathon.
The informal mood mirrored the one of both Forte_Forte’s cofounder and creative director Giada Forte and the trio behind Lessico Familiare. Founded during the pandemic and rooted in sustainability, the latter is the brainchild of Riccardo Scaburri, Alberto Petillo and Alice Curti, who met each other while attending the NABA fashion, art and design school. After taking different paths in the industry, in 2020 they decided to launch the quirky label by looking at what their domestic environment could offer. Hence, curtains, mats, and discarded clothes were upcycled to turn a “familiar lexicon” (as the brand’s name translates to in English) into new pieces, which are marked by a froufrou and a bit costume-y aesthetic rich in bows, flounces and patchworks.
“This project started by chance thanks to a friend who collaborates with us for many years and met Riccardo [Scaburri] and thought I would like him a lot,” recalled Forte. “I didn’t know their work and I was fascinated by their idea of volumes and of injecting a fresh vision and poetry into old clothes. They have this joyous freshness. And since every year we do a project of one-off pieces with artists, we thought of doing something together,” she added.
For the occasion, Forte dived into its archives to pull out the brand’s signature garments – such as the boho shirt, slip dress, pajama sets and mannish blazer jackets – that were defective or prototypes of designs that weren’t put into production.
Under the Lessico Familiare trio’s touch, items were dismantled and reassembled, shirts juxtaposed and stitched together to create new designs in maxi slouchy proportions; blazer jackets deconstructed and worn with glitter ribbons as ties; pajama sets revisited with a lame finish for a more eccentric effect, and billowing shirts and airy slipdresses embroidered with crystals and punctuated by cobranded bows to exude a DIY feel.
“We do only womenswear and with Riccardo we thought of revisiting also the masculine archetypes… So it resulted in these genderless pieces and it’s kind of Forte_Forte’s first time in dressing men, too,” said Forte.
The romantic vibe of the capsule collection, which was dubbed “Poem for a guy,” was further amplified by its delicate palette of buttery colors and pastel shades, like powder pink, pale yellow and ivory, with few pops of red here and there.
Overall, the range includes roughly 25 one-off designs, which now hit the racks of the Forte_Forte store in Rue de Grenelle before traveling to the brand’s boutiques in Milan and Madrid next.
Supported by Style Capital, which in April 2017 acquired a majority stake in the brand, Forte_Forte kickstarted its retail expansion by opening its first store in Milan in 2018, quickly followed by the Paris outpost. The brand is present also in London, Tokyo, Rome, Forte dei Marmi and opened its first U.S. store on Melrose Place in Los Angeles last year.
Forte_Forte’s sustainable bent goes way back, too, as it launched its seminal collaboration with silk specialist Mantero Seta to retrieve and breathe new life into deadstock silks more than a decade ago. During the pandemic the brand boosted arty tie-ups, ranging from the “Corde Vocali” project with artist Pauline Guerrier using its deadstock fabrics for her artistic tapestry to partnering with Ukranian talents last year.
As for Lessico Familiare, sustainability has been embedded in the brand’s ethos since its launch and rooted in its artisanal pieces, which are developed starting from the fabrics the founders find around. The trio has always considered the label a domestic project rather than a proper fashion brand, as it follows no season but embraces experimental initiatives instead.
Still, Lessico Familiare made its debut on the Milan Men’s Fashion Week schedule in June 2022 with a bridal-inspired collection, followed by the coed “Cocktail” range unveiled earlier this year at Fondazione Sozzani in Milan.
The label is mainly available on its e-commerce due to its artisanal, handmade production.