ALTAROMA 2022: ROME FASHION RUNWAY

In Conversation with John Zucca
Altaroma is a meeting point to explore new trends and an important national and international showcase for creatives of the fashion world. Between the 2nd-4th February 2022 they hosted a fashion show which, of course, we could not miss.

Second in our series of articles about the event, we have our conversation with fashion designer John Zucca.
Could you tell me how you started your fashion journey?

I studied fashion design at a university in Taiwan for 4 years. And at the university, I worked for a couple of years and then I decided to get my master's degree. In the beginning, I had some tough decisions to make. I had to choose to go to the UK or Italy. In the end, I chose Italy. I assume it was destiny. Then I got a master's degree and worked for a company but not for long.

After that, I became a freelance designer for a long time. It's very tough for this type of career. And then, in 2020, I decided to create an opportunity for myself, and I built my own brand, John Zucca which happened during the pandemic.

Sounds great. I wanted to ask why it was such a tough decision to choose between the UK and Italy.

Actually, I got an offer from Centrals and Martins, and the other colleague, whose name I don't remember, sent me an offer two times. In the end, I chose Italy because the reality is about the economy and Italy is cheaper. It was also much easier to start my career in Italy. To be honest, in the beginning, I wasn't into the style of Italy. It is very classy. Now, I like life in Italy, especially Milan, where I live. The more I live here, the more I love it. Feels like my real home.

How did you end up in the Roma fashion week?

I applied to their competition. It is for new brands to participate and, unfortunately, I failed the first time that I applied for the competition. I didn't get in. I was very sad about it. This year they sent me some information that I could use to get in for their event. I was very lucky to be there. I know it's not easy to get there.

That's great. It shows that you have some talent. I wanted to ask something about the fact that you're inspired by constructivism. How did this come to your mind, more specifically constructivism and constructing norms?

When I was at the exhibition I talked with some journalists and designers, and they didn't understand the concept. Maybe most people focus on fashion, and they don't understand the field of design, the building process.

What kind of materials did you use for your collection because I saw that you used sustainable fabrics?

Basically, all the materials for the collection that we choose are stock fabrics. I have some items for the collection that are limited edition, and they are only for one piece because I recreate the design from second-hand fabrics.

So, you create second-hand fabrics to create a new design and you do that on your own?
Does it take long to create a piece?

Yes, yes! Well the fashion industry is changing a lot - social media, fast fashion - everything is changing a lot and very quickly. I want to create something to remind people of a different vision, a different idea. It is to give clothes, fabrics, and trends a life. I mean, different styles could be luxurious, sexy, and not necessarily from luxury brands. We can discover ourselves and be ourselves in this way. This is the whole idea.

How did you come up with these models because I saw some futuristic ideas in your clothes?

Exactly! That's why after I built it, I removed the year of the collection. In this way, people could become truly eco-friendly. Because I want to encourage people to not follow the trend. So, in my personal opinion, the trend and the year of the collection is just to make people buy clothes. You are not buying the pieces from this year or that year. I don't think it's right to buy more and more.

Why did you choose sustainable fabrics for your collection?

I actually care about the environment, and I want to be eco-friendly. I always reduce purchasing and wasting food. It's me. I design and I create things. This is me so I do it all the time and now it comes to my work. But it's not easy to use sustainable fabrics all the time because I'm not like the big houses - Gucci or Prada - which have many resources and can afford anything. What I can do is very little.

What inspired you to engage with fashion before university?

For me, fashion is not just about clothes, bags, and shoes. For me, it is like philosophy and your lifestyle. I think it's more profound to discover yourself.
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Article by Polya Pencheva