Can you introduce yourself to our readers?
My name is Marco Castelli. I am from Porto Empedocle, a small town in Sicily near Agrigento.
I have been working in fashion for 11 years. At the beginning it was all a game for me. Someone I know works for a big Italian fashion company and he asked me if I wanted to do a show. I was skeptical first, but, after speaking with my mum, we thought about this cool opportunity. Right after that episode I thought about studying marketing and communication, but then I decided to move to Milan and work as a model full time.
When did you first realize you wanted to pursue a career as a designer?
I always wanted to customize my clothes, make them different and unique. For me getting into design was not a simple thing. When I first started making clothes and wearing the stuff I was producing for myself people started asking me about them. For this reason I decided to start working as a designer.
Are you self-taught or did you study fashion design?
I have never studied fashion design, I am self thought. I feel it is something that belongs to me naturally.
When did you land your first internship and what was the most valuable thing you learned from this experience?
I did my first internship as a tailor maker, I followed the team to the factories so I could check the fabrics. From that experience I learned a lot. I understood what it means when they say “Made in Italy”, what it means to use the right fabric, the right materials, the right texture, the right colors and the way to cut them.
What was the biggest rookie mistake you made when just starting out?
I still believe I make a lot of mistakes nowadays, but at the beginning the one I thought it was a huge mistake and it turned out to be a big sale.
What role do you think social media plays in fashion today?
The role of social media is very important, because nowadays they are one of the key points to show people your business, your identity as a brand. They can be positive and negative at the same time. They take a lot of time. They are an instantaneous way to show the details of your products without people actively looking for them. At the same time you can interact with your potential clients.
What was your biggest fear when going out and starting your own line?
My biggest fear when I started was to waste money and time and ending up with a bunch of unwanted garments, that’s why I started wearing my clothes. There were a lot of thoughts in my mind but in the end the positive side of me won. I have worked hard and now I am happy I did what I did to get where I am now. This is a way for me to express who I am. I also like the freedom I give to my clients when working together on a garment, they have the chance to pick their fabric and the color.
There’s so much pressure for designers to come out with their greatest collection season after season. What advice would you give to young designers just starting out and hoping to make it in the industry?
To be free, because what we wear expresses who we are. We can actually make a difference in someone’s life when we interact with other people.
Go ahead with your ideas and be yourself. Be an inventor, dream big, because we can make our dreams come true if we work hard for them.
interview by Rosalba Di Monte
picture by Federico Cambria