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Oversized, unisex, deconstructed and, above all, sustainable. That’s Fade Out Label, a fashion brand born from the artisanal creativity of two Italians – Nicola Gomiero and Andrea Bonfini – who have founded and settled their label in Berlin. Fade Out is all about denim, and that’s not surprising, as denim has always been one of the most eclectic and beloved fabrics in clothing since its appearance. Something on which even the iconic Andy Warhol would agree, as apparently he wanted to die with his blue jeans on. The fashion industry has its rules, however Gomiero and Bonfini don’t seem to care too much about them. Their collections are not dictated by seasons, and gender doesn’t matter. There’s only one ruling formula: design, recycle and create an unrepeatable garment.
Hello Nicola and Andrea, how and when did you meet each other and got into fashion?
We met ten years ago in Italy, Rome. We both had been living in Berlin for some years until in early 2015 we teamed up to playfully create something unexpected and new. Our common way of looking at contemporary fashion made it a natural next step to go and hit the market as a brand.
What is the story of Fade Out Label? How did you start and what was your main objective?
Fade Oout Label was born almost by chance. Around 2013, when making patchwork T-shirts out of recycled denim for ourselves, we had the idea to create garments with a clean and essential taste. People loved the concept and so we decided to build up a collection of total looks and to open up a brand.

How would you describe the mood and groove of the brand?
Fade Out Label creates comfortable, unisex garments of oversized fit, which due to the use of recycled material become handcrafted one-offs, repeatable but always different. We love how our garments adapt to various occasions and to different personalities. We do not believe in the timelines of the fashion system but in timeless creativity and in the originality of every single idea and item, so we create permanent collections to which new items are added every season.
You design unisex garments. Why have you decided to take a step further from the traditional division between menswear and womenswear?
Unisex clothing is created for any kind of body regardless of gender. We want to offer the freedom of choice. There are sexual differences in the human body that do not make such a big difference in clothes, which are the wrapper that covers it. Gender division in fashion is more a factor of culture and aesthetics than one of practicality.
For what kind of customers and people do you design your clothes?
We created Fade Out Label out of a personal need of choice. We wanted to choose a certain coolness adequate to all situations in modern urban life. People have become much more alert to what they buy compared to a few years ago, people choose products in a more critic and intelligent way. Sustainable clothing becomes more and more popular, like it happened for example in the energy and food industries. This is a sign of evolutive progress. Our ideal customer chooses Fade Out Label.

“Gender division in fashion is more a factor of culture and aesthetics than one of practicality.”
You create deconstructed and recycled pieces. How do you approach handcraft and manufacture when producing new garments?
The concept is the first thing to have clear in mind before starting with anything, otherwise it would just be a style exercise without a message. We wanted to work with natural recycled fibres, which connected very well with a unisex look and with the quality of handicraft production.

The pattern and the material are the same for every garment of one style but the patchwork and the shade of the denim we recycle make each piece different. Every time we create something unique and unrepeatable.
Denim is a quite interesting fabric, it was originally used to make clothing for labourers, then it gained popularity and became an icon for rebellious people, and later it became one of the most common fabrics for casual wear. Why have you chosen to focus specifically on denim?
Denim is a natural fabric that keeps the memory of time in the shades of its fading. It is easy to find at second-hand markets, easy to clean and to work with. It also fits perfectly with our ethos of recycling because every single piece, even leftovers, finds use in production. Vintage denim dominates our collections and influences the uniqueness of each piece. This gives us a lot of creative freedom: we de-construct and reassemble all garments like playing with the tiles of a mosaic, every time different and unique.

Nowadays denim production has become kind of controversial, since it requires the use of some of the most polluting processes in the fashion industry. You design recycled and deconstructed pieces, so it seems you are aware of the sustainability issue. Is it the core part of your label?
Sustainable fashion is above all an act of consciousness. It is necessary to understand that it is the only alternative we have to improve the quality of the world and therefore the quality of our lives in it. The world is saturated with products and does not need more, therefore, why not reuse existing material?
Your collection are not based on a seasonal frequency, you have rather set your design production on a permanent collection basis. Why have you decided to go for this untraditional model?
The possibility to create and realize collections whenever we feel ready to introduce new garments and new ideas is a more emotional report to this job. We love that. We might be punished with minor exposure in media, though. Punished by a system that nowadays is used to receive new information and updates in real time. An object or a garment with the allure and the shock of innovation, with its “sex appeal of the inorganic” as stated by Walter Benjamin, may conquer and seduce the consumer but maybe after a month it will lose significance. On the contrary, a well-studied garment that contains many ideas will rest beautiful ever after.
What are your future aims and hopes for Fade Out Label?
Our vision is a respectful, appreciating, sustainable and socially responsible fashion world. We hope our little contribution can have a large impact on it. We also want to continue to enlarge our collection with new garments and experiment new materials and different volumes.

Ilaria Lorio Albarin

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