STUDENTS QUESTION LINDA LOPPA
- Ade (Malaysia/ student from Fashion Brand Management (FBM): What is the biggest influence for your career from your childhood?
- Giulia (Italy/ student from FBM) According to u What is the biggest problem of Italian creativity? In another way, what stops Italy fashion industry from growing ?
- Zi (China/ student from FBM) Everybody talk about the marketing position of China, what do u think about the design power in China? What’s the juncture for them?
- Laura (Malta/ FBM) What career advice would you give after we finish our course? I am not a shaman.
I am a visionary.
I am not a prophet.
I am a humble sensei…
I can visualise the future. I can imagine what doesn’t yet exist, but may do so one day. I’m not a prophet, however I do believe in the future and that’s why I am critical on the present. I am not an utopian, but a realist; therefore I try to achieve what is possible.
I entered the Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp when I was 16 years old. This education gave me the freedom to think and decide for myself – how to build my life and my career. Contemporary art such as Arte Povera, Conceptual art or Renaissance Painters and Flemish Primitives showed me which path to walk on. Fashion came about by accident; from my grandfather and father’s backgrounds as tailors. I learned a lot as a retailer understanding the mechanism of the fashion business, but it was teaching that gave me more satisfaction because I could enter the creative world of fashion.
I believe that generations emerge when change in society is inevitable. When society is static, in numbers, in conflict or fatalism, nothing new is happening and this is the worst state that the world can imagine. China has the potential to be a huge fashion country and launch a generation of young designers, if the movement emerges out of its cultural dialogue. It might even happen in smaller cities because today capital cities are more and more based on malls and mono brand labels. On a positive note there are the so called “Creative Industries” in Beijing and in Shanghai. I am keen to see how this is going to develop because they bring young designers, architects, graphic designers and creative people together. Fashion could be part of that movement and interaction.
With regards the situation here in Italy, I feel chat there also is a need for change. Italian names are of course very prestigious and businesses are growing, but soon we will have a gap between generations. Milan Fashion week’s calendar is fully booked, but young designers either show at the beginning or at the end of the week when buyers and press have already left for Paris. However this surely isn’t the reason for not being creative?!
Fashion became international and global; nationality doesn’t matter. Look at the website “Not Just a Label” NJAL and see how many young designers are presenting and producing interesting garments, accessories and great images. Small is really beautiful; therefore we need to support young designer companies with legal advice, cash flow situations, distribution and branding etc.
So yes – you have a lot to do; that’s why we educate you to become a successful Brand Manager – ready to support tomorrow’s young designer companies. Be visionaries!
Linda Loppa – February 8 – 2013