“More than ever, we’re not looking at our wardrobes just as a source of joy, but with a “less is more” mindset; quality over quantity becomes our mantra. Now that the sun is out it’s time to invest in garments that will spark joy on a long-term basis.
Dare to use forms that meet function and comfort without ever lacking in style, made with natural fabrics and earthy tones to keep us grounded.” — Marta Scarampi
Today we venture to Torino, Italy known for its beautiful architecture and cafes lining the enchanting boulevards and stunning piazzas where you can people watch to your heart’s content. It’s also the home of the slow fashion brand, Marta Scarampi which was founded by sisters Lucia and Marta Scarampi. Marta, The Designer is a graduate of New York’s FIT and both sisters lived fast-paced lives in NYC before returning to their hometown of Torino.
In this interview, Lucia and Marta share about what inspires the brand’s designs, their personal fashion icons, and their dedication to creating a zero-waste fashion brand.
When did you first decide to found a brand together?
Lucia: My sister (Marta, the Designer) and I were born and raised in Torino, Italy. We were raised looking at our grandmother, a seamstress, sewing garments for her clients with love and care. My sister Marta was the most involved in the process, she loved watching and helping her source fabric. The way things were made the “slow way” and with such love and care is something that she would never forget. Both Marta and I then went on to study/work in NYC, where everything is the opposite of slow. Marta studied fashion design at FIT and mastered how to design and make garments. I worked in the corporate world for luxury brands in the marketing and sales department and was truly living a fast- pace life. When we founded our business, we both strongly believed we needed to start a business with a good mix of both: slow fashion adapted to the modern fast pace life.
I love that your company is a women-focused company that was founded on sisterhood. What do you enjoy the most about working together?
We always have each other’s back.
How does Torino inspire your designs?
Torino was Italy’s first capital and is still Italy’s center of both innovation and conscious living, giving birth to the slow food and slow fashion movements. The Marta Scarampi brand was founded as an extension of the elegant city they grew up in. “In Torino, you don’t need to search for great beauty, you just walk around and notice it immediately: the facades of the houses, the impeccable details, the enchanting courtyards as well as the historical gates, cafes & shops. We are committed to sharing that sense of elegance.” Just linger at a sidewalk cafe for a few minutes and you’ll see what we mean, Torino women have an effortlessness to them and this city is one of my favorite places to people watch.
Who are some of your favorite fellow designers that you grew up admiring?
Marta: I have various for different reasons and seasons. Depending on the period of my life, growing up I was in awe with:
-Narciso Rodriquez’s elegance and sophistication
-Elie Saab’s everything, a true inspiration, and an aspiration
-Alice and Olivia by Stacey Bendet’s fun and daring style
-Helmut Lang’s draping
.. and many more.
I’m attracted most by color, draping, and simplicity.
Town & Country said, “Think Jackie Kennedy.” Who do you both consider to be your personal style icons?
Marta: Can’t say I have just one in particular and lately a lot of the ones that I consider style icons are fictional characters. I’m a movie junkie. To name a few Michelle Pfeiffer in One Fine Day, Meg Ryan in You’ve Got Mail, Debra Messing in The Wedding Date, Diane Keaton in Something’s Gotta Give & Because I Said So and Goldie Hawn & Meryl Steep in Death Becomes Her.
Lucia: Princess Diana
Lucia & Marta Scarampi
What is one of your favorite pieces from the current collection, and how would you style it for a day around Torino?
Marta: To pick one is hard! Right now I’m into trousers, I love the Sara Pants and a matching hoodie. If I were to head out and about in the city I’d pair them with the Anna Blouse tucked in the front.
Lucia: I love the Rachel Bansky Blue Cape, I wear it as a combo with the Twiggy blazer it’s the perfect look for a casual yet elegant stroll in Torino’s piazzas.
How involved are you both in the process once the initial design is made to when the final piece is ready for customers?
Marta: I oversee all the production processes. I am a complete fashion designer, thanks to FIT. I know how to design, create patterns, cut, and sew. With my team by my side, my daily routine is getting capes and dresses ready to be shipped to our clients.
Stacie Flinner & Marta Scarampi
You recently collaborated with blogger/designer Stacie Flinner. What did you enjoy the most about working with Stacie to create a cape collection for the fall season?
Marta: I love partnerships. I am fascinated by people, I like to listen to their ideas and their point of view on fashion, which very often is different from mine. Seeing how the clothes I design are worn and styled differently from how I imagined always brings me happiness. I’m a great supporter of individuality.
You’ve been featured in Vogue, Town & Country, Conde Nast Traveler, and more. How did you feel when you saw your designs in print for the first time?
Marta: Overwhelmed with joy and pride. Proud of standing strong, through thick and thin, up to the point of reaching recognition for dedication and passion.
As a brand, you’re dedicated to working towards becoming a 100% zero waste company. As a slow fashion brand, how have you continued to make steps towards this goal?
Sustainability for us is not only producing clothes with sustainable fabric, but we also want to create a business that helps reduce waste. Our made-on-demand business model allows us to position quality as a top priority, monitoring closely all production processes and allowing us to adopt a zero-waste philosophy: no excess inventory and re-purpose every excess fabric. Super-speed global shipping helps us guarantee 10 business days delivery and the customer receives a garment made for them, directly at their home.
As Italians from Torino, we grew up to love sophisticated things. The past is still so magnificently alive here and Torino’s people exude elegance and class. In Torino you don’t need to search for great beauty, you just walk around and notice it immediately: the facades of the houses, the impeccable details, the enchanting courtyards as well as the historical gates, cafes & shops. We are committed to sharing that sense of elegance. Our beautifully crafted pieces offer impeccable finishes, durability, and unique contemporary designs. — Lucia & Marta Scarampi
All images in this post via Marta Scarampi