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NEMEN®_ Exclusive Q&A

NEMEN®_ Exclusive Q&A

NEMEN®_ Exclusive Q&A

Originating from Italy, NEMEN®_ is a brand that redirects styles, techniques and materials from their typical manifestations toward new aesthetics and applications. 

For their AW20 launch, the creative director of NEMEN®_, Leonardo Fasolo, took the time to answer an exclusive Q&A about his brand and creative process for MACHINE-A.

Shop the collection here.

 What made you particularly interested in the dyeing process?

Dyeing is like the soul of our products, the breath that gives them life. Garment dyeing, in particular, presents enormous difficulties in managing all the variables related to a multitude of factors that allows us to achieve a particular shade of colour (even just black is complicated) and effect that is completely integrated with a model's design. 

It requires deep textile knowledge and is not within everyone's grasp.

I like to think that this process, which has roots in ancient traditions, can find new expression through NMN® products.

What was your first experience with dyeing?

Digging into my memory I remember that as a kid I spent hours working on t-shirts with Letraset fonts / sprays and stencils but I didn't know anything about dyes. My first experience with garment dyes dates back to the beginning of my career working with Sportswear Company.

Since then I have always approached dyeing from an industrial point of view, using appropriate machinery and techniques and exploiting the potential of specific chemical products.

Could you explain the testing and development that takes place in the NEMEN®_ dyeing process?

It is quite complex ... first of all, we work with our fabric suppliers to select the raw material, the moment we look at the fabrics we define the treatment tests and proceed with the first trials. At the same time, we work on pattern shapes and construction mock-ups in our atelier in Milan. 

Once we have received the tests we proceed with the development of the prototype using the correct fabrics and testing the chosen treatment. The prototype is then tested and analysed in all its components, before making the collection with our production partner. Meanwhile, various colour tests are prepared to define the final dye colours of the collection.

Does the new focus on sustainability add more pressure or difficulty to your production processes? Did you have to change current practices? 

One of the many reasons why Made in Italy remains a reference in the world of manufacturing, is also related to the regulations to which we are subjected to and the high level of attention paid by Italy in respecting the environment and its workers. So the standard is rather high here and a contributing factor to the elevated production costs for Made in Italy products.

If a brand claims to be sustainable, it usually isn't. I don't necessarily think it should be the sole responsibility of the brands, as much as governments putting laws in place that prevent unsustainable practices, and the industry must then align itself with these regulations.

Also, big brands use this story nowadays a lot as a marketing tool and talk about things they don't really know, claiming to use recycled yarns, but then after production they will burn thousands of meters of leftover fabrics.

The most sustainable thing is to reduce consumption and produce fewer, longer-lasting, products, but almost nobody talks about this. 

For NEMEN's upcoming SS season, we decided to dedicate a part of the collection to what we call "Zero Waste" with the aim of using all the leftover fabrics, creating limited quantities of products based exclusively on stock availability with a long lifespan.

If you were to collaborate with a current brand or designer, who would it be and why?

I think sooner or later we should do something new with ACRONYM®. Outside of clothing design, I would like to do something with an Italian furniture design company at some point.

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