EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Mode City Designer of the Year 2017

In an exclusive interview, Italian swimwear designer Raffaela D’Angelo speaks ahead of the Mode City Paris exhibition, where she will be crowned the 2017 Designer of the Year.

This summer’s edition of Mode City Paris will honour Italian swimwear and beachwear label Raffaela D’Angelo with the 2017 Designer of the Year award.

Founder and designer Raffaela D’Angelo launched the brand in Milan in 2004 after gaining 20 years’ experience in prestigious Italian, French and Israeli fashion houses.

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Today, D’Angelo and her team create collections using exclusive prints and embroideries, making the brand a fashion favourite at Milan Fashion Week each season.

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All manufacturing takes place in Italy and the brand sources fine materials from premium Italian suppliers, including Ratti, Jersey Lomellina, Mantero, Junior SRL by Zibetti and Eurojersey.

Since 2009, production and distribution have been managed by the Valery Group and the brand is now sold in more than 500 points of sale around the world.

Here, D’Angelo reacts to winning the prestigious Designer of the Year award and discusses her expectations for Mode City.

How do you feel about being named Designer of the Year 2017?
I am happy and honoured to receive this prestigious award as recognition of not only my credibility, but also of the Italian style that I represent. I always try to value traditional Italian manufacturing and being appreciated internationally is a great honour. I thank those who chose to give me this award and everyone who works with me in creating my unique collections.

Why do you think you stood out from other swimwear brands?
I think I stood out because my collections mix innovation and tradition. New innovative fabrics and techniques are combined with traditional Italian handmade crochet.

How would you describe your design handwriting, and how has it evolved over the years?
My style has always had a romantic and elegant vibe. Over the years, as the collections grew in size, some more daring pieces were incorporated thanks to the use of new materials, techniques and appliqués, such as leather, laser cutting and studs.

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How do you think you will benefit from winning this award?
I expect more people to be exposed to the brand name. This is an opportunity for us to expand further and reach
new consumers.

What are your expectations for Mode City this season? What do you hope to achieve?
I hope to find new clients and maintain our great relationships with the current ones. I would also like more people to know about the brand, its style and ideas. I don’t just make bikinis; I make a prêt-à-porter designs that can be worn from sunrise to sunset.

Which collections will you take to the show? Will there be any exciting new launches?
I will bring the Cruise and the Spring Summer 2018 collections. As for new launches, you’ll have to stop by our stand at Mode City to find out!

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What are your inspirations behind your latest collection?
Every year my collections evolve from Italian traditions. This year, I was inspired by Sicily and its architecture, ornaments and colourful decorations. I was also inspired by exaggerated jewellery, pendants, crochet accessories, and mosaics. It is a very colourful collection, with a touch of black and white. Fabrics, including cotton, silk and linen are used for comfort.

What are your future plans for Raffaela D’Angelo? How do you hope to grow the company?
We hope to enter new markets and continue to come up with more innovative products.

What is your opinion on the current state of the swimwear market globally?
Nowadays, there are a lot of low-cost, fast-fashion swimwear brands and fewer high-end swimwear brands. I excel in the latter with my collections, which are made in Italy and represent a blend of traditions and innovations.

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