Words Veronika Dorosheva
I have been aware of the FADE OUT for quite a while. Actually, ever since I started pulling pieces from their collections for my personal styling projects some time ago (for instance Tie for this site). I have always been astonished by the quality and variety of their garments, and their unique approach to design. The brand is renowned for its de- and reconstruction of vintage pieces, giving them a brand new look and the chance for a prolonged life.
The story of FADE OUT began around 2013 when Andrea and Nicola, the two main creative minds behind the label, started making patchwork t-shirts out of recycled denim for personal use. In early 2015 they initiated the idea of creating something completely new; a range of unique unisex garments with an oversized fit made from vintage denim, that can be easily worn by a variety of personalities for different occasions.
Andrea, originally from a little village in the Apennine Mountains close to Teramo in Italy, cut his teeth in fashion working for Miss Sixty as a fashion- and graphic designer for six years. Before establishing FADE OUT he ran two other fashion brands: C.A.2 and DOREAPALAN. C.A.2 was a line of laser-cut leather accessories that was awarded at Premiere Classe trade show WHO'S NEXT.
His partner Nicola, from Padova in the North-East of Italy, worked in many different fields prior to becoming a fashion designer. He worked with wood as a carpenter, as a sound engineer, and even as a party organizer and event manager in Rome. Furthermore, he created a line of recycled leather bags called EKOLOVESANIMAL and has been working with vintage clothing for years.
Andrea and Nicola have a shared vision of a respectful, sustainable and socially responsible fashion world. They hope to contribute to this large-scale change in the industry with FADE OUT.
They craft their garments from natural materials that can be easily recycled. Each piece is made out of recycled denim sourced and purchased at charity shops. These pieces are then deconstructed, washed, sanitized, ironed and reassembled like the tiles of a mosaic. The duo combines pieces of fabric colored in different hues thus successfully creates unique pieces with a repetitive, but always slightly different pattern system.
Andrea and Nicola started working with denim because of its availability and diversity and its easy-care nature. Denim is a natural fabric, able to store memories and show the traces of time as the colors fade from wear and tear. Every single piece of denim, be it a piece of clothing or the leftover fabric, is easily used in their production. This is key to Andrea and Nicola because they believe that sustainability is central to raising consciousness within the overproductive fashion system.
“Nowadays, there is no need for new trends or styles but the need to improve one’s quality of life by slowing down and by buying critically. We think all should follow maestro, Vivienne Westwood, who said: "Buy less, buy better,”" Andrea and Nicola explains.
Another main characteristic of FADE OUT’s collections is the unisex fit. The garments are created for any kind of body regardless the gender and, therefore, offer a freedom of choice for the consumers. The designers believe that the sexual differences of human bodies shouldn’t be of such big importance when it comes to clothing. Gendered clothing is, in fact, a reflection of culture and aesthetics and not a practical choice, they argue.
Opposed to the fast-paced requirements of the fashion industry, FADEOUT celebrates timeless creativity and features a permanent collection to which a few new items are added every season.
As we talked about this, I got curious as to how buyers and shops react to this concept. Andrea and Nicola explained, that in their experience it seems the ordinary customers are more likely to understand this idea than the shop owners and managers, who oftentimes stick to the classic idea of seasonal collections and sales.
At the time of the interview, Andrea and Nicola shared some exciting news. They told me excitedly, that their label had been selected as one of thirty emerging design labels to be part of WHO’S NEXT Future of Fashion program at the trade show in Paris from the 2nd to the 5th of September 2016. At this show, they presented their new capsule collection that will also be added to their permanent collection. The designers see their participation in WHO’S NEXT as a great opportunity in order to gain access to new markets such as France and Italy. People here tend to still shy away from recycled materials, they tell me, unlike Japan or UK, where FADE OUT is already appreciated for their approach.
When asked about the best life lesson that was ever given to them, Andrea and Nicola replied: “In fashion like everywhere else, do what you feel like, when you feel like and if you feel like.”
To me, their work is a great example of how people can do what they are truly passionate about while making this world a little better by bringing conscious thinking and mindfulness forward. Hopefully, this approach to the sustainability within fashion will spread across the industry.
All pictures by FADE OUT