DUNIA ALGERI ATELIER
Dunia Algeri, 31 years old born in Seriate (Bergamo). Bachelor’s Degree in Communication and a Master’s in Marketing. I am originally from a small village in the province of Bergamo but after high school I first moved to Switzerland, to Lugano, for the university and then to London and Paris for work. I returned to Italy in 2014 to complete my studies in Milan, the city where I still live.
How was your passion for fashion born?
My passion for fashion, and more specifically for knitwear, I think is innate. It all started with my paternal grandmother (whom I never met but who for a long history chose the name I have) was the knitter of the small town where I grew up. My childhood was full of tales of this artisan grandmother and I have always known that I have within me the same passion for creativity and for the expression of self in this way, sometimes considered superficial but instead full of meaning.
How would you define your style?
I would define my style as versatile and certainly more style than fashion. In everyday life I have a very minimal and practical style, both for my very dynamic work and for the life as a mother of a two-year-old girl. A minimal style but with quality garments, I am very attentive to the composition of what I buy (better only 1 garment 100% natural fiber than 5 in polyester). In this period my to-go look is vintage Levi’s, Gucci loafer, a sweater and one of our cashmere coats from the last collection. I also really like to dare with an extravagant mix and match on the most special occasions. I love to research and buy both small independent and niche brands but also vintage, unique garments full of history.
What are your main references and inspirations?
I let myself be inspired by everything but I never seek forced inspiration. Books (biographies), films, travels and stories are the starting point. Then there are the endless research I do and the study of fashion greats, but also the non-sector exhibitions, the people I met during my life abroad and everyday life. In London they taught me to walk looking up and down, to catch every nuance of what surrounds you.
When you work on a project, where do you start from?
Research, research and more research. It is the starting point for everything. Market research to understand which direction to take, to know what has already been created and what has not. Research of raw materials of excellent quality without compromise. As a second step I already imagine the product worn, analyzing its strengths and weaknesses. I plan the beginning and imagine the end and then work to make it concrete.
How did you approach the lockdown on a creative level?
Honestly very well, because it allowed me to have some free time to listen to my creative thoughts that in the frenzy of everyday life are often put aside. I had time to free the manual and primordial creative vein (tempera was the order of the day with my daughter). I was also able to do a lot of research, I listened to podcasts that opened my mind, I read and wrote. I found the right stimuli and the right balance to rediscover a slower but less confused creativity.
What are you working on at the moment?
At the moment we are working on the SS2021 collection which, as always, will see crochet as the protagonist, but we are also working on a very nice secret project that we hope to be able to reveal soon and which will expand the range of action of the brand, keeping the extreme quality and the raw material of 100% natural origin.
What is the element that determines the success of a brand?
The quality of the product and the uniqueness of the offer, an image with attention to every detail and the promptness of customer care. A product must be unique and of extreme quality today to stand out in the market and to have real added value. The image (from social media to packaging) must complete this uniqueness and quality but one of the most important and often underestimated things is the promptness of customer care: the post-purchase experience is as important as the purchase itself.
How important is Made in Italy for you?
Made in Italy has an inestimable value especially for the know-how. In our specific case, knowing how to knit by hand with needles is an art that is being lost and we would really like this not to happen. It would be a dream to be able to train young people to pass on the craftsmanship that now only women of a certain age do.