The designer Ambra Castello, founder of her namesake brand, tells, in an exclusive interview, her path in fashion: research, experimentation, innovation. Ambra Castello with her creations wants not only to made timeless and high quality garments, but to convey her vision. That of ethically correct fashion, attentive to the environment and people; a free fashion, so universal that it can be worn and interpreted by the person, regardless of gender and style.
How was your passion for fashion born?
“I think the passion for fashion was born with me. It manifested itself from the very beginning, in the most sincere and spontaneous age that we live, childhood. I loved playing with clothes, stealing them from my mother's closet (my treasure chest!) While I imagined working in a real showroom. After a first training period in the economic sector, I started an exciting and intense study of fashion in Catania during the academic period. And from there a world opened up to me, a world to which I have always felt I belonged. After completing my studies, I decided to move and lived in England for two years: on my return, with a wealth of new experiences, I decided to return to Italy and found my own brand. "
You launched your brand from a very young age: was it a creative urgency? What needs does Ambra Castello come from?
“After completing my studies, I did not immediately intend to found my own brand, but the trip to England led me to mature this choice, taken on my return. I missed creating, I wanted to create. In England I had some experiences in Charity shops: here many clothes were donated, resold and the proceeds were then given to charities. When I decided to launch my label, I therefore acted looking for a creative but sustainable solution, which would tackle the problem of quantity, size and waste. I have never been able to throw away clothes, I have always tried to see and give them a new life. And so, I started from here, from looking for new ways: more sustainable. My first collection was A.C.A, unique and handcrafted pieces, made from a single hand-woven nylon thread. Then Xinuse was born, an artisanal, sustainable and genderless collection that uses fabrics in all its parts, transforming waste, for example, into small accessories such as headbands. In the new collection, which is coming out, I have taken a further step, that is to work only with waste fabrics."
How do you embrace sustainability in your lifestyle?
"Over time I changed my behaviors by creating new habits and I started doing it from small things, small actions that multiplied make and will make a difference. From my beauty routine with the use of green products to the choice of not buying bottled water anymore but taking it directly from the sources: the conditions of the planet are serious and we must become aware of it."
Ambra Castello is a young but already strong label: from artisan tradition to high quality, from innovation to sustainability to gender freedom. Ambra Castello is a brand made up of values: which are the main ones?
“Equality without homologation: this is the motto that best embodies the philosophy of the brand. Ambra Castello is a brand that wants to support total freedom of expression: it is not inspired by a woman, a man, or a specific characteristic. What I create, I create freely and the wearer must not find himself in my interpretation, but rather dress it, wear it in her own way. Another cornerstone is sustainability: sustainability as ethics, as personal care, respect for the person; sustainability as the protection of crafts and arts to be preserved and handed down. And then, last but not least, freedom, fashion without gender and declination".
Even before the design, what strikes you about your garments and accessories is the workmanship: do you want to tell us how the process of making nylon creations takes place?
"As for the A.C.A collection, the pieces are hand-woven one by one: I start from a base, from a pattern, and I follow the shape by weaving the thread. The intuition was to find and transform a negative note of plastic, indestructibility, into a positive feature, longevity: A.C.A garments and accessories are long-lived and reusable over time. And if you don't want to wear them, you can return the product to the company which will recover the yarn and give it a new life."
What are the bestsellers of your collections?
“Accessories are certainly among the most popular bestsellers: extra light, resistant and ideal for women and men of all ages. My target is heterogeneous and this makes me happy as it reinforces the idea, the value, of a free fashion."
And now the last question: I'm sorry but I'm curious... what is your must-have item for you? The one you could never, ever give up?
"One of the must-haves in my wardrobe are the jackets, together with the A.C.A accessories, such as the strings for glasses and earrings, which are never lacking, and the Xinuse tights, dynamic and versatile, ideal to combine with multiple looks."
A special thanks to Ambra Castello: to her story, to her fashion. Discover her creations now on Ob-Fashion.com!