Giorgia Tordini and Gilda Ambrosio launched The Attico almost four years ago. It began with a robe and has since expanded to a full wardrobe. The brand’s updated eighties silhouettes, love of a sequin, and bright sense of color have been embraced in the fashion world for their overt optimism.
Tordini and Ambrosio consulted for lifestyle brands before coming together for The Attico. They’ve been able to satisfy their divergent tastes, while reaching an audience that’s in touch with their masculine and feminine sides. The Attico’s Fall/Winter 2019–2020 collection found muses in Diana Ross, Grace Jones, and Mina.
Whitewall spoke with Tordini and Ambrosio about their digital presence—including a new e-commerce site—and a recent capsule collection with RE/DONE made from reworked vintage pieces.
WHITEWALL: Can you tell us about the inspiration behind your Fall/Winter 2019–2020 collection?
THE ATTICO: The Attico Fall/Winter 2019–2020 collection centers around the different types of egos, roles, and characteristics a woman can embrace with optimism. It represents a woman who is extremely bold yet nuanced, that we can recognize in ourselves or in others. She can take care and pride in her appearance, enjoy the art of dressing and role-playing. She is a collector, a clever businesswoman, a muse, or a stage performer. This collection is about embodying that dynamic woman in us who owns both her successes and shortcomings. She has a purpose, and she’s going for it unapologetically and fearlessly with style.
WW: You’ve said that every piece in your collections comes from a combination of instinct, memory, reference, and vision. Are there any specific memories or references you could pinpoint?
TA: We looked to stage performers like Grace Jones, Diana Ross, and Mina—all chameleon performers who adapt to their individual multifaceted personalities. We’re drawn to women who embrace their masculine-feminine nature completely. We looked to fabrics and shapes that will draw a lot of attention to all of our wearers. You could visualize these women being spotted at a gallery exhibition in the early eighties at opening night, an imagined party attended by American Psycho characters, or a soirée at the infamous Manko club in Paris. There are some references to an eighties businesswoman in her large suit jacket or in a fully sequined dress next to her fast car, but it’s not to be taken too literally. She represents an archetype of a woman who is very bold yet embodies characteristics which we can all recognize in ourselves.
WW: A lot of designers are asked who they design for, but you’ve said there’s not a recipe for the typical woman. So, what do you want your clothes to do for the women who wear them?
TA: We hope our clothing is empowering for the wearer’s identity and what they’re trying to achieve in life, all across the board.
WW: The Attico has expanded from robes to a full wardrobe, including accessories and shoes. Is there an aspect of the women’s wardrobe you’ve been surprised by how much you enjoyed designing?
TA: Our recent capsule collection collaborations with our favorite brands, Eres, Linda Farrow, and RE/DONE, have allowed us to step into new categories and ways of working. We admire these brands tremendously and are grateful to have created some of our most prized pieces as a result.
WW: How do you see The Attico wardrobe continuing to evolve?
TA: Each season, we are expanding the wardrobe to reflect and include its different contexts—where is she wearing the clothing and what furniture she owns to what she’s interested in. We’ve launched our first e-commerce website this fall, which includes access to different categories of content and exclusive capsule collections for a full 360-degree view of The Attico world.
WW: You encourage women to find versatility in your designs—even a dress can be worn for the everyday. Why was that important for both of you since day one?
TA: The Attico reflects both our tastes, as different as they are from another, and we hope to be inclusive for many different types of women. It’s about a balance and mixture of both aesthetics that we feel is our strength—the unexpected and one-of-a-kind approach to things. Embracing one’s differences and nuances is how we relate to and what transpires in our designs.
WW: Prior to founding The Attico, you both consulted for other brands. Given that experience, what is the role of a fashion brand in 2019? What is different than, say, even just five years ago for creating a successful lifestyle brand?
TA: We think it’s more challenging to create a fashion brand now, as it comes with many more responsibilities, but we feel it’s also an opportunity to set a good model for aspiring designers. Working with different brands is always helpful in understanding what a brand requires and how to develop your vision.
WW: How has communication around fashion changed? Do you feel you’re able to connect more directly with your customer base?
TA: Our three Instagram accounts—Giorgia’s, Gilda’s, and the brand’s—are all different entities, which is ideal. We are working to reach many different people, and it allows us to feel closer to our customer when it’s our personal account. It’s incredible to be able to express our vision through different media, formats, and channels and our new web presence.
WW: You’ve described your office as one in the clouds—you travel a lot, communicate via Pinterest boards, e-mails, Skype, et cetera. How do you think your travel schedule affects your design choices?
TA: Traveling is important for both of us. It keeps us open-minded and able to absorb eclectic influences throughout our travels. We allow ourselves to be inspired by different things and let it naturally manifest in our designs.
WW: Sustainability in fashion is a huge concern right now. What kind of conversations around sustainability are you having at The Attico?
TA: We want to approach sustainability very carefully and slowly to make sure each effort is 100 percent fulfilling the requirements and a real effort to work toward authentic eco-friendly results. We’re making small but sturdy steps. Our first approach is our collaboration with RE/DONE, where we created a collection from reworked vintage clothing. As a brand that is upcycling vintage ideas, we would like to apply this toward our future efforts that we are hoping to unfold part by part with careful consideration.