CRAFTING THE UNSEEN: AN OPEN CONVERSATION WITH DANILO PAURA

I have been knowing Danilo Paura for a couple of years. The common friendship with Jacopo Pozzati, drove us to dialogue more and more until we started to be in touch almost daily, exploring culture, art, ideas, and fashion. The experience of entering the Paura® family has been amazing and has driven me to the convincement that what really counts on the Paura’s aesthetic is what stands beyond the limit of tangible.

This is the report of a conversation we had during the Paura X G-Shock launching event at 10 Corso Como.

Your approach to fashion has always been unconventional.  What is the goal you have in mind when you create a collection?

I’m not attracted by things that are too conventional, fashion in my life is a way to communicate who I am, what I think, so maybe I don’t have a real goal in mind when I design. My aim is to communicate, reflect, try to amaze.

Yours is a street aesthetic that never loses the magic of materials and the taste for tailoring. After the boom of recent years, how do you imagine the street of the present and the future?

There are fewer and fewer occasions where formalism becomes an obligation, I imagine even less in a few years. It will be more unusual to see a teacher at school with a nice leather derby rather than a guy getting married with air max, this to say that I can not really imagine a world where people go around with less than two street clothes on their shoulders. We will talk less and less about it, and this will be the key to enjoy a historical moment where you do not have to choke to be cool, or suffer, or live with a quarter of the motor skills and without blisters on your feet.

The creative directors of the biggest fashion houses come from street extraction. I would just like to return to give the right price to things, more emphasis on the quality of raw materials and manufacturing than on the rest.  I try to do it in my own personal way. For me one thing must be beautiful and well done, that’s all. Following this motto, I found myself making clothes that are between tailoring and street, comfortable, to wear every day but at the same time elegant and especially non-formal.

Identity, culture, art. These are terms that often recur in your interviews. What do these words mean to you?

For many people, fashion is not an art form; for me, it is. Who is on the other side is often an artist, lives of experimentation, provocation, urge to speak.

Culture is information, curiosity, progress, and respect, I can’ t imagine a better world without these values.

If you want to be someone, be yourself. Having the courage to witness one’s own identity is the best way to face our fears.

Your role as a designer, influencer, and creative director has seen strong growth in recent years, especially thanks to the digital revolution and social media. Many believe that this has led us to a loss of authenticity, including in our interpersonal relationships and the way in which each of us creates a distorted image of him/herself online. How do you feel about it?  And what was your experience with that?

Social media, as well as all other forms of news dissemination, information is a tool for communication. The formulas of language have changed; we have moved from MS-DOS to TikTok at the speed of light; this has brought with it a change that inevitably frightens. If Jesus had lived today, probably the ten commandments would be his bio of Instagram.

Too many things have changed, from tailors and stylists to creative directors, everything has changed. Today communicating is cheap, and everyone can do it and have a strong social impact. It is no longer enough to buy the covers of Vogue, today you work as a team, the creative director talks to his team, which in turn through its language communicates to those on the other side.

I don’t think there is a loss of authenticity; I just think that many of us do not accept the change; they are afraid of the speed with which things change. We must prepare for a world where total control does not exist. I am only frightened by the score effect to which we are exposed on a daily basis, the expectation it creates and the consequences that can arise if we continue to evaluate everything on the basis of a single unit of measurement.

In recent years many brands have come to look for you to collaborate, from Diadora to Kappa, to get to the very recent collab with G-Shock. What is your creative approach when you think about a collaboration?

At the base is the desire to test yourself, to question yourself. To collaborate means to share, to put one’s vision in favor of a project with the desire to find a meeting-point where one brand never dominates the other. You take yourself by the hand. Each collaboration has left me something different from the other; each challenge is unique. The last experience with Casio is a symbol of the concept of team, where there is a strong bond between creativity, communication, and visual image. You need to have an overall view; you need to be willing to learn and listen.

Your journey into fashion started with retail and buying. How much has the buyer’s job changed today, and what do you think are the challenges facing fashion retailers and especially the independent multi-brand?

My career has been a real one. I have seen this world-changing, starting from the moment the system began to evolve. The buyer of my time was close to the figure of the cool hunter, with social media today, it is almost ridiculous to talk about research. The shops are no longer shops but companies whose leadership there could only have been managers. I think there will be a natural selection, many more flag stores, and increasingly important will be those companies that have better exploited the new tools available to grow their business. Multi-brand stores are fundamental for us; without them, it would be almost impossible to talk about distribution, alignment, and image. The same analysis could be made in other sectors; I strongly believe that today more than ever it is necessary to be aligned with the system, to know perfectly your sector in a field of action much wider than before. It will become increasingly difficult to improvise.

How do you imagine the evolution of the fashion system from here to the next five years?

There will be more order, more cleanliness, more professionalism. It demands control of one’s own ideas, planning, and development. Fashion will increasingly represent the historical period of belonging, and I see a world technologically tailored.