Fashion comes from the experience that man lives: an interview with Lorenzo Sampaolesi

Hi, tell us something about you

I am 29 years old, I was born in Bolzano and grew up in Recanati, in 2009 I moved to Milan where I started my professional and artistic career related to photography and visual arts. In 2018 I realized my dream of creating and directing my photo studio, called Esposizione. I currently do commercial productions for artistic and experimental projects, accompanied by my creative team.

How did you get in touch with the fashion world? Have you always had a passion for fashion?

My real passion has always been motorcycles, engines and all that burns fuel. I arrived in Milan after many years of racing, and I rediscovered the same emotions, including the competitive spirit, in the fashion world as on the track. That never fails! I also love cooking, I wanted to study food sciences but between the idea of cooking and that of traveling knowing “crazy” people, the second prevailed.

What changes has today’s fashion undergone compared to the past?

There have been many changes in fashion over the last few years, one of the biggest changes is the use of social media and its enormous impact in marketing and in the interaction between brand and consumer. Personally, social platforms help me a lot to reach more people and customers with my work. While in the past fashion was only for a few, today it is available to everyone. I think today’s fashion is more aware, it reflects the times in which we live. Today we see a more “inclusive fashion,” models of all nationalities parade on the catwalk, there are fashion magazines and trendy speaking of gender and LGBT, it is a more open fashion and friendly towards others. At the same time I believe that the idea of craftsmanship and research behind the product has been lost, now fashion is “fast”, and this takes away a lot of magic. Moreover, while respecting the “politically correct”, it is sometimes good to upset, make statements with one’s work even if with the risk of offending someone. The important thing is to know what you want to convey, the way in which to transmit it is very personal.

What does the word “fashion” remind you of? Don’t think about it too much, reply instinctively

A way of expressing oneself.

What is your creative approach when you think about the world of fashion now? What do you want to convey?

In my photographs, I always try to represent in a complete, exhaustive way, what I find in front of me, always adding a personal touch at a technical level, or artistic elements that represent my aesthetic language. For example, a technique I often use is double exposure. The image in this way is not clear because more positions and movements are taken in the same shot. It is my way of giving life to the image, making the viewer participate in that fragment of time space. Fashion is intertwined with other creative worlds such as art, music, cinema, writing. I try to include all these worlds in my shots, experimenting with photographic techniques so as to never flatten the image, but trying to make it alive, versatile and unique as a work of art. In the most commercial works this experimentation is more limited as it is necessary to follow the customer’s request and the brand’s identity, other times the aesthetics of a brand goes well with mine. My artistic project, dis-harmony, for example, consists in leaving the subject alone and naked in a dark studio, while the cameras take pictures at regular intervals. During these shots I am never present, and I discovered that a subject is revealed in a much more intimate way in my absence. It is an interesting reflection on the impact of our society on our most profound self, which comes up more and more rarely due to social impositions.

How do you think fashion is able to represent different historical periods? What is the relationship between fashion and man?

Fashion has always been influenced by what happens at the political, social and economic levels. The 20s, for example, mark the rebellion of women against the status quo. By obtaining the right to vote and women’s emancipation, the constraints

from previous years they no longer had a purpose to exist. It would have made no sense to wear corsets and crinolines for a woman who moved, worked, went dancing.

Fashion comes from the experience that man lives at a given moment, if situations evolve, fashion evolves accordingly.

The best things are usually created when people follow their vision rather than pursue success or money. What do you think about it?

My idea of success is personal fulfillment, completely separating from financial gain. A true artist follows his own vocation, his own vision. Of course, the inspiration must be cultivated, it must be pursued, I find it important to take inspiration from others and study everything that has been created, to get information. But this only serves as a starting point to find one’s own artistic language. For me there is nothing more satisfying than making one’s imagination travel, imagining an idea, and then realizing it. Many things can be learned during a project, and sometimes the realization of a concept even exceeds expectations. When this happens, it is an incomparable feeling.

Do you think there are any problems in today’s fashion? Do people wear uncomfortable things just because they are cool?

The biggest problem is certainly the environmental impact produced by this industry. The fast fashion model has increased greenhouse gas emissions and the results are devastating. I really hope that the fashion giants will soon move towards a sustainable production model.