Soul searchers: an open conversation with Damir Doma

We met Damir Doma, just the Day After his first show as creative director of Frankie Morello. Into the cozy atmosphere of the brand’s showroom. During a very pleasant talk and a shooting session, we explored with him the fundamental elements of his new vision of the brand.

You are about to start this new adventure at a very particular moment for the whole industry. How do you judge the state of the art of the market right now?

I think that we are living a historical moment full of opportunities. The crisis of some models of the past is cleaning the market from the weak ones and in the meanwhile, pushes everybody to innovate. 

This is the moment to take risks in order to take a step forward. It is a very interesting period, especially for the revolution that we are living in communication. I am part of generation X, who lived the passage from the pre-digital world to the digital one. It is very interesting from our point of view to see what’s going on and try to interpret it in order to create something new.

You have just talked about a revolution in communication. What’s the role of a creative director at such a particular moment?

Compared to the past, I think that even though we have lived a big change, the role of the creative director remains quite the same. 

My job is related to communication per sé and, most of all represents a psychological challenge. My main job is to study people in deep.  

In the meanwhile today we have to be more available every day then in the past. In a certain sense, we are forced to be extroverted.

In my own brand, I try to be not so personal. So I’m not ready to be more present. But working with Frankie Morello is different. Brands have to be seen at this moment as media companies, like broadcasts, with an editorial plan, in which the main stars are the designer. 

Can you tell us more about the collaboration with Frankie Morello?

First of all I have to say that it was really unexpected, but at the same time, I saw it as a big opportunity. 

Approaching me by a brand like Frankie Morello means that the brand and the stakeholders are ready to take risks to realize a big change. 

For this reason, as the first step, what I tried to do was to give a new vision to the brand that could represent this desire for something meaningful and new. 

In this way, we tried to define the key values for this new path for the brand that could be reassumed in four words: bold, urban, sensual, and ironic. These four words want to reflect the attitude of a brand but also of a consumer that researches fun through experimentation without being afraid of the new. Our final aim, even using the glitter make-up in the show, was properly that: saying that we firmly believe that being experimental could be great fun.  

Let’s talk about this first collection. 

In a short time, we had to redefine the soul of the brand; what we did was simply to portray the DNA of the potential client: this is the meaning of Soul Searchers. Our potential client it is like that. 

We have been really impressed by the sound design of the show. How you created it?  

I worked at it with the French sound-designer Sebastien Perrin. The reason why I worked with him is simple; once I decide the person I believe in, what I do is to give that person great freedom of expression.

And what about the show? What’s the vision behind it?

My aim was to create a modern (relevant) brand out of Frankie Morello.

We did not limit to talk about diversity. Diversity is, of course, relevant, but we tried to create an identity of each person. 

Also, in the way each girl and guy came out on the catwalk was conceived to let the people perceive how diverse they were. That’s why we had this kind of finale, with everybody walking into a group and not in a line. 

In meanwhile, with the finale, which obviously is the most posted content, I wanted to reflect a positive attitude based on pride, the pride of working for this brand and being part of the significant change we are realizing. 

At C41 we reflect on images and imaginaries. What’s your approach related to these crucial topics? 

My job, every day is connecting and editing images in yes or no process.

So I try to “see” as much as I can. And also to select as much as I can. Then what I try to do is to find correspondences in this fast digital world, trying to find something really compelling and new.