FEDERICA DI LEO
“The story of a teenager fighting a brutal, murderous system.”
Tell us a bit about your inspiration.
I was born and raised in Palermo, Sicily. My collection is inspired by the life and death of a young Sicilian girl in the early 90s. Her name was Rita Atria and unbeknownst to her, her father and brother were in the mafia. When they both got killed in the 80s mafia war, she wanted justice and started studying the interactions of people around her and writing down everything she saw. She took her findings to the notorious judge Paolo Borsellino, who together with judge Giovanni Falcone was working on the ‘Maxiprocesso’, the biggest mafia trial to ever take place in Italy. That’s when she discovered her father and brother were part of the mafia, something she didn’t expect. She handed her diary to the court and because of her testimony, they were able to put a lot of people in jail.
How did you translate all this into garments?
Right. At the end of the day, it’s fashion and we have to make clothes. It’s my job to use all this heavy inspiration and turn it into something light and digestible. I made a lot of paintings that I digitalized and made into prints. For instance, this print of a Carduus, which is a beautiful super fuchsia, purple or blue but really spikey flower, reminding me of my childhood riding horses and getting pricked by them.
To my family, thank you for believing in me and supporting every single choice I made, with full trust, always.
To Joey, you are my strength, thank you for making me believe in myself. For being there and clear my mind when everything was foggy.
To Effi, for all these years of friendship and collaboration, thanks for helping me with the prints and for being there every single time.
To Silvi, thank you for sharing this year with me 100% and for your full support.
To Cate thanks for talking sense to me everytime I got lost.
To Max, thanks for all the help and for making my life easier during the year.
To David & Giorgia, thanks for holding my hands during these years, I’m forever thankful.
To Marta, thanks for making those beautiful shoes possible! I couldn’t have done it without you.
To Michela, was great to work together again after all these years, thanks for these amazing hats!
To Federica “LaSagomina”, was great to collaborate again on the jewellery, thank you!
To Ali, thanks for making the music for the show for me! It’s just perfect.
To my sponsor Ratti, thank you for making my drawings become beautiful fabrics!
This collection wouldn’t have been possible without your full support!
To Mario, thank you for believing in me from the really first moment and for giving me this great opportunity, I will never forget.
To Francesca, thanks for taking care of everything and for making it happen!
To my sponsor Materialise who believed in my work and helped me creating these great sunglasses fully 3D printed. Thank you Nils for everything!
To all my classmates and teachers, who helped me discover who I am, what I can do and give, pushing my limits, getting somewhere I didn’t expected. I’m eternally grateful for these years with you and this great experience, you are in my heart forever.
Sponsors: Ratti, Materialise