GENNARO GENNI VELOTTI
“A collection inspired by my mother, who carried the weight of an entire family on her shoulders.”
Tell us a bit about your inspiration.
‘Libera’ is the female version of the Italian word for free, so the connotation is ‘free woman’, which is the main inspiration for this collection. I took the title from a movie set in my hometown of Naples. The film directed by Pappi Corsicato is divided into three different stories, each with a different female protagonist. For me, the most important story is called ‘Carmela’. It’s about a man who people think is a woman living with her son and then later explaining to the boy that she is actually his father. It’s a little bit abstract and surreal, but for me it was all about the duality: the idea that the figure of a woman can be a man and a father and a mother. It has a direct link to my life and my mother, who carried the weight of an entire family on her shoulders and who is very important to me.
You grew up with a mum who had to be two parents in one. I know a lot of people, including myself, can relate.
It happens so much, but then when you look at the overpowering narrative, especially in Italy, it says that women cannot act like men and that there is a big difference between the genders. It’s extremely ridiculous the way men are looked at in this stereotypical, one-dimensional way. They are the strong ones who provide for the family, while the women stay at home and cook. I began to think about the idea of a woman wearing men’s clothing and I started looking at feminist Italian women and artists like Ketty La Rocca and male art figures like Joseph Beuys and photographers Martin Parr and Ferdinando Scianna.
Theo, FurLab, SuitSupply, Ecco Leather, E. Thomas, Ben.Ter Shoes, Moda SRL, Hans Boodt mannequins