I only came across Pia Stanchina recently when I got in contact with her for our My Working Day feature at SheerLuxe. I’m very glad I did, because she’s an incredibly talented and lovely lady – one of only a few in this industry who can create truly beautiful conceptual designs from completely sustainable materials. Pia was kind enough to take some time out from her holiday in Goa to answer a few questions for me. Enjoy…
1. What has been your career path up to this point?
Many of my formative experiences were during internships at Oscar de La Rentra or Proenza Schouler. Then I did a year of marketing my own sustainable luxury designs, which I developed at Central St Martins. During this time I realised that I have huge gaps in my knowledge when it comes to actually running a company so I went back to school to do a MA in International Business Management.
At the end of my second semester, Daniella Helayel of Issa London approached me to develop a baby line for her label. I didn’t think twice, as it seemed the perfect fit for me as a fashion designer with a baby and a background in business.
2. What made you decide to go back to Uni?
Issa was an amazing experience that taught me so much about running a company and the sales process that I would have never have learnt at school. However, I knew I’d never have the discipline to go back to school if I got too used to the working world and monthly pay-checks, so after getting Baby Issa into the shops, I resigned and am currently completing my MA.
3. How much crossover is there between your designs and your personal style?
My outfits always turn out quite smart and functional but with a playful element. That’s what I was aiming for with my PIASTANCHINA line – on the one hand I wanted to create a collection that was aesthetically innovative in its use of sustainable materials, while on the other hand offering a variety of shapes and cuts. I hope that women of different body types and sizes will be able to find something they love.
4. What’s inspiring you at the moment?
I’m currently very inspired by the internet and its potential to give a voice to every single person on the planet. To bring information to people living in isolated, rural areas and to connect us all by giving us opportunities for exchange, to ‘meet’, based on our interests, values and beliefs, no matter how far we live away from each other.
I can’t wait to see how the internet continues to reshape our notions of how we live, socialize, shop, style ourselves etc. Everybody has something important to bring to the table where fashion is concerned.
5. Which celebrities do you see wearing your designs?
From Angelina Jolie, to Kate Winslet, Helen Mirren or Lady Gaga, there are so many amazing, strong women out there and I would be honored for any of them to wear my designs.
4. What advice would you give to others wanting to get into Fashion?
1. Learn as much as you can about the industry – the events, people and types of media that shape it. The more you know and understand, the more you will enjoy, innovate and contribute.
2. Work hard so people depend on you. Fashion is a tight-knit and inter-connected community that at first can seem impenetrable and sometimes standoffish. Be determined and give it your all and you will be welcomed eventually.
3. Party hard and say yes to every opportunity so you meet as many people as possible (as they say, it’s all about who you know), but make sure you keep a good level of professionalism.
4. Don’t be afraid to start small. If you follow steps 1-3 you will get where you want to be eventually.
Thanks Pia! xxx
(Top Image: Fashion156.com, Bottom images: PiaStanchina.com)