10.01.2024 #fashion

David Parisi

I love creating authentic, green, and timeless clothing

«When working with a company, it is crucial to respect the brand’s values, its essence, and its DNA as much as possible»

Born in Rome but of Calabrian origins, and having called Milan home for many years, David Parisi is a unique figure in the landscape of Italian (and beyond) fashion. This is thanks to a multi-faceted personal and professional story that has always drawn inspiration from various fields of creativity: from design to fashion, from art to cinema. Co-founder, along with his wife Alessia Crea, of the total look fashion brand Casamadre, since 2017, he has been the Head of Design at Guess and has worked on numerous collections related to the American brand. We meet him in Florence, during Pitti Uomo, where he presents Guess Jeans, a project by Nicolai Marciano, son of the founder and future face of the company. Thanks to this project – in his own words – “not only will the brand’s story be told, but the next forty years of denim will be anticipated”.

You said that you entered the world of fashion almost by chance. Could you tell us more about your professional journey?

David Parisi :

«I studied Industrial Design at IED. I was mainly focused on product design, nothing related to fashion. I remember presenting a project at Superestudio Più in Milan, which was related to a chair. It was aesthetically unappealing, but it held significant content. It was inspired by the design of Elsa Peretti, who had created the first foldable chair in the 70s. I reinterpreted it, thinking of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. I chose to split the seat because the two lovers couldn’t be side by side but only by turning their backs on each other. It was an almost dreamlike vision that, however, sparked a light in me. By explaining the meaning of that chair, the object went from ugly to beautiful, almost seductive. That’s when I discovered what truly fascinated me: I wanted to understand how to create a product capable of telling a story. So, I decided to go back to school and attend a master’s program in product fashion communication. At that time, I also worked as a visual merchandiser in one of Milan’s first concept stores, the former Cappellini space. Later, I had the experience with Karla Otto, lasting five years, and subsequently with Lapo Elkann, who had just created his creative agency»

Did the Casamadre project come after your experience with Lapo Elkann?

David Parisi :

«Exactly. That experience lasted about seven years. But with my wife, Alessia Crea, we had decided to create our own brand. We wanted to put all our energy into a personal project. So, we started by creating accessories, and after three seasons, we moved on to creating total looks. We presented the collection with the sales campaign in showrooms in Milan, Florence, and Paris, achieving great sales results, especially in the Korean and Japanese markets. In the meantime, we continued to provide consultancy services to important brands. The turning point came six years ago when I was called by Guess. I started working on the Marciano collection, a kind of black label for the Guess line. Then came the Activewear and Beachwear lines. For the past three years, I have been responsible for other collections: Guess USA, Guess Original, and Guess Jeans»

How do you manage to respect the creative codes of such a famous brand without betraying your own?

David Parisi :

«That’s a great question. The key is not to betray one’s sensibility but to find a balance. When working with a company, it’s essential to respect the values of the brand, and its DNA as much as possible. That’s why, on one hand, I try not to violate the essence of the brand, and on the other, I attempt to respect my own taste as much as possible. I use the term “respect” not by chance because, in the end, it’s also a matter of self-respect and professional ethics. Because if people are poorly dressed today, it’s partly our fault»

Can you tell us about Guess Jeans, the contemporary denim project presented during Pitti Uomo 105?

David Parisi :

«Guess Jeans tells the story of Guess through its authenticity. The initiative is fueled by the vast corporate archive: in Los Angeles, there are approximately 40,000 garments created from 1980 to the present. For Guess Jeans, iconic pieces were selected, and their shapes were redesigned without ever betraying their DNA. In short, it’s a project that looks to the past but, almost without us realizing it, guides us into the future»

Ecology plays an important role in all this, doesn’t it?

David Parisi :

«That’s right. Guess has always been very attentive to the green approach. We have tried to make our products eco-sustainable. Everything here is Green: denim, for example, is washed thanks to a Guess patent in partnership with Jeanologia called Airwash which uses the air in the atmosphere and avoids unnecessary waste. We are very proud of it»

One day you said that the best thing in today’s fashion is to be timeless. How is Guess timeless?

David Parisi :

«Being timeless means not being bound by seasons; it means maintaining a strong authenticity. The Guess Jeans project, for example, follows precisely this philosophy. We’re talking about iconic products created in the 80s and 90s that are still riding the wave today»

How do you see yourself in twenty years?

David Parisi :

«I love living in the countryside with my animals and I love doing yoga. Maybe I will create objects again, I have many ideas for my future…».


Interview: Germano D’Acquisto

Photos : Ludovica Arcero


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