We caught up with Pierpaolo Simonut, the Italian style guru from Studio Alepel, to find out what inspired the design of the OtterBox Strada Series and the trends for next season. Pierpaolo specialises in eclecticism, balanced between aesthetic research and his keen eye for inspiring unique product features.
How do you keep in touch with trends and the latest styles?
Travelling, interacting continuously with our clients and their commercial networks, taking part in industry events, meetings and conferences ensures constant creative contact with the kaleidoscopic reality of the fashion ecosystem. This exciting mix of touch-points keeps me and the team at Studio Alepel connected with the market so we stay aware of the latest styles, colour palettes and trends.
What influences your seasonal trend recommendations?
When we suggest a trend, we consider key information from our research, trend analysis and the fashion industry. Each final proposal is always a mixture of our experience and listening to the needs of our clients. For instance, sometimes a trend takes time to become successful in a segment of the market and I guide my clients on the best time to follow the trend itself – not too early, but not too late either.
When developing the style inspiration for ‘New Minimalism’ for Strada Series what influenced you to recommend this colour?
When we decided to join the OtterBox team in developing Strada Series,we knew we had to focus on the latest, most contemporary trends while guiding a style that was suitable for the mass-market, so we decided to propose ‘New Minimalism’. This style is an emerging and somewhat evergreen trend, that we believe perfectly satisfies the need to create both a modern and desirable product. ‘New Minimalism’ reflects the growing interest of consumers in simplicity and refined sophistication – a desire for a beautiful, stylish piece, at an affordable price. The result is the product that we see today which is, in my opinion a very sleek, contemporary accessory for everybody.
What influenced your focus on ‘Chic Revival’ for Strada Series?
In developing the ‘Chic Revival’ concept, we considered the possibility of reviving the taste for elegant and classic style. In this design there are tones of vintage chic, a focus on true craftsmanship and streamlined artisan accents. We were inspired mainly by consumers who have an affinity for classic style, quality materials and chic tones in how they reflect their personal style. The number of consumers who see their style in this way is ever growing.
What advice would you give someone who is looking to get into the design industry?
Our job is driven on passion and takes a lot of energy. My advice for someone who wants to develop a career in this space, is to follow their instinct and go forward with enthusiasm. I recommend mixing education and work from the beginning if possible. Gaining practical experience helps to create a solid perspective of what the fashion ecosystem is today. With this perspective, whatever role you seek, you will understand the importance of developing a rational approach to the reality of fashion which will, in my view, put you on a faster track to success.
What are your predictions for next seasons biggest trends?
‘New Minimalism’ and ‘Chic Revival’ are of course part of the latest trends for the coming season.
One of the most dominant themes in our research is the growing trend around new craft, connected and mixed with technology. Today’s market features many examples of this across multiple sectors.
Another trend consists of mixing the old and the new, traditional with contemporary, to obtain something that we can often identify as a ‘new’ contemporary. If we think of the great success of some prestigious brands in the current season with the 70’s revival,we then understand the importance of the trend itself.
If on one side we see the need for simplicity and no excess like in ‘New Minimalism’, on the other side there is still a desire for a vibrant and playful world, an avenue for the extraordinary, with the use of unusual materials and captivating colours.
Fashion has the potential to represent an escape from everyday normality, a chance to reflect our true selves.
What does fashion mean to you? Tell us in the comment section below…