August 24, 2015

ANIMAdVERTE is a leather bag collection by Laura Tolfo. Laura was born in 1984 in Bergamo, Italy. In 2009 she graduated in Master Course in Fashion Design at Politecnico di Milano. At the beginning of 2015 she launched ANIMAdVERTE, and the first capsule collection was presented at Mipel show in Milan in February 2015. ANIMAdVERTE got the first prize at Mipelissima competition for most creative and innovative product of “Design Studios” section. In April 2015, the collection was presented at Fuorisalone during the Milan Design Week.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do. I’m Laura Tolfo. After my graduation in Fashion Design at Politecnico in Milan in 2009, I worked at a fashion company producing artisanal and one-of-a-kind clothing, and then in a young brand of made-in-Italy leather accessories. These experiences made me appreciate Italian quality craftsmanship as a sustainable alternative to fast fashion. I created ANIMAdVERTE at the beginning of 2015: I’ve chosen this latin word meaning “turn your mind, observe” to remember the necessity to pay attention to our actions. Moreover in Italian you can read it also as “enjoy your soul” which is the aim of my design: minimal but smart; each bag is multipurpose and everyone can wear it as he/she likes.

Top 3 favorite or most visited websites and why?

hermes.com: for the different, unique and happy web design. I love it because they do not take themselves too seriously.
kinfolk.com: I like the photography and the style
jaiperdumaveste.com: I usually have a look for street style fashion inspiration

How has living in Bergamo affected your work? Bergamo is a small, medieval town close to Milan and in the nearby of mountains: it’s the perfect mix between history, tradition, innovation and nature. The same balance that I would like to reproduce in my design!

What kinds of things are influencing your work right now? I think that the most innovative ideas come from overcoming a limit. I find something interesting, I think how it would be possible to create it with another material or for another purpose. For example it’s hard to find foldable bags made with genuine leather, usually we fill leather bags with a lot of paper to stow them away. So I try to understand how to flat a leather bag without damaging it, simply through the use of geometrical shapes and stitching: this is the Poliedrica Collection.

What are some recent, upcoming or current projects you are working on? I will present my collection at White show exhibition during the Milan fashion week in September.

What designers are you interested in right now? The designers that in some way influenced my vision and that I consider everlasting “genius”: Bruno Munari, an extraordinary designer who showed a different and creative way to interpret the world in a period when design was just born. Nanni Strada, my college teacher and a really creative mind. Martin Margiela because he can amaze with simple but right ideas.

Tell us about your work process and how it develops. My work process starts with a paper model: I test the geometrical shape with paper. In this phase I look for solutions to fold the bag and to use it in different ways, then I make a first sample with leather and I test it. I correct the model and make another sample. I always try to remove everything that is not necessary in the bag: stitches, cuts and leather itself are the decorative elements I prefer. I don’t use lining because I believe that you can understand the “quality” of the material only from the inside and I add metal parts and accessories just if they’re useful.

How long have you lived in Bergamo and what brought you there? I was born in Bergamo and after some years in Milan I can really appreciate all the qualities of my little town. I love its strategic position: in less than one hour I can be either in the heart of the fashion capital Milan or in the mountains surrounded by nature and silence.

What’s your absolute favorite place in the city to be? Not just one… so boring! I like the walkway along the walls surrounding the upper part of Bergamo; I like Astino Monastery, a wonderful place recently restored surrounded by hills and country and now offering a open bar and a restaurant; I like Navigli in Milan with a lot of amazing shops and a vintage market once a month…

What were you like in high school? Math and art: there are a lot of connections between the two.