Made in Italy is synonym for good quality, wonderful designs and excellent taste. All of this is also Leda di Marti. This young and talented designer was born in Italy, so all of the above comes naturally for her. She is particularly inspired by the South and Calabria, two parts of Italy that are, by her words, an inexhaustible sources if inspiration. Leda creates daywear in most magnificent colourful prints and with designs that will for sure make this summer even hotter. Read her story and be wowed by her way of seeing Italy.
What is your brand about?
At the base of my LDM brand are the South and Calabria: for me inexhaustible sources of inspiration. The strong colors, the powerful and explosive nature, between seas and mountains, have always fueled my creative tension. Calabria is a generous land with sinuous shapes … as for me it should be the woman. But there is not only Calabria in my creations, I’m interested in all the south, that fantastic land that in ancient times was called Magna Graecia.
Did you always dream of becoming a designer?
Yes, since I was five years old. The gift that I appreciated most were pastels and brushes, with which I could spend hours drawing. The beauty of my work lies in the ability to dream, which has its origins in childhood and never ceases to grow.
What are some of the challenges you faced when you started designing under your own brand?
The main challenge is to be recognizable among many existing and established brands. From the choice of the press office, to that of the production laboratory and sample of trust: often the real challenge is to make everyone agree. If the common objective is the same and the commitment is shared, however, there is no brake that holds and the mark must necessarily take off.
What are Leda di Marti’s qualities?
Leda Di Marti is a brand entirely Made in Italy, which is its first quality. It is a brand dedicated to a land, and even more to a sense of belonging: the true Italian Mediterranean style. The target is medium-high and the type of woman who can wear it is both a twenty-five year old and a fifty-year-old because many items are transversal and cross over decades, while others are dedicated to a specific age group.
You studied and worked abroad. What kind of experiences would you say this brought to you?
Working and studying in the two biggest fashion cities, together with Milan, as NYC and in London, helped me to consolidate an awareness of my style, which is influenced by the cosmopolitan way of life, fused with the strongly Italian spirit. From my experience NYC, which for me is a second home, I learned that the woman must be comfortable and practical as it must be free to travel in style, so all my clothes are stretched and allow a wide movement, while remaining extremely feminine. From my experience in London I realized that my most intimate desire was to dress strong and sensitive women, who found in the leader an ally with which to face the surrounding world, and not a piece of art that obscures its beauty.
Where do you find inspiration for your work?
I find inspiration in nature and in ancient myths that are so felt and still alive in my land. The main source of inspiration is my ideal woman: a modern Claudia Cardinale who with her strength and her charisma represents in the world, with her Mediterranean roots, a vigorous and dynamic Italian style.
Tell us more about your Spring-Summer 2018 collection…
Summer 2018 is a triumph of cedars, bergamot and broom flowers, finished by a whirl of chillies in a sea of blue fish: symbolic image that represents the dreamlike union of the sea with the land. The colors are sparkling and explosive, just like me! The models are suitable for a complete and broken look: the shirts are paired with Capri-style trousers, in ankle, in cotton twill. The two prints become, then, beautiful long skirts with slits, which give Positano a touch to the look.
Are all the patterns painted by you?
All my collections share a passion for hand-painted prints. Every fantasy is in fact hand drawn by me with watercolors, digitized and then transposed onto fabric. It is the drawings that define the distinctive trait of the brand.
How do you know what kind of pattern do you want to make?
I am guided by instinct, which is my beloved advisor. The yellow and red colors are tipical of this summer, so I think I have guessed! For the Fall Winter 18 collection, for example, I reproduced the cactus (figs with paddles), typical of the South of Italy and they will be, again in a thousand different ways, the true protagonists of the next season!
In what way and why is “made in Italy” important to you?
Made in Italy is one of my keys to success, without a good base of “know how” you can not aim abroad. My product comes from the South, and there local companies produce my collection with dedication, following a tradition of decades. Made In Italy is the representation of my own culture, following slow fashion mixed with modern techniques of sewing.
Who is your typical customer?
My typical client certainly has a strong desire for uniqueness and at the base of his choices there are garments that tell a story.
What about your personal style? What do you feel most comfortable in?
I have a fresh and light, carefree style. I love the flowing shapes and the sparkling colors. I especially like being visible and recognized instantly. There is nothing more beautiful than being appreciated for your good taste!
How do you unwind?
I relax listening to chamber music, drawing abstract shapes that could become details of my next collection! I love reading, especially biographies of great personalities of the past who have left their mark, like Caterina de ‘Medici, my favorite; and walking around the city centers, looking at how people are dressed, how they move, how they behave in public, which is a great pleasure for me and also a great study.
What is next for you?
I am planning to join other fashion weeks, apart from the Milan one I have already done this year. I am launching the e-shop and working on some collaborations with different brands, as I love to create synergies, especially between women.
You can find out more about the brand at www.ledadimarti.com.