Federico Cina

Federico Cina

FASHION DESIGNER

Unveiling Artistic Evolution:

Federico Cinas Journey of Creative Expression.

I believe it is significant to embrace the downturns as personal challenges to grow and step out of one’s comfort zone.

Navigating the realm of entrepreneurship in Italy today poses a myriad of challenges amidst socio-economic uncertainties. Yet, amidst these tumultuous times, Federico Cina, a young designer, has emerged as a beacon of innovation, fueled by his unwavering energy and resilience.

As Federico recently marked his thirtieth birthday, he finds himself at a pivotal juncture, reflecting on the significance of this milestone amidst the backdrop of challenges faced by emerging brands and young individuals in the contemporary landscape. From a tender age, Federicos foray into the fashion world was shaped by childhood memories and familial connections to the craft. His formative years at Polimoda in Florence, coupled with experiences gleaned from residing in diverse cities, have intricately woven the fabric of his artistic vision and deepened his understanding of the fashion industry.

Drawing inspiration from his homeland and the evocative works of artists, Federicos creative narrative transcends mere aesthetics, delving into the realms of emotion and personal resonance. Each collection conceived by Federico is a testament to his journey of self-discovery and a poignant celebration of his cultural heritage.

Federico Cina
Federico Cina

To begin, I’d like to inquire, how are you? These are undoubtedly challenging times, particularly for entrepreneurship in Italy, but especially for young individuals. However, from what I’ve observed, the “Federico Cina” brand appears to be defying the odds with remarkable energy and resilience.

Very well. I recently turned thirty, certainly an important moment to reflect and take stock of the years gone by. Undoubtedly, we are in a challenging time, especially for young realities and emerging brands. I believe it is significant to embrace the downturns as personal challenges to grow and step out of one's comfort zone. For instance, during a downturn in fashion, the fact that the Tortellino Bag has garnered significant followership has allowed us to consider expanding into a more feminine universe.

What sparked your desire to express yourself through this particular art form, and how has that impulse evolved over time?

I've always been drawn to this world, ever since I was a child. I remember Tuesday mornings – market day in the square of Sarsina, my hometown – I would go out with my mom and grandma, insisting on stopping at the newsstand to buy fashion magazines. My aunt was a seamstress, which I think influenced me a lot. At 10, I learned to sew my first things with her, and in adolescence, I remember sewing dresses for my friends when we celebrated Roman festivals in town. All of this led me to the decision to enrol at Polimoda in Florence. I was curious to delve deeper into aspects of this discipline, and at the same time, I felt the need to escape and explore new environments. This led me to live in different cities like Milan, Osaka, and New York. During those years, it seemed like I had realized my big dream, and especially in Milan, I learned the mechanisms and functioning of the fashion system. However, over time, this distance made me realize how much I actually needed to return and rediscover my homeland, its values. I missed home. So, I returned, and from there, the FEDERICO CINA project was born.

Federico Cina

What were your sources of inspiration?

Certainly, returning to familiar places that are part of my life has been significant. With Salsedine, for example, the research began from the salt pans of Cervia, while with Appartamento, together with my team, we explored the space of the home and domestic walls. It's a very intimate and emotional way of proceeding. Additionally, it's important for us to engage with the work of artists and photographers, trying to extract ideas and suggestions that can inform the research and the collection we're working on. Often, these artists are from Emilia-Romagna. We delve into their photographic archives, trying to capture the essence of their work and, in general, the emotions they evoke in us. In the finale of the Spring-Summer 24 show (Terra), for example, the models dropped an apple to the ground, symbolising the collection. It was a very emotionally powerful moment that reflects on the relationship between humans and nature. Why an apple? We decided to take this element from the work of the poet originally from Santarcangelo di Romagna, Tonino Guerra. With the latest collection, instead, we focused on change and the idea of personal growth.

Did winning the “Who’s On Next?” prize at Altaroma feel like a rebirth for you?

I’m not sure if “rebirth” is the term I would use to describe that victory. It was a truly unexpected milestone; I participated in the contest without the expectation or pressure of needing to win. It was the first time I showcased my Romagna prints, and winning was genuinely a surprise that I hadn’t anticipated.

Reflecting on the concept of rebirth, what significance does it hold for you personally? Are there any specific associations or meanings you attribute to it?

I connect the idea of rebirth to something cyclical. When I think of time, I don't imagine a straight line; rather, I envision a series of cycles that repeat and move forward. The same seasonality that characterises the fashion system, as well as the various trends that reintroduce past tendencies, are examples that perfectly illustrate this continuous return. In general, in my work, I like to draw from my own history and that of my land, creating connections with contemporaneity that link together the past, present, and future. This allows me to imbue the garments with an identity.

Federico Cina
Federico Cina

In today's context, discussing Italian craftsmanship may seem commonplace, but it poses significant challenges for young entrepreneurs striving to highlight stories of artisanal excellence. What are the primary obstacles you encounter in promoting this approach while ensuring the competitiveness of your products in the market?

One of the biggest challenges in working with artisans is probably the production quantities. For example, for several years, we have been collaborating with Stamperia Marchi in Santarcangelo di Romagna, and together with them, each season, we produce a series of printed garments that make up our permanent collection, ‘Indelebile’. These garments are hand-printed by a single artisan and can take up to two to three days for the drying phase. For this reason, we produce a limited number of pieces each year, precisely to valorise this collaboration and the unique characteristics of Romagna printing.

The Tortellino Bag recently gained widespread attention, sparking conversations across various platforms. What significance does Romagna hold for you in this context, both socio-culturally and in terms of fostering a renaissance, albeit indirectly, for the region?

The roots that tie me to my land are part of the brand's DNA. When we were working on the bag, I was thinking about when I was a child and helped my grandmother close the cappelletti. I wanted to pay tribute to her. We were just talking about drawing from the past to create connections and give value to the present. For me, this represents rebirth. Additionally, I'm happy that the Tortellino Bag serves as a pretext to rediscover Emilian-Romagnan traditions to the world. During the February fashion week, together with my team, we organised a presentation of the new colours of the bags. A farm stay located in the province of Bologna also contributed to the event by serving freshly made tortellini. It was a highly appreciated opportunity for sharing that introduced a new audience to a piece of local history.

I connect the idea of rebirth to something cyclical. When I think of time, I don't imagine a straight line; rather, I envision a series of cycles that repeat and move forward.

Federico Cina

As society witnesses increasing overlap between human and machine- generated creative processes facilitated by AI, how do you foresee the evolution of branding? Are you considering the integration of artificial intelligence into your creative workflows in the future?

As a brand, we embrace values such as craftsmanship, tradition, and humanity. I consider AI a tool with great potential, but at least for now, it's still far from how we usually work. Nevertheless, we remain open to new stimuli. In the future, it could be interesting to use it to support some production processes.

If we were to glimpse into the future and observe Federico Cina in the year 2034, what transformations and innovations do you envision for your brand?

We are going to focus on what we do best: knitwear, denim and tailoring. I envision a greater inclusion of womenswear and more attention to accessories, in particular to the bags.