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by Giorgia Feroldi

Vescovo promises to find the perfect compromise between sacred and profane. The sustainable Italian brand chose a horse as the spokesperson of their manifesto, surely escaping the monotony of conventional representations. Keep on reading to discover how Antonio Pondini, the founder, has been building his unique brand.

Vescovo stems from the desire to combine the tradition and craftsmanship of Italian savoir-faire to sustainable technological innovations. Was it easy to find a meeting point to reconcile these concepts?

Undoubtedly, the brand wants to create its identity through collections that look to the past whilst maintaining a contemporary feel, focusing on the authentic link with sustainability. I have to say the point of convergence was found naturally, because I believe this bond especially identifies my own story. I’ve always been a lover of the fashion world and its heritage, but I’ve developed my curricular background around the theme of sustainability and innovation.

You like to define the brand as a collective, a heterogeneous and multidisciplinary group of people. How is daily work structured within your business?

I’m very pleased that this theme has emerged, because I strongly believe in identifying Vescovo as a team and not just with myself. At the moment, there are many figures who revolve around the brand and want to contribute. It’s difficult to talk about structures, but we can certainly say that we’re laying the organisational foundations for a strong future development. The goal was also to create a multidisciplinary reality that had the strength to collaborate with other fields and areas, beyond that of fashion.

Gender fluidity is increasingly central to the fashion world as the years go on, as well as a cornerstone of your brand. A concept apparently recent but with roots that sink into revolutionary icons of the last century. Which post-modern personalities are you most inspired by?

Actually, when we developed our first collection, the idea of creating a genderless line came without deep reflections, probably being a concept we truly live in a natural way. It’s been the first buyers who, by viewing the collection and having difficulties in identifying it, made us realise this character it had. Talking about post-modernism, it probably represents the movement that most questioned some traditional canons of society and, therefore, of fashion too. The two icons that certainly have most influenced my cultural growth since I was a young man are David Bowie and David Byrne, icons of freedom and non- conformism.


The choice of mainly using soft, pastel colours within your collections is interesting. Is there a meaning behind this decision in some way linked to the sustainability of the dyes?

There’s no direct connection with the dyeing of fabrics, although it’s true that most of them are naturally dyed. The choice of colours is a condition that’s closely linked to the brand’s mission, which is to create garments that allow whoever wears them to feel free and ‘approachable’. Therefore, there’s no prevalence of dark shades, but mainly ‘serene’, ‘sincere’ colours, which we spent many hours of work on.

Vescovo’s eco-sustainability is further demonstrated by the use of dead-stock, recycled and GOTS-certified fabrics, such as organic cotton from an ethical supply chain, thus reducing the risk of falling into slogans only. Was it a difficult goal for a small Italian business?

It’s a very difficult goal for a small Italian business, especially considering that fabric manufacturers ask for very large quantities to work with certifications and truly sustainable and recycled fabrics. Finding producers who could support us and satisfy our requests was a fundamental step to make this brand grow in a healthy way.

Surfacing the lifetime journey of the fabrics that the brand uses is a contemporary challenge in which the blockchain becomes the protagonist. What is traceability for Vescovo?

The idea that Vescovo’s team had was to adopt blockchain technology to make the brand’s production chain traceable, starting from the procurement of the fabric to the distribution of the garment. Going back to your question, traceability would therefore become the way to guarantee our customers the true sustainability of our brand and supply chain; it’s an essential step considering that we’re living in a moment of transition in which the concept of sustainable is repeatedly abused.


Charly, a spotted white horse, is the spokesperson for your manifesto within your e- commerce. Where did the idea of making it a brand icon come from and what does it represent?

We wanted to link a narrative to the aesthetics of the brand, that started from some characteristics of society, such as language difficulties, a lack of communication and, eventually, a rediscovered sincerity. This translated into the beauty of the encounter, exchange and dialogue, represented by soft colours and enveloping shapes together with the figure of the horse, essential for communicating that naturalness and spontaneity with which the brand was born. Charly, ‘a flea-bitten white horse’, aims to positively influence people’s lives and has, therefore, become the symbol of Vescovo.

Vescovo’s positive environmental footprint is an advantage not only for the planet but for market positioning too. How will the brand continue to renew itself and what will be the next step we should expect from Vescovo?

We still have a long way to go. Surely, continuing to grow a community that shares our values is a fundamental step to create a strong identity around the brand. We have many ideas, and we hope you’ll hear a lot about us in the future.


Credits: Photo by Lorenzo Basili, Interview By Giorgia Feroldi