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VALERIA DELLA VALLE — Archivio in Italian means “archive.” Why did you choose this name?
CECILIA FEDERICO — What we do is look back at iconic classics and reinvent them. In that respect, this name seemed perfect. It’s also a beautiful, clear, strong Italian word.
VALERIA DELLA VALLE — You’re strongly inspired by the ’90s. What draws you to that decade?
CECILIA FEDERICO — It’s the time we would have wanted to live in. Those were the years of new kinds of models and attitudes. They were strong, shameless, pro- vocative. Women were real women — they had a super-sexy femininity and, more importantly, they knew how to play with it. We’re both very conscious about our- selves, about our femininity. This is the kind of attitude we’d like Archivio to inspire.

VALERIA DELLA VALLE — Archivio seems to be the result of a paradox, such as your search for femininity through male forms. The woman you present is sexy but masculine. How has your interest in male fashion influenced your work?
ROSITA GIA — The cuts and structure of men’s fashion have always fascinated me. The typical double-breasted coat worn by men from the late ’70s is a major reference in my work — it’s a model of perfection. People always complain that the male wardrobe offers little room for improvement, but I think that’s proof of its virtuosity and classical elegance. You can play with textures and colors — why alter the structure? I try to transfer this elegance into the women’s collections.

VALERIA DELLA VALLE — Would you define your label as multidisciplinary?
ROSITA GIA — We do. To be honest, fashion is just an element of our work. We nourish Archivio with our curiosity for the world in general: art, travel, culture, cinema… Our main aspiration is to collaborate with artists, to create installations and video clips.

VALERIA DELLA VALLE — What kind of women wear Archivio?
CECILIA FEDERICO — Honestly, wearing Archivio isn’t easy. You must be a woman free from taboos, who doesn’t care about the latest trend inculcated by a random fashion blogger… It’s a woman who wants to say something about herself, who’s got a strong personality and takes pleasure playing with it. I designed an accessories collection that’s almost fetishistic, in black leather. You must be aware of your sensuality to be able to wear them. Otherwise, you will get it all wrong, and the result would be a disaster.
VALERIA DELLA VALLE — Gender doesn’t really exist, but sexuality does and must be explored: is this what your work is trying to say?
CECILIA FEDERICO — That’s the point.

photography by ALESSANDRA D’URSO
make-up by SARA BUSAN