Streetwear has evolved from an icon of broader artistic subcultures into its own high fashion niche over the last decade and that procedural change has brought with it a crossflow of cultural and aesthetic influences. Iuter is a good example of this toppled paradigm that has occurred in the fashion world – Based in Milan, the apparel company creates garments with a distinctly Italian flair and design discipline that’s underpinned by global streetwear influences. We spoke with Iuter CEO Alberto Leoni to learn more about what else makes up the brand’s identity.
To people in Australia who may not yet be acquainted with your brand, how would you describe it?
Fully designed, developed and manufactured in Italy, Iuter is a contemporary men’s brand. Through fabrics research and reshaping classical garments, we explore street wear essentials with a hint towards fashion.
Started from the bottom already 14 years ago, today IUTER is a well established company and still in full development. Relentless, we keep adding pieces to the puzzle like our own cut & sew factory based in the suburbs of Milano and the flagship store [which was] inaugurated on December 2013 in the very beating heart of the city centre.
A prominent characteristic of Iuter apparel is the use of photography to create pattern. Is there a reason you’re motivated to use this principle?
Identification. Being innovative in our own way is the key. Today, this [is] connected to the use of photography to create pattern, but tomorrow it is going to be for sure something different. Exploring and not staying still is something we made ours since the very beginning. Being located in Italy for sure helped this process of endless scouting for new possibilities. It is absolutely fascinating to find always a new technique that help us to decorate a garment, whether we are talking about prints, embroidery or laser-cutting.
IUTER PR1MO is the realm of our research field. Born four seasons ago, this project was conceived to assemble all those items we considered more towards an experimental direction.
In an interview with NSS magazine, you said you were motivated to continue designing because of a need to evolve the Iuter collection. Are you still driven by that need to evolve?
Yes, that’s what’s so good about designing: keep rising the goals and run after them.
What inspired the design of the Gearblack collection?
SS15 is the Human Engineering collection. This theme celebrates the relationship between man and machine.
In particular the gear theme enhances watches mechanical precision, which is one of the greatest expression of human genius, so we liked the idea to made a pattern out of the moving parts of a clockwork.
While the gear pattern was available on the regular distribution, the Gearblack is an exclusive customisation for specific items that we dropped online and in our Milano Flagship store only.
Is there a philosophy behind making items online store exclusives?
The factory sets back only 50km away from the flagship store and this is something pretty unusual. In this particular situation, it was pretty easy for us to develop and fast-serve exclusive contents to our own flagship. We have the capability of producing really low quantities items in a super short time, why not take advantage of this? Other then that, the simple matter of reducing the distance between ‘the idea’ and the product ready to be proposed to the final consumer was very tempting.
You’ve expressed interest previously in creating a shoe, perhaps in collaboration with another brand. Have you given the idea more thought?
IUTER’s main focus [is] its clothing. We decided not to dedicate energy and time into something other then our core essentials. We are working on a lot of new collabs, but no foot-wear program at the moment.
Would you say your brand is a reflection of urban fashion trends in Italy?
Yes, for sure. In Italy but mostly Milano, it’s easy to spot different kind of people around wearing the brand.
Our background is coming from the street, and Milano is our home town.
Do you think there are certain things that indicate good design when it comes to apparel?
Rarely you can fully appreciate a garment if you don’t know what it takes to build it from scratch. Our aim is to make [a simple looking] and easy-to-wear an item with a really complex construction. For instance, the PARQUET design has been used as a manifesto for this topic during the recent Milano Design Week – a crewneck sweater made out of 55 different pieces, patiently hand-sewed together.
This is one of the best example for us in regards of design and apparel.
What is an approach or concept you’d like to try next?
Passion and effort above all.
Beyond this, we’ll be introducing more elements and materials inspired from the technical sportswear world. Mixing this research with way more complex design rather then purely sports classic constructions will be our mission.
I think this is what could match best with IUTER’s next future direction.