Melbourne is renown for it’s love of coffee so to celebrate the up-coming VAMFF, it seems only fitting that sponsor Lavazza teams up with one of Australia’s most exciting fashion designers, Michael Lo Sordo, to create an exclusively designed coffee cup. Featuring Lo Sordo’s trademark bold digital print, the coffee cup is a celebration of Lo Sordo’s talent, Italian heritage and love of coffee.
Ahead of VAMFF, we caught up with the enigmatic Lo Sordo to find out more about his collaboration, what we can expect to see on the runway and what he has planned for the future.
LISA TEH (LT): Congratulations on your collaboration with Lavazza for the upcoming VAMFF! Can you tell us about how this collaboration came about and why Lavazza is right for your brand?
MICHAEL LO SORDO (MLS): As soon as this collaboration was presented to me I was honoured and excited – I jumped at the opportunity. Lavazza is a brand that I have known and grown up with for years. With such a strong tie to the international fashion and photographic community the two brands concepts aligned seamlessly.
LT: How does coffee fit into your life?
MLS: Coffee has been a part of my daily routine for as long as I remember. Growing up in a strong Italian family, our culture is surrounded by a sense of community and coming together. Whether it is a quick meeting or a lunch date, coffee is a part of my day and brings me a sense of balance and creativity.
LT: Can you tell us what inspired the Butterfly Effect Fall print for the Lavazza coffee cups and the process you undertook to create this unique print?
Every season our signature prints derive from the concept of nature and over the last couple of season’s exotic animals and insects have been a recurring theme in the design process too. Injecting a sense of colour and culture as well as a fresh and innovative take on print construction was important this season. For this collaboration we wanted to do something striking and on par to Lavazza’s aesthetic. Using a variety of exotic flavours and essences for their coffee flavours we wanted to compliment what Lavazza was all about in our print design.
LT: What trends can we expect to see this on the runway at VAMFF?
MLS: This season I think we will be seeing a lot of clean tailoring with an emphasis on cut and fabrications. Vibrant colours and hues this season for many designers will be key and it’s all about beautiful clothes with a fresh take on masculinity and strength.
LT: There are so many fashion designers trying to make a name for themselves in Australia and you have succeed where many have not. What do you think is the secret to your success and what tips do you have for those trying to break into the industry?
MLS: How does one measure success? Always a tricky question! Though I have worked hard to get to this stage there is still so much more I hope to achieve. If there’s one thing this industry has taught me, it is that in order to succeed you must be tough, determined and not afraid to take risks. I believe experience and knowledge is the key to understanding the business and over the years I have worked for various designers and companies within the fashion industry as well as expanding my knowledge and skills. The Michael Lo Sordo Label to me was about organic and steady growth with strategic planning.
But at the end of the day I have a dream and my dream is to live my dream so that is what I call success.
LT: You’ve had such an exciting career so far. Your pieces have been seen on some of the world’s top style icons, you’ve shown at fashion week, collaborated with some amazing brands. What have been some of the highlight that have really stood out in your mind, and what achievements are you most proud of?
MLS: I am blessed to work with such an amazing and inspiring team that allow me to bring my vision to life. Over the years I find that in order to be inspired and creative one must open up to the possibility of stepping out of their comfort zone – this is what we do when we collaborate with brands to come up with strong concepts and bringing ideas to life.
To date I would have to say my most proudest achievements would be winning the Qantas spirit of the youth award. The team at Qantas have been such a strong support to me and my business. Another highlight would be my various collaborations with the Woolmark company and AWI. Being given the platform and guidance to show my collections from New York to Milan to buyers and media such as Barny’s and Bergdorf Goodman, Corso Como 10 and Vogue Italia was a real dream come true and could not have happened without the support of these organisations.
LT: You have MBFWA coming up. What can we expect from your latest collection?
MLS: This upcoming MBAFW will see a continued journey into the essence of the Michael Lo Sordo, a strong take on classic tailoring with an injection of colourful hues. This season is all about celebrating the modern woman and making her feel more beautiful and more confident.
LT: What are you most excited about this year?
MLS: This year we have some real exciting projects coming up that will see the brand take a more international approach but what most excites me would have to me my long overdue vacation later on in the year.