Talent Story - Arianna Tombolini

It’s funny how fashion changes, yet the sights and sounds remain the same. Styles come and go, but the clacking of sewing machines remains, the slight tearing sound of needle on denim as the final touches are being applied, the ping of metal as a thimble is returned to its case when the article is ready.

I grew up in the heartland of Italian production surrounded by hard-working people and industry, knowing I wanted to do the same. I wanted to recreate that sense of community, which had given me my love of design, and do it on a bigger scale.

So in 2012 I moved to Florence to study Footwear and Accessory design, learning everything from design to prototyping. There was a huge amount I had never understood before, particularly when it came to the technicalities of manufacture and design.

After graduating, I felt ready to take my childhood love of fashion, along with my years of study, into the wider world of footwear. Of course, I still had much to learn, and began doing a number of internships with large brands including Bally and other top leading brands.

(*Visuals from Talent’s mood-board)

Learning from some of the biggest names in the fashion world has given me great confidence in my collections. Most of my collections center on nature, and an atmosphere in which opposites are connected in an unusual and intriguing way. Round and square shapes, for example, can complement each other, as can strong and soft materials. For me, nature is at the heart of design, and I love to explore our relationship with it in my work. I’m fascinated by the role footwear has played in history. The simple shoe has retained the same structure throughout the ages, and yet it is always possible to approach its design in fresh and exciting ways. Traditional stitching and manufacturing techniques, for example, can be blended with new shapes and contemporary materials.

The possibilities for discovery remain endless, for style, but also for me as a designer. My love of nature draws me towards the minimalistic, and I love the challenge of producing shoes which stand out, in a world so often characterised by ostentation. Sometimes it is the subtle fire that burns most brightly.