Antonio Martino is an Italian designer based in Rome. His first experience in the Italian fashion industry came at the age of 14 years old. In 2008, he created his eponymous label, Antonio Martino Couture, followed in 2013 by one of his crowning moments when he created looks for Simona Molinari, one of Italy’s preeminent electro swing artists, for her performance at the historical Sanremo Music Festival. His work has been featured across some of the most influential Italian fashion titles, including Vanity Fair, Diva e Donna, Tu Style, and many more.
In addition to being a designer, Antonio also teaches and mentors young talents, lending his expertise and knowledge to those that aspire to design.
What is the essence of Antonio Martino Couture?
Antonio Martino Couture is couture, prêt à porter and bridal, all 100% Made In Italy.
I always put a woman’s needs first. I want her to feel comfortable in my designs and be able to enjoy every moment of her day.
Where does you passion come from?
My passion started when I was 3! I would ask my mother if I could borrow her needles and for as long as I can remember, I was fascinated by her sewing at home… the rest, as they say, is history.
Tell us a bit about how you started your career.
At 14, I moved from Salerno to Rome to attend a professional fashion institute, where I learned so much. This led me to specialise in design and tailoring at one of the most renowned fashion academies in the capital. During my studies, I worked with both theatre costume departments and design houses until I finally landed in the Fast Fashion industry. Even though it’s a fast paced world, I learned a lot about people’s needs and what they want to wear on a regular basis.
Who are the fashion icons that have influenced your work the most?
I have always followed fashion. I have to admit that I have always been in love with Gianni Versace’s world: beautiful gowns, worn by amazing top models with elegance and grace. He is still so relevant today and I miss that glamour in the industry sometimes. Everytime I create something new, I draw my inspiration from there. My aim is to recreate the same reaction people had to Naomi Campbell or Linda Evangelista walking the catwalk.
What’s the one thing every woman should have in her wardobe?
She must have Antonio Martino Couture, of course!
Fashion Week is almost upon us, what do you see women wearing in 2017?
Fashion is going through a difficult time. As a designer, I see a lot of conformity, people are following the same patterns. Unisex collections and androgynous looks have been very popular lately, which makes me a little nostalgic. I’m hoping for a lot of sexiness and elegance on the catwalks next season, a return to very feminine collections. A bit more old school, a bit more glamorous.
How do you cope being in the fashion industry in Italy during these difficult economic times?
We are living in the era of the “Made in Italy for China”. We still try to believe in a dream that most likely will never come true. There are very few incentives for start-ups in Italy, but the same applies to established fashion houses unfortunately. The government is not very supportive of “Made in Italy” these days.
You recently opened your own showroom in Rome, are you planning to bring it abroad?
The new showroom in Rome is called SPAZIO 2.0. I would like to bring my couture concept to more European cities and who knows, maybe one day have a Spazio 2.0 in London, Berlin and New York.
Any words of wisdom for anyone looking to make a living in the industry?
Study hard, work hard, and it takes a lot of practice! It takes a lot of blood, sweat and tears to create a solid base to build up your own career sometimes.
Featured image credit: Antonio Martino Facebook