Be a textile designer: Sandro Gaeta

After almost a year the column “Italian Young Talents” springs back to life! The idea for this new article was born during a special weekend I spent in Turin. On that occasion I met Sandro Gaeta, textile designer at Menta Collezioni in Como. After coming back to Switzerland I started researching on the web about textile design and the role played actually by textile designers.

Thanks to my search, but above all thanks to the interview with Sandro, I learned that textile design is not only about creating patterns for clothes, it’s a different way to look at things and to interpret them taking into account your personal background, the environment in which your creations grow up and the inputs the world you live touch you. These are only some of the issues that I’ve learned interviewing Sandro and now I’m so glad to share them with you. Enjoy the first jump into this new world!

1. Let’s move to the introduction: could you talk a bit about your education and your career path?

My education was traditional, I used to study at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Palermo, then I did professional courses in some of the most important tailoring shops in that city. By the end of 2012 I moved to Como, discovering more and more about textile design and my passion for this field grown further. Thanks to the work along Mr. Menta and the experience I’m gathering, I started designing creative prints for well-known brands and to have important collaborations.


2. What does it mean to be a textile designer?

Even before I enrolled in Fashion Design Degree, I felt that working as a textile designer could have been the perfect fulfillment of the Diploma in Decoration I obtained several years before. Then for four years I further focused on designing clothes and collections and I better appreciated that art when the opportunity to work in Menta collezioni was presented to me. Being a textile designer lets me combine my two passions, fashion and decoration, and this is amazing.

3. Could you describe your creations’ style?

The style of my creations is influenced by diverse cultures and evocative images that coexist in me. I grew up in a tiny island in the Mediterranean Sea, Levanzo, and right now I live in Como, working day after day with new materials and technologies. Those may be far from the cultural legacy I carry with me, although, they are perfect tools to create sinuous lines in weaves and dynamic and evocative fabrics. Surprisingly though, the latter are again tiles of my own history.


4. Where do you find your inspiration for patterns and colours? Who are your design icons?

I always start from a personal need to know and look for something new and unusual. A trip to Portugal, crystal clear sea and the traditions of my island, an image found in a book during lunch break: they are all elements that could become a pattern or a color palette. Moreover, I love the works of Antonio Marras, his style and his personal view of the fashion, the typical blue color palette by Armani and his echoes of the East, and Alexander Wang.

5. Could you tell us how is your typical day?

Turn on the computer and prepare my graphics tablet, a second cup of coffee in the office of samples collection and checking e-mails. Then I start painting on any support along Mr. Menta. I also look for new inspiration in his personal library. Pleased by the work of the day, I get home.


6. How long have you been working for Menta Collezioni? What are the company core values you appreciate most?

I am working in Menta collezioni since October 2012. What I liked from the beginning is the family-like environment and the freedom of artistic expression within the company. I am Sandro, simply me and without any restrictions in there, and that makes me happy to go to work every morning.

7. What could you tell us about the importance to be always on top of latest trends?

I think that trends represent the instincts that cannot be controlled or easily discovered: you have to feel them. It is clear that there is a need for ongoing research and “hunting” for tools that allow you to be competitive in this industry. I suggest you to be receptive everywhere you are and to take notes of any idea the situation brings to you.


8. Do you have any advice for aspiring textile designers? According to your experience, what is the top three skills useful for working in such creative industry?

Be ready for any opportunity, have good taste and be versatile.
The advice I would like to give to any future textile designer is to look for a good teacher, who is willing to share the love for this noble job.

9. What are your future goals? Do you have any special dream?

I wish I could have the chance to combine the work I’m doing right now with what I have been dreaming for my whole life: create a collection and see it on a catwalk.

I would like once again to thank Sandro for his availability but, above all, for having shared his personal experience with the readers of The design pot. I wish you all the best both for your professional and private life!

Valeria Crescenzi


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