With Techno-Luxury Carvico launches a creative challenge

Techno-Luxury: “Techno textiles will revolutionise the fashion of the future”
Laura Colnaghi Calissoni, president and CEO of Gruppo Carvico, in conversation with Matteo Minà from Milano Finanza Fashion about the special “Techno-Luxury” project dedicated to ladder-proof stretch fabric and circular knits.
Luxury and performance, two opposites that attract in the vision of Laura Colnaghi Calissoni, at the head of the Carvico group since 2005, a super casual lady who was recently decorated with the title of “Cavaliere del lavoro” in recognition of her service to Italy’s economy. As she herself explained to journalist Matteo Minà during a conversation in the Pitti Show Box, hers is not a chance visit to Pitti Filati 84 as she is here with the specific aim of setting the world of fashion a challenge.
The Carvico group, set up by Laura’s husband, Giuseppe Colnaghi, is today a leading manufacturer of hi-tech textiles, used to make everything from swimming costumes to sportswear, underwear and soft furnishings. The three production units in Italy (Carvico, Eurojersey and Jersey Lomellina) and in the one in Vietnam (Hung Yen Limited in Hanoi) produce 62 million metres of ladder-proof stretch fabrics, resistant and breathable, and circular knits. And the company will become even more international next year with the opening of a new factory in Ethiopia. This will see the total number of employees rise to 1,500, for a group whose clients include Adidas, Calzedonia, Chiara Boni, and Yamamay among its clients.
These products by Carvico and Jersey Lomellina respectively, were the stars of Techno-Luxury, an installation and a capsule collection curated at Pitti Filati by designer Angelo Figus. The idea was to introduce visitors to the fair to a trend that today features in many collections: the synergy, on a single item, of fine yarns such as cashmere and silk and techno fabrics such as polyamide.

Here is a brief overview of the conversation between Matteo Minà and Laura Colnaghi Calissoni.
(Matteo Minà) What prompts a textile company like yours to take part in a yarn show?

(Laura Colnaghi Calissoni) We firmly believe that natural yarns can be used in interesting ways with our techno textiles. This is demonstrated by the garments we produced for the Carvico capsule as part of the Techno-Luxury installation. When teamed with technical fabrics, wool, cotton and cashmere become comfier, more suitable for everyday wear, physical activity and travel.

(M.M.) Right now, we are seeing strong fusion between luxury and sportswear, on all the runways. Consumer demands have changed and brands have adapted to suit. What do you see in the future? Will there be greater fusion or will we stop here?

(L.C.C.) There will definitely be no turning back. On the contrary, the only way is forwards. Our pace of life is speeding up, everything is moving faster and, as a consequence, how we dress has to adapt as well, making the most of what the world of textiles has to offer. This is why techno textiles will be the future. 

(M.M.) Luxury and performance used to be incompatible, whereas now they complement each other. Do you think that this fusion will characterise other textile sectors? 

(L.C.C.) I think that this trend is destined to expand beyond luxury. It is already doing so. The Carvico group, for example, supplies all kinds of sectors on the clothing and also the furnishing markets. 

(M.M.) Sustainability is the word on everybody's lips today. Does technical luxury respect the environment? 

(L.C.C.) Sustainability is one of our group's main sources of inspiration: we apply it to every stage of production both in Italy, which has very well-defined regulations on this subject, and also in Vietnam. And we will be exporting our policy to Africa, where we will be producing sustainably, even if no rules there force us to do so. We in fact sponsor Healthy Seas, an organisation that collects plastic, fishing nets and other pollutant waste materials from the oceans. And we use recycled polyamide from our supplier Acquafil. Respect for the environment is actually an excellent selling point. Consumers like to know that what they are wearing can be put back into the production chain instead of ending up in a tip. 

(M.M.) Can this fusion of natural yarns and synthetics also help to add value to recycled wool, once considered a second-class material and today a driver for development of entire production districts, such as Prato?

(L.C.C.) Absolutely. Our fabrics can also give wool a second life. In wonderful, warm, waterproof garments, for example. The bottom line is that we are a country of creatives. Young designers churn out new ideas every day. And I am very curious to see what will be possible with the thousand possibilities we have within reach. I expect to be pleasantly surprised.