Argentine designer Maria A Zolezzi previously worked in Paris for twelve years for luxury designers such as Sonia Rykiel, Isabel Marant and Nick Hart among others, before returning to the Buenos Aires fashion scene to launch her namesake label in 2014. Deciding to focus solely on wool, her handmade collections feature striking knitwear for men and women, ranging from classic cardigans, ponchos and sweaters to more avant-garde pieces, as well as a line of beautifully soft blankets, throws, cushion covers and other artistic home textiles. Maydi values fair trade and uses all-natural fibers from Argentina such as organic merino wool, llama and baby alpaca that are all hand knitted and woven using ancestral techniques to create unique pieces.
What are the main inspirations behind your designs?
My travels, museums, colours and different stages of my life.
You work closely with rural knitting and weaving communities in Argentina. How do you incorporate their traditional methods into your contemporary designs?
In the beginning, it was difficult to communicate my contemporary style and designs, but little by little it has become easier, especially with the people that I’ve worked with from the beginning. The biggest problem is establishing a structure with these artisan communities as many do not see it as a source of work. It is, but not all of them approach it in a responsible way and so, for my part, it’s vital to explain to them that it is a serious job, and provide training with patience, responsibility and respect. The key is knowing how to transmit a clear message.
What, for you, are the most important knitting and weaving techniques?
The most important knits for me are those made with the two-needle technique because of the volume and 3-D element that it brings to each piece, as well as the more classic pieces created on traditional handlooms that are indispensable items for your wardrobe.
What did you learn from your experience working in the French fashion scene?
My experience was everything. I learned from the best who gave me the opportunities and freedom to acquire the knowledge that today helps me to have a clear vision of the international market and also to know that what I’m doing, although not easy, is the future of fashion. My time in France provided me with the structure I needed and I really got to know the product and the business of fashion.
What is your best selling item?
The snoods were my very first pieces and are always present in all of my collections since the very first one, Amien 01. 2014.
Do you have a favourite piece from your latest collection?
Yes, from my new collection I think the cropped Revolution sweater is the must-have item.
What are the objectives of Maydi in the future?
That the brand grows in Argentina as well as the international market. Expanding in the international market is my biggest challenge.
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