The collection evolves around Leu’s research on wool fabrics and represents his tribute to what he believes the most “primordial, human, and resilient fabric”. The designer’s interest in wool and its possibilities results from the encounter with the classic archive fabrics of the Marzotto’ Forniture Civili repository, the company’s uniform supplies archives. The collaboration with Marzotto allowed Leu to learn more about the different structures and weights of the fabrics produced by the textile group for civil use and to get access to inedited colour palettes.
“At Marzotto we take great pride in supporting new talents. It was a great pleasure for us to support Dima Leu on this journey. Dima is a young designer who showed a unique ability to reinterpret and honour our fabrics with a contemporary feel. Our heritage and our efforts in research and development of improved/new fibres have found new fulfilment through his creative experimentations” said Paolo Vazzoler, Marzotto Textiles’s B.U. Director.
The opportunity lights in the designer a desire to develop an entire collection from wool and to experiment around its possibilities across a whole wardrobe’s categories. The entire second release is indeed conceived from a reinterpretation of inedited raw materials manufactured according to traditional techniques and equipped with quality and structure made to last beyond merely transitory fashion trends.
“These five years from the first launch of the brand have been incredibly intense and full of experiences. It is a great pleasure to be able to celebrate this anniversary by taking part to Milan official calendar. I am particularly grateful to Marzotto for welcoming me into their world and for granting me special access to their private archives thus opening up for me unique opportunities to experiment. It was an unforgettable experience” said the designer.
The encounter with the archives brings Leu back to the black and white pictures of the Moldovan photographer of the 30s Zakaria Cushnir. The collection of distressed wool suit fabric recalls the photographer’s images featuring heavily distressed jackets and suits becoming almost integral part of the personality and of body of the subjects, with the clear intent to make fashion garments no longer mere subjects to transitory trends and to bring them back to a more deeply human dimension. Evident is the resolution of the designer to reinvent shapes and clothes seen in the portraits of the photographer and to express the rigorous divergence of black and white photography through combinations of bold and contrasting colours.
The distress treatments make the wool even softer, more pampering and comfortable around the body, providing a new expression to the brands’ continuous search for a more comfy, contemporary and versatile reinterpretation of tailored garments. Dima Leu’s iconic mixture of sport and tailoring acquires nowadays new meaning and becomes more relevant in the new normality imposed by the pandemic, which blurring the distinction between private, work and social interaction environments, imposes on formal-wear a need for comfort, and to sportswear a need for sophistication and elegance.
With this intent, DIMA LEU HOMME takes distance from the more usual approach of previous collections to propose as centrepieces seven experimentations on the most formal element of a classic tailored blazer, the lapel. Wool acts as a new trait d’union between the experimental tailoring of HOMME and the luxury sportswear of SPORTSUIT, showcasing constructed blazers with a subtle sporty touch provided by hoods and zippers, as well as more traditional casual styles, such as bombers and joggers.
The colour palette reflects the shades of the archives combining classic wintery tones of navy blue, black, brown, grey and dark green with bold hues of workwear and civil supplies, such as fire red, royal blue, powder pink, purple, emerald green and optical white. Working with wool allows the designer to play with warm and subtle, yet more intense colours, and to indulge in his signature colour combinations.
Wool become protagonist even in shirts through the use of a unique shirt fabric, called TOUCH96, produced by Marzotto, that matches comfort and high performances in a single wool fibre. DIMA LEU AW21’s wool fibre shirting features a light blue, white, pink, lilac classic shirting soft color palette, which is also applied by the designer to the creation of playful and versatile underwear styles. AW21 Vol 2 goes beyond the tribute to the wool of the Marzotto archives to explore the infinite possibilities in the new applications of wool fibres.
Leu’ s curiosity about the potentialities of wool fabrics applies also to an accessories line featuring sophisticated sport-bags and playful fabric belts with snap buttons. DIMA LEU AW21 bags reinvent sports volumes through the use of sophisticated materials, luxury zips and viscose linings. The colourful fabric belts are an attempt to rejuvenate the formality of the classic buckle belt and to create a hybrid and versatile piece of accessory.
Dima Leu is a Moldovan fashion designer. At the age of 15, he moved with his family to Venice where he continued his education. After studying economics, driven by a strong desire for change, he embarked on a course of study in fashion at the IUAV University of Venice.
Subsequently several experiences as designer assistant for luxury brands and as fashion consultant, in 2015 the designer launched his own brand, DIMA LEU. After focusing mainly on a tailoring path, the first DIMA LEU collection represented a challenge for the designer who wanted to elevate sportswear with a contemporary twist. Leu, who has chosen Italy as his permanent base, combines the constant quest for innovation with references to his childhood time, from his training in classical music, to Moldovan heritage and post-Soviet culture. In September 2020, the designer was awarded the menswear category WHO IS NEXT? 2020 prize, a contest powered by Vogue Italia and Altaroma. In January 2021 Dima Leu debuted in Milan menswear calendar with the support of CNMI.
Established in 2015, DIMA LEU is a menswear brand that appeals to both men and women. It debuted in February 2016 with DIMA LEU SPORTSUIT and DIMA LEU STRIIPES, proposing a sophisticated reinterpretation of sportswear. The SPORTSUIT collections combines the freedom that sport garments grant to the body with the style of dobby fabrics. The garments are comfortable, and yet, thanks to their construction and the chosen fabrics provide an alternative to the tailored suit.
The sportsuits are proposed together with a series of neutral-coloured boxy jerseys with colorful compositions of 3D ribbons: STRIIPES. This designer’s obsession with lines originated from the piano keyboard on which he spent entire days from the age of 6 to 14. STRIIPES embodies Leu’s personality more playful side and his passion for colours driven by the motifs of the vertically woven carpets and from Moldovan folk culture. The choice of sportswear garments represents for the designer a key to communicate through a more understandable language to new generations, giving them the opportunity to familiarize with fine fabrics and artisanal quality, but also encouraging a more responsible consumption.
These two lines, which grabbed the immediate interest of recognized international retailers, conducted the designer to launch his third Line, DIMA LEU HOMME, in 2020. This is a proper section dedicated to tailoring and it represents a more experimental part of the brand. Since its inception, DIMA LEU has embraced the sustainability concern in manufacturing processes and sourcing of materials, introducing limited edition capsule collections produced exclusively with deadstock fabrics made in Italy. Starting from SS20, upcycling, re-made and the exclusive use of archive fabrics have become a distinctive mark of the brand through the collaborations with Italian textile producers.
In 1836, Luigi Marzotto’s dedication to high quality led to the establishment of a small textile workshop which has now spread worldwide thanks to passion for craftsmanship and manufacturing knowledge, combined with considerable entrepreneurial intelligence, creativity, cutting-edge technology and attention to sustainability.
Marzotto’s history is characterized by a tireless passion for excellence, a value created by manufacturing expertise and by a constant search for weaves that are in step with the future. Marzotto has always managed all the processes, from the selection of raw materials to logistics. The result is an outstanding textile company that ensures the best possible service and is a reference point for every customer in the world. Marzotto, which has experienced exponential growth over the years, is currently distributed evenly in 5 continents with a range of customers that in turn covers the entire spectrum of distribution channels (retail, wholesale and e-commerce).
Marzotto Forniture Civili
Since 1836 Marzotto specialized in the supply of fabrics for civil and military use. A historical link which has lasted nearly two hundred years, carried on proudly, serving the most simportant national and international institutions. Today, the Forniture Civili collection is designed to meet the highest demands in terms of comfort, style, elegance and functionality, to fulfill the needs of our customers and to create always perfect uniforms and clothes 24 hours a day.
All images courtesy of Dima Leu