If there is one event in Milan that you can not miss it is WOMADE ⎯ a creative network, an incubator that nurtures and enhances relationships, putting creativity at the center of everything. What a delightful surprise to discover Michael Metric there !
The Italian couple based in Berlin ⎯ Emanuela Amato and Michael Saba ⎯ assume that there is no longer a dichotomy between genders. Born in 2014, the aesthetic of Michael Metric offers a modern interpretation of the meeting point between masculinity and femininity thanks to an accurate vision of shapes, volume and space.
Nowadays, men and women are more and more inclined to share their wardrobe. “This is about what a garment means to a person” said J.W. Anderson. Behind Michael Metric, the philosophy is to break the codes and redefine the laws by providing genderless cuts without formal constrictions.
Emanuela Amato & Michael Saba
You are both Italians. Where and when did you meet each other?
Emanuela : We actually met in Milan for the first time by mutual friends, but our relationship started 4 years ago in Berlin. I was there working on the first issue of DUST magazine and Michael was with his friends. Since then we are always together, living and working on different projects.
Did you designed the collection together?
Emanuela : Indeed. The funny thing is that before creating Michael Metric we were always dressed in a very similar way.
Michael : As we often exchange clothes, we wanted to create a unisex collection, based on what we would love to wear.
Do you have specific and distinct roles in the creation process?
Emanuela : Of course each of us have different skills and we actually complete each others. Michael works more on forms and volumes and I am taking care of the graphics.
As a couple what do you do to be on the same wavelength?
Michael : I will not lie to you sometimes it is difficult. Being a couple is even more challenging, you can have different ideas or opinions, but the important things is to always try to understand each other and separate the work from your personal life.
Emanuela : This is not our first experience working together. We founded together LINE magazine two years ago, so we are accustomed!! Most of the people say that working with your partner is more difficult and maybe it is, but when things come out as you want this is even more rewarding.
Today lots of artists from musicians to Fashion designers move to Berlin in order to fulfill their dreams. How do you differentiate yourselves among the others?
Michael : I don’t feel the necessity to differentiate us from others.
Emanuela : In every city there are a lot of competitors and especially in Fashion. Few years ago it was the boom of London or Paris and now it is Berlin who know which city will be the next ?
Michael : Berlin is a very easy city regarding the cost of life. Of course this is much more easy to follow your dreams when you don’t have to worry about the bills!
Is there a gap between designing a collection and running a business. Do you have any managerial skills?
Emanuela : You are right in fact there is a big difference between creating and selling what you create. Luckily Michael’s father is an entrepreneur, so he acquired the basis from him.
What was the biggest challenge of your first collection?
Emanuela : Everything! It was our first experience, from the practical points of the project to the choice of suppliers. For instance making textile graphics was so far away from the editorial work I used to do… it was threatening!
Michael : It was a big challenge for us. We don’t stop to learn how to move and never give up when everything seems bigger than you.
Where do you produce the clothes?
Emanuela : We produce the printed fabric in Holland and the manufacturing of the clothes is done in Italy.
Michael : Investing in quality is the most important thing for us.
As a unisex brand how do you erase the boundaries between menswear and womenswear?
Michael : Our line is about the unisex fashion – the structure of the feminine and masculine – according to us. Our research starts from the premise that this dichotomy in clothing is no longer so clear and visible. All begins by looking for an adaptable fit to both genders
Oversize and symmetry are key components of your work. What does it mean to you?
Michael : We perceive space as a mix between distance and connections.
Emanuela : Our obsession with the symmetry leads us to study the distance like a real space where the absence of form takes life. Everything is based on precise proportions that are always repeated in our clothes. By this way we try to emphasize the connection between all the pieces that we have created.
Which designers inspire you?
Emanuela : In the 70’s experiments about unisex fashion were carried out by designers such as Rudi Gernreich who argued that the boundary between men and women was not an obstacle, but rather a starting point for studies about forms and geometries.
Michael : Talking about inspirations of forms I can quickly quote Martin Margiela or Comme des Garcons.
CAMPAIGN : Metric1 SS15
Photo: Virginia Arcaro
Models: Francesco Calè , Sita Abellán
Art Direction: Emanuela Amato
Styling: Michael Saba
Make up and Hair: Kassandra Frua De Angeli