Surrounded by a nostalgic atmosphere: «Romagna has been a cause of disappointment during my teenage years. Today, I can see the values my country has transmitted to me»
Lampoon introduces Federico Cina
In January 2020, Federico Cina presented at Altaroma his Fall Winter 2020 collection I bei tempi. It came from the Italian master Vittorio Tonelli’s photographic archive: native of Sarsina, as the designer, he worked as researcher, passionate about the culture and the history of rural life in Romagna. Tonelli has made an anthropological and photographic reconstruction of post-war Italy, which inspired the designer for his show. By bringing to light the stories of the rural Romagna in the second post-war period, the Italian designer recalled the atmosphere that dominated in those times, along with the difficulties people had to fight and the rebirth they achieved. A tribute to the Italy of the 1950s, a period filled with the will to rebuild a world after the War. I bei tempi is a time travel: a return to the past that aspires to a pure beauty, with an eye on the craftsmanship, which is a key element in the designer’s vision. The creative process that lies behind the collection, began with the research of tailoring. Turning the garments inside out is a metaphor of the deep meaning of transparency Federico Cina aims to display. «Emphasizing what is inside a garment and showing it off means to share the intimate emotions with the entire world» says Cina. Using his collections as a diary, the designer searches for a common thread that links all the designs, giving a sense of continuity in the narration of his personal stories. The knitted dress with color stripes is a garment Federico Cina proposed also in his previous collection, since it’s a revisitation of the traditional male silhouette. The sense of continuity that links his collections is found in the printed motifs taken from the designer’s region. The patterns are typical decorations featured on traditional handmade tablecloths from Romagna, printed with natural and indelible colors. Moreover, some accessories, such as hats and gloves are handcrafted with traditional methods: hats were constructed around flower pots that had been turned upside down. The entire collection is sartorial ready to wear tailored in local atelier; in addition, the brand is known today for its blue prints that are painted by hand as in traditional Romagna.
Corpi e luoghi and A Emilia
After a first split, the designer returned to Sarsina in 2018. His personal narration, chapter after chapter seeks to reconcile tradition and modernity, using a direct communication for his label. Concerned about the disappearance of handcrafted know-how, Cina has raised to act in support of this artistic and creative heritage, hoping that others too will become involved in the preservation and transmission of traditions. The designer has brought his artistic vision in the spotlight at the first Milan Digital Fashion Week. As a tribute to memory the designer introduced his Spring Summer 2021 collection in the fashion film Corpi e Luoghi. «Every experience we have made influences our life, our choices – in my case, my creative process» explains the designer. The collection reflects the nostalgia of the adult, who acknowledges the need for the same values that were neglected in times of youth. Federico Cina’s autobiographical narration gathers genderless outfits, functional tailleurs, together with his grandfather’s green flowered jackets. The minimalist approach is enriched with decorations that are the result of Cina’s collaboration with Antica Stamperia Marchi. Founded in 1633, the old mangano has always been working; it is a wheel press built in order to smooth, stretch and luster fabric, making it compact. The designer’s goal is to involve and collaborate with realities based in the Romagna region to promote the culture, tradition and craftsmanship of Italy within a global context. Federico Cina’s ongoing description of Romagna continues with A Emilia. The collection enhances the connection between the tradition and the values of Cina’s land to urban life. Inspired by the ancient Rome, the name comes from the Roman road called “Via Emilia”, a road connecting Milan to the Adriatic Sea and passing through Cesena, the city where the designer is now based. The collection consists of a selection of ready to wear garments handcrafted with traditional designs. Cina explores knitwear shaping winter sweaters and headwear, celebrating the staple of sartorial menswear design: classical menswear pieces are set in monochrome colors enhanced by shaped prints. Federico Cina preserves the authenticity of his land while exploring contemporary tailoring: «Romagna has been a cause of disappointment during my teenage years. Today, I have the maturity to affirm that the values that my country has transmitted to me, such as humanity and sincerity are unique in the world».
Federico Cina – Made in Romagna
Romagna is home to Sarsina: three thousand inhabitants included in the Tuscan-Romagnolo Apennines, renowned for being playwright Plautus’ birthplace. When Federico Cina dreamed of becoming a designer, this village, where he was born, made him want to escape to follow the fashion scene. At the age of eighteen, he enrolled in Polimoda Fashion school, where he was noticed by journalists and magazines for his attitude toward design. The collection that made him known was Come una vita viene al mondo (How a life is born), created under the idea of a global family, which broke the stereotypes of the division between man and woman. While studying, the designer worked for Brooks Brothers as the creative director’s assistant, bridging into the international scene; after a scholarship at Osaka Bunka Fashion College in Japan, Federico Cina collaborated with Emilio Pucci in Milan, a working experience that made him realize the relevance of his place of birth in his own creative process, imbued of the values he learned growing up – humanity and transparency. After his victory of the Fashionclash contest in Maastricht in 2017, Cina decided to return to Romagna, and established his brand in 2019, wanting to transmit trough his collections, the values that once belonged to the people of Romagna and to his family. «After a few years spent between Florence, Milan and New York, I found the balance. I decided to pay tribute to my land».
AltaRoma and Who is on next?
Romagna mia. This was the collection Cina presented in January 2019 at Altaroma, a first expression of the culture and history of Romagna to which the designer still feels connected. The same year Federico Cina won Who is on Next?, the talent scouting and support program launched by Altaroma in collaboration with Vogue Italia in 2004, with his collection Mi sono innamorato di te. The collection was dedicated to two young poets and their love relationship. A story made of distress and conflicts. Federico Cina highlighted the relevance of trust and transparency among lovers; the collection, was therefore a tribute to the difficulties that harm love stories, as well as the problems of everyday life, to all people who fight in order to overcome life’s failures. The designer struck the jury with his ability to explore personal narratives through theatrical contrasts of fabrics and prints, winning also the Pitti Tutoring & Consulting Prize, a collaboration to support all the activities needed for the consolidation of the brand. « I could relate with Federico Cina, not to his aesthetic, but to his attitude towards the creative design» said designer Arthur Arbesser, a member of the jury, who won the prize in 2013 and has launched his own firm in Milan, after working with Giorgio Armani for seven years. Sara Sozzani Maino defined Cina’s collection bearer of a strong message of roots and heritage, strengthen by the selected song Mi sono innamorato di te, a love song written and performed by Luigi Tenco in 1962, in which love is described like an easy way out from life’s disappointments.
Federico Cina designer and brand
Founded in 2019, Federico Cina is an Italian brand based in Romagna. In a continuous dialogue between generations of the past and the present, the label recalls the values the designer learned growing up, promoting the collaborations with local realities and expanding traditional craftsmanship within a global backdrop.