Albino D’Amato was raised in Rome. He comes from a rather strict family, who wanted him to become an architect or engineer. With his passion for fashion, and for Japanese cartoons, spent lots of time drawing “manga” figurines, dressing them as if for a fashion show. At the time – he was 14 or 15 – he was living in Rome, in the same neighborhood as Valentino Garavani. On his way back from school, he used to leave his drawings in the designer’s letter box. Valentino answered, and advised him to get some experience. At 19 he moved to Turin and began studying architecture. Two years later, however, he moved to Paris and started working in fashion. In 1995 he enrolled at the cole de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture, and began working at Ungaro with Giambattista Valli on the Parallel clothing line. A key experience for him: “All my creative universe comes from there.” After working for Louis Vuitton and Kenzo, in 2004 he returned to Milan to resume the collaboration with Versace that had started in Paris. But most of all he started thinking about designing his own clothing line. In fall 2004 Albino launched his womenswear Spring/Summer 2005 collection. His first collection – that won the 2005 edition of Who is on next? – was inspired by the Bauhaus movement, in terms of colours and shapes. The show opened with a military trench worn inside out, with the lining on display. Also unforgettable, was the dress that Albino presented to Franca Sozzani during the selections. From April 2008 he’s been the style consultant to Les Copains and, from S/S 2010, he’s been designing footwear produced by Le Silla. Architectural, feminine, cool. Cameron Diaz, Linda Evangelista
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