The signature capsule collection Mixité by Talking Hands at Novecento

Tuesday, October 15, 2019 Permalink

Unique pieces collection of kimonos, mantles and purses By Romanelli Family.

When fashion, hospitality, social inclusion, sustainability, craftsmanship, territory all meet together.

On one side Gioele Romanelli, third generation Venetian hotelier, founder of the multi-awarded Casa Flora and owner of the Hotel Flora and Novecento, which he manages with his wife Heiby and his sister Zoe; he is also the founder of Venice Plastic Free and Inside Venice, initiatives that encourage visitors from all the world to keep a more conscious, respectful attitude to the laguna.


On the other side, Fabrizio Urettini, art director from Treviso, curator, activist and mastermind behind Talking Hands, a permanent workshop that mixes design with social innovation and, from 2016, keeps engaging African migrants coming from the hotspots in designing and manual activities. From tailoring to architecture, from wood to iron working.


Between the two a shared vision, which makes sustainability, contemporary culture, inclusion, craftsmanship, territory its own flags, and a random virtuous meeting in a local market down in Treviso. That vision gives birth to a new project in a short time: a signature Talking Hands capsule collection for the Romanelli Family, that raises awareness of the sartorial wonders realized by the migrants to the many guests that Romanellis host in their houses. This commission has two goals: to support the Talking Hands project, and to offer the visitors some extraordinary clothing designs which mix fashion with hospitality, tailor-made pieces with integration.


This collection, designed ad hoc, includes kimonos, mantles and purses, and it is emblematic from its very name, Mixité: every item is a unique piece, a mash up of fabrics coming from different places. Indeed, these creations are made of both wax cloths, icons of Africanity, and the precious fabrics from Lanificio Paoletti, a company that has been working with wool from the Prealpi bellunesi for ten generations and now has embraced the Talking Hands project, by donating remnants for the tailoring workshops in a perfect circular economy logic.


Behind Mixité a team of five refugees coming from Gambia who have carried out many jobs, including tailoring and embroidering, and who meet daily in the Treviso atelier to give life to their new creations. As a constant supervisor there is Anthony Knight – designer pattern-maker of jamaican origins but adopted in London, professor at the IUAV Venezia, who holds the Fashion Design degree course – and Annaclara Zambon, Fashion teacher, designer and collection producer, who is a true excellence at wool weaving.


Kimonos, mantles and purses are available within the By Romanelli Family circuit (Novecento, Hotel Flora, Casa Flora), and inside the pop-up shop at Novecento.

The photo shooting was made by Federica Trevisan, photographer, with the collaboration of Roberta Da Soller, actress and activist; Alessia De Francesco, performer; Lamin Seidy, Talking Hands’ tailor and Gambian asylum-seeker.



San Marco 2683/84, area Campo San Maurizio, Venezia

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