Born an hour outside of Milan in nearby Brescia, Mauro Gasperi knew he wanted to become a fashion designer after graduating from an artistic high school. He took his talents to Florence’s Polimoda, Italy’s prestigious design school, before scoring jobs with companies like D&G.
In 2008, he launched his own line alongside a flagship boutique in his hometown. A year later, the Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana selected Gasperi to take part in its own version of the Fashion Incubator–which he won. He used the win to show at Milan Fashion Week and take his line abroad, though he says that he wishes the Italian Fashion Incubator project was better known.
He also expressed a lot of frustration with the Italian government for not recognizing the potential impact of new fashion designers on the economy, something which he believes has placed them behind their foreign counterparts. After his Fashion Incubator win, he immediately focused his business outside the country because he felt the “Made in Italy” label was easier to sell abroad.
But Gasperi is also really optimistic about the future. “I really believe in Italian fashion,” he says, “especially for the foreign market. With Valentino, Armani and so on, we have great names of designers here in Italy, so I think Italian fashion will last forever.”
“I hope, step by step, to be more known and to have the chance to be always inside Milan Fashion Week on the catwalk among other young designers,” he added, “and to be one of the Italian designers who can influence a woman with one of my looks.” He’s currently planning on enlarging his flagship store, as well as opening a second in Asia.