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INVITED EDITOR Alessandro Dell’aqua

— You launched the first N21 collection many years ago. Then the market was skeptical of young designers and new companies. Is the situation di erent today? — More than 10 years have passed since the rst collection No. 21. What is happening today is veryimportant for the new generation: fashion needs newnames and more interesting things. Now is a good time to become famous.

— What should a young brand do today to become successful and popular? — There must be a strong personality and own style.No need to go in the general trend. Be different. Different from others. Young people should bethemselves: do not copy others but do what they really feel. Social networks are very important now, they canhelp to popularize the brand.

— The theme of our issue is blend. The borders between states become less signi cant, di erences in male and female fashion are erased, digital art and reality are mixed. How do you feel about this? — I think it’s important to break some barriers. I havealways been very fond of unisex fashion, and this isexactly what I aspired to in my collections. I wore menin women’s clothing and vice versa, because for me the lack of clear rules is important.

— What is freedom for you? — This is an opportunity not to follow the rules and exact schemes. This is an opportunity to make mistakes, because they learn from them. The point is that the rules must be followed... but not always. Sometimes, not following the general rules, you commit, it seems, erroneous actions, but somethinginteresting can be born in them. Sometimes breakingtraditions, taking risks and gaining courage, can be helped in certain situations.

— Let’s get back to digital technology. What role do you think they play in the development of the fashion market? — I think the future is behind it. A new look at fashionwill be at the level of presentations, fashion shows, sales. Much will be done in a new way using digital technology.

— For you personally, what role do digital technologies play today? — Live show is important for me, because these areemotions that you can’t convey on video, which isvery important. I’m not very “technological”, I’m tryingto get comfortable somehow, but I still want to do classical shows, not digital ones.

— Today, as we see, social media has a huge impact. Do you think this is good? — In a way, social media is a double-edged sword. They can give you very strong popularity, and very quickly. But at the same time, they may get bored. You need to know how to use them, how to manage them. There are also negative points. Therefore, you need to approach this carefully and thoughtfully.

— In your opinion, should there be any rules for maintaining social networks or they can be fully free? — I think they should be free. However, sometimes people are ignorant and do not understand that thisfreedom cannot be used for unfair competition or forincorrect information.

— In No. 21, what are the most important areas of development in the digital space? — Of course, we should first of all think aboutcommercial issues: sales, a virtual showroom. I’m not very ready to do digital impressions right now, but on a commercial level, I think this is a good opportunity to show the product in the fastest way, although I doubta little that people are ready to buy a thing without ever seeing it.

— Today we have a trend of skype / zoom lming, virtual models are very popular. Do you think this is temporary or will stay with us forever? — I hope this is temporary because I don’t like it. But, unfortunately, this may be a phenomenon that will remain with us for a long time.

— We agree with you 100%, because emotions are very important in fashion. — This is one of the most important elements –fashion consists of emotions. If you lose this, you willhave nothing left.

— You have experience working both with the French and, of course, with Italians. Do you think the fashion capital is Milan or Paris? — These are two completely di erent things...Milan,in my opinion, is the absolute capital, because it is Italy, because everything good is made in Italy, 80%of French brands are made in Italy. Therefore, I would say that Italy is really very strong in this regard. But the French are very good at presenting their collections in a diverse manner. This is their chip. In Paris, everything is a theatrical show: there are no more shows, there is a performance. Like, for example, the last Louis Vuitton show, which was really theatrical. However, I think that now we need to return to just showing clothes, without theater and drama. We need to return to doing shows like Yves Saint Laurent did in a small atelier. Now you look at everything around, and practically do not look at the dress. Yes, Paris is more spectacular, but Milanis the true capital of fashion, because everything is done in Italy.

— In Russia, men’s fashion is not very developed, Russian girls and women pay much more attention to fashion than men. What would you advise Russian men? – I also noticed that men do not follow fashion as much as women: they are less interested in what is happening in this area ... I don’t know, I can’t understand why a Russian man is less interested in fashion. Your men are not as curious as Italians, French or English in matters of recent trends.

— Do you think it is important for a man to dress well? It is important to feel good with yourself, in the sensethat it is not necessary to have all the fashionable things. You do not need to buy everything that thefashion dictates, because, oddly enough, sometimesthis is something that does not allow you to express yourself.