Feras Sobh and Elisa Arienti, founders of home grown fashion label La Come Di (pronounced La Komi Dee or Comedy) have made the leap from the world of advertising to the cut and thrust of the fashion universe and now have 3 bold collections to their name. Infusion Magazine sat down with the pair to find out just what goes in to bringing their fashion sketches to life…
Infusion: Starting at the beginning, how did you go from the world of advertising to running a clothing brand?
Feras: We are visual communicators before anything. Advertising falls under communication, so does branding, illustration or fashion. So, when we started La Come Di, we were very sure that it is something that stems from the same base of our collective experience.
At the planning stage, what did you hope to achieve with the label?
Elisa: At the planning stage, we had the character and the personality of the brand but not yet the product. We started experimenting with different styles, emotions and abstract designs, so we got that right before we got to design the collections. That was important for us because once the personality was set, we could adapt it to different products and markets and of course, building the brand into the future. We knew we are going to start small but we also knew we wanted to start globally and that is why we worked heavily on the website, shipping internationally and starting our social presence early.
Looking at your collections and design work there is a stark theme running throughout both, where did the initial ideas come from?
Elisa: We are glad that you can see that because that means that what we’ve been doing so far is working. Once we figured out the character of La Come Di, we had a huge pool to pull from for both our design work and our collections.
Is there an artist, designer or other entity that you are both heavily influenced by?
Elisa: Oh, there are lots. We recently posted about our music inspirations when we work on La Come Di which included Tame Impala and Neon Indian. We are creating a story and a lifestyle, so culture inspires us more than another designer or artist.
How has the first half of the year been for La Come Di? What successes and lessons have you enjoyed?
Feras: The first half has been great. We generated a lot of interest with people, we learned a lot about running a business, met new people, built relationships with other brands and companies and all that have been really overwhelming. The biggest lesson though has been patience. It takes a lot of time and effort to start something on your own and it requires a lot patience and you can’t give up. We are a self-funded business and that was important for us to be able to maintain full creative control. Though, even with a lot planning and control, we learned to always be ready for surprises.
Tell us more about you working with Tommy Hilfiger?
Feras: Well it was a surprise for us, but we were on a business trip in Germany when we got an e-mail mentioning their interest in our work. They saw our work on Instagram before we launched and has commissioned us to work on their New Year’s campaign. The work consisted of an illustration that was later going to be adapted globally by their team. It was not taking care of a full collection, but at least we got our foot in the door.
Can we expect more collaborations with the American brand?
Feras: We cannot confirm or deny that :)
What caught your eye at Arab Fashion Week?
Elisa: Our style would be a huge disruption to what the Arab Fashion Week crowd is used to, so we didn’t follow it closely. But there were great brands such as Ultrachic from Italy that were hard to not notice.
Is this something that you would like to be part of?
Elisa: We definitely have our eyes on a couple of fashion shows, we think the showcase of Fashion Forward in Dubai would be more in our chords. And of course, we’d love to participate to EU or US fashion weeks in the future :)
What can we expect from your next collections?
Elisa: Well you can expect it to be different for sure. Something we’d like to do is to maintain our bold colourful identity but look into completely fresh new angles and designs that can keep people interested and keep us sane too as designers. It will always be fresh and new and different every time but it will always be La Come Di.
To check out the amazing collections head to lacomedi.com