Maurizio Donadi, creative director and vintage collector, has debuted Transnomadica (www.transnomadica.com), his own e-commerce marketplace.

This longtime insider of the denim and sportswear markets who previously worked for brands such as Diesel, Levi’s, Armani and Ralph Lauren, and recently co-founded Atelier & Repairs, a creative studio redesigning and up-cycling existing clothing and textiles, continues his mission to share his passion for vintage and archival clothing and promote new responsible thinking and practices.

Transnomadica website
Photo: Screenshot of Transnomadica
Transnomadica website
The new marketplace is based on Donadi’s 8,000-piece archive that he has collected over the past 30 years, housing some relevant and unique clothing items. Spanning a multitude of categories, Transnomadica features archival pieces from denim, military, sports, fashion and iconic 20th century styles. Until now, the archive has been utilized and available as a source of inspiration by select creative directors, designers, textile experts, collectors, and other industry professionals. Now Donadi is sharing this exclusive collection with the public.

The platform is organized as a gallery-like presentation of relevant brands and unique designs across a wide-range of price points, according to “Chapters.” Launching with The Blue Chapter, it presents a vast assortment of blue and denim items, ranging from iconic blue jeans to archival fashion apparel, home decor and highly collectible pieces. SI asked Donadi about the purpose of this new project and his vision of the denim industry.


Why did you start his project?
The goal of this new project is to create a significant and relevant marketplace for repurposed clothing. With a highly curated and authenticated assortment, Transnomadica is a destination for exchanging ideas and advancing the perception of vintage apparel and objects.

In continuing in my search for the most responsible business practices, I see recycling as a natural step. My experience with global brands has allowed me to see that good design is engineering solutions with beauty. My last project, Atelier & Repairs, proved that one can build a brand without producing anything, but instead transforming what already exists. Inspired by these experiences, Transnomadica provides a stage for objects that are beautiful and well-made, that are still in enduring condition, that have acquired more value over time. Transnomadica is motivated by the idea that the most sustainable clothes are those that are not produced, aiming to create a more seamless and functional model for the reselling of vintage and other staple apparel and goods, while conserving natural resources.


Why are you selling your archive?
The selling of part of my archive is a starting point for a larger project. The idea behind Transnomadica is to create a curated shop for vintage, fashion and selected secondhand clothes, a retail opportunity for small sustainable brands that eventually could become a platform for people buying and selling their own clothes and objects.

Evisu Jeans blue jeans and Antonio Berardi denim coat - from Transnomadica blog
Photo: Maurizio Donadi
Evisu Jeans blue jeans and Antonio Berardi denim coat - from Transnomadica blog
Will you sell all your items or will you keep a part of it?
I will keep a few pieces that have great sentimental value, at least for me. Particularly for denim, this archive hosts several hundreds of jeans from Japanese brands, the most beautifully made denim, all selvedge and almost all faded from raw. I think that creative directors, designers, developers, denim collectors, mills, wash houses and denim lovers will find them interesting for their work and their personal collections.

 

Are you thinking of changing jobs?
Absolutely not. I like to think that Transnomadica is a natural evolution of the work I started six years ago with Atelier & Repairs (which I co-founded with my wife) and the consulting work I still do for a few brands and projects.

 

Why did you call this e-commerce platform Transnomadica?
I think of Transnomadica as an experience across all forms of nomadism, a natural human predisposition of which clothes are a part.

Transnomadica website
Photo: Screenshot of Transnomadica
Transnomadica website
How will this industry evolve in light of all the changes happening?
We have been witnessing challenges and changes well before the coronavirus pandemic but during the global lockdown, we found ourselves with plenty of time to think about our lives, our work, our values and what we think is indispensable for our own personal and collective happiness. Clothes (and denim) were not included in the conversation. Although important and part of our primary needs, clothes are not indispensable. They are tools.

 

How will jeans be produced, designed and sold in the future?
Jeans cannot be designed. From concept to execution, a pair of jeans is the total of many different and complex activities that require knowledge and expertise. The best designers of jeans are the product developers, the pattern makers and the sewers working in the factories. They see design flows well before anyone else.

Rarely a designer sitting in an office in Milan or Paris can understand what it takes to make a pair of jeans. Rarely he or she understands fabrics, shrinkage, treatments and similar aspects.

So, to answer your question: Denim will be designed by a team of experts residing in a factory following brands’ concepts, not designer tech-packs. It is possible that we will see a strong trend in factories starting their own brands and brands eliminating completely design teams while outsourcing creativity.

Production must respect the most important resources we have in our planet: the environment and us.

There must be a penalty for dishonesty in communication and marketing.

And when it comes to selling I see two future commercial trends in denim: We might see the resurface of the jeans shop which could be a combination between vintage, smaller or good unique brands and selected consignment products from the public; we may see the monotony of the bigger brands looking for domination rather than relevancy.



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