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PUSHING THE 
BOUNDARIES OF DESIGN As we launch our new ‘Same Planet Different World’ campaign we speak to our Director of Experimental Design, Matteo Alfieri to give us his insights into the design process for the new Forth Jacket, challenges faced, and his vision for the future of innovation at Henri-Lloyd. Q: How did you balance preserving the heritage and legacy of the Forth jacket, with also the need to modernise it for today's consumers? A: At first, my concept involved combining modern elements with traditional ones to achieve a harmonious mix of the past and the present. For example, I wanted to highlight the use of stitching instead of using excessive glue for components like the pocket flap and peak visor. This approach would give the jacket a more textured look, with bulging parts rather than flat ones. It would also create an interesting play of light and shadow through the stitching, adding depth to the design. - Matteo Alfieri Q: What challenges did you face when reimagining such an iconic piece of Henri Lloyd's history and how did you overcome them? A: Redesigning and reintroducing something originally crafted by Massimo Goggi posed was a significant challenge. The Black label range represented one of Henri-Lloyd's most iconic eras and collections, which made the responsibility quite substantial. My main challenge was to preserve the brand's rich heritage while also bringing a new and contemporary viewpoint to the forefront. - Matteo Alfieri Q: Can you describe the materials and technologies you incorporated into the new Forth jacket and how do they enhance the performance? A: The jacket is made from a robust Italian military-grade fabric sourced from one of Italy's top mills. This fabric has been laminated with an ultra-thin aluminium membrane, which serves multiple purposes. It not only imparts a shiny appearance to the outer fabric but also provides it with a distinctive crinkle memory shape and substantial thickness. Additionally, this aluminium membrane greatly enhances the fabric's ability to repel water, resulting in excellent water protection performance. - Matteo Alfieri Q: What other pieces have been designed as part of the collection and where was the inspiration drawn from? A: In the context of the Black Label capsule, I've designed some additional wool items, including a Jumper and Beanie. Following the concept of the Jacket, I wanted to offer something equally distinctive. I drew inspiration from textures like stone or ice to create a ribbed knitting pattern. To achieve this, I employed the Vanisè technique, which involves working with two-colour yarn. By doing so, I was able to achieve a sculpted appearance through the contrast between raised light-coloured ribs and recessed dark-coloured ones. - Matteo Alfieri A: As the new director of experimental design, how do you envision pushing the boundaries of innovation within Henri-Lloyd's products? Matteo Alfieri: I think knowledge, research, and curiosity are the fundamental weapons to bring innovation in the product. My view is that the research has to be made looking at products that serve different functions. For example, if you are designing something for sailing, why not look at skiing or running stuff? I think you can find inspiration and some more advanced engineered parts in the other sport kits. - Matteo Alfieri Q: Can you provide some insight into the creative process behind developing experimental designs and how do you see it evolving? A: One of the most challenging aspects of my work is striving to provide our customers with sustainable products. However, at times, it can be challenging to strike the right balance between delivering high performance and maintaining sustainability. - Matteo Alfieri Q: Finally, can you share some advice for aspiring designers looking to make their mark in the world of fashion and innovation, based on your own experiences and career? A: I suggest being curious, traveling a lot, and not looking only at the fashion market to keep the inspiration. Design is everywhere around us, and so everything can inspire the creative process. - Matteo Alfieri