Interview with IMHO

Introduction

IMHO, which stands for 'In My Humble Opinion', is a Milan-based fashion label formed by Manuel, Davide, and Matteo, three fashion lovers. Because it is built on a more profound and limitless fashion philosophy, the brand cannot be described with simple adjectives.

In the field of luxury streetwear, IMHO opens up new horizons. The brand is inspired by the Venetian Renaissance and uses textiles created exclusively in Italy. IMHO clothing is for those who desire to wear the modernism of everyday life in a distinctive way.

We had the pleasure of interviewing them for The Italian Secrets, and here's what they had to say:

Manuel  |  IMHO
Hello! Nice to meet you!

Aina  |  The Italian Secrets
Nice to meet you too. I'm very happy to have you here again. Let’s start. Could you please tell us a little bit about yourself like your background? Your studies? And your role in IMHO?

Manuel
Yes. I'm Manuel, nice to meet you again Aina. I've been working with my father in fashion for about 10 years to follow my father business and in a family business that has a different textile fabrics. And we work with all the important top end customer in Italy. So, I have been working in fashion for 10 years. Matteo used to be a graphic designer, in a company of graphic design. Davide used to work in Fresh & Roman. It's a very important brand here in Milano. And now we try to make something new, and we created, we made IMHO.

Aina
Great, and what is the role of each one of you in IMHO?

Manuel
Well, actually, there is no role. All three of us do everything there is to do, so, we're always together.

Aina
Perfect!

Manuel
You know, it is made by all of us.

Aina
Great. So, what is IMHO? And what does it represent? Can you tell us a little bit of the brand attributes? How would you describe it?

Manuel
IMHO was born during the first world’s lockdown, during these unexpected times. Because we were in the period of our life that we needed to do something new. About me and Davide, since we used to work in fashion and as a working professional, professional word was still, was stopped. Then, we thought we needed to make something new, even Matteo that worked in the graphic. And, as for all of us, that period was really hard.
We started to think that we had to do something new that we had a passion for, which was fashion, so we started to think about making something new and IMHO was born.
IMHO stands for 'In My Humble Opinion'. And we like so much this name that we refer to them as a humbler because we are really three guys you know, three normal guys that like fashion. IMHO wants ‘normal people’ like us, but with a special identity, with a special personality.

Aina
Yeah!

Manuel
We selected this Velvet Jakarta, all made by hand. This velvet comes from an old tradition, from the Venice Renaissance, Rinascimento Italiano is really holding the cards for all the tradition. And we wanted to make the old tradition of velvet in a new concept, in a new modern vision. That's why people want to wear like ‘normal people’ with a special personality and identity.

Aina
That’s great. Who or which are the things that inspire you while creating the designs?

Manuel
We don't have any inspirational designer, or, because we like all the designers, we have this passion for fashion, but we spy ourselves, we made some different research a little from here and a little from there, all the traditions, and we tried to turn on that concept in a modern concept called ‘concept location’ of our IMHO. So, we don't have any inspiration, but we made some research check and we put ideas, we release some ideas, and then when the ideas come.

Aina
Nice! So, you're saying it's something more personal that comes out of you rather than taking it from the outside? Right?

Manuel
Yeah. That's why even you know, IMHO is not really a big collection, because we have a limited-edition collection. Specialised in special identities and personalities, with few models and orders.

Aina
How are your designs connected to your Italian heritage? Do you see any link between the label 'Made in Italy' with your designs?

Manuel
For sure. Our products are all made in Italy because we believe the tradition of ‘Made in Italy’ is a really old culture, an old tradition, that we believe in, and we respect. So, all our products are most of all, especially the prototype, made by hand.

Aina
Wow!

Manuel
Our consumer, all the making, our first models by hand? Yes, we respect the ‘Made in Italy’, we believe in it. And there is a special thing. Our workers from our laboratories, factories, like sewers make the models that we like. We are Italian so we try to respect it and we want to make the IMHO models so perfect.

Aina
For the next question, I'm going to talk a little bit about the fashion industry, the impact that it has in the environment, and society. If you could tell us a little bit of how it's like a day in the IMHO. For example, how the factories work? Do you go to visit them? Do you have a diverse workforce? And do you have any bonding activities?

Manuel
The reason why we made a limited edition, a few models, is because we study every collection. And we always go to our factories, to manufactories, to the fabric, because we like it, even the human relationships. So, we know all the people that work for IMHO, from the stewards, from the laboratories…

Aina
That's great!

Manuel  
I think, guys, it's really nice to hear. It makes us really happy. It's really nice for us to work in this in this way. Because we are really three normal guys. And we shouldn't even link this the work and so, the first thing was made in an old factory, in old companies, that produced these Velvet Jacquards. We had our first shooting there. So, you know, yeah, it can be like, human relationships with work relationships.

Aina
Would you say the firm is vertically integrated? That you are aware of every step, and every part of the process while manufacturing your pieces?

Manuel
Yeah. Because every part has to work, because if just that one part doesn't work, maybe we cannot achieve the final model. So, we visit fabrics, again, we talk to all the people, we try to work and have fun, because this is our first idea.

Aina
Now, regarding the environment, do you think IMHO is a slow fashion brand? In terms of materials, number of collections per year, maybe upcycling the products? What can you say about it?

Manuel
Yeah, it's a slow fashion brand, it's a slow collection, because we have a limited edition. We release the first collection and we thought about a few weeks’ items, a few models with a special identity, with a special and particular idea of an IMHO concept. And then, we want to make it right, that's why.
I'm saying that IMHO is limited edition. We have to grow. By the time we upcycle, even the fabrics we have in stock, because of the fabric in stock, we think about the new models that we can make with that fabric set. That is why Jacquard is really precious. We started from the February set, and then we think about the models.

Aina
Can you tell me a little bit more about the fabrics and the materials that you use?

Manuel
The fabric comes from a furniture firm. Furniture like a sofa. This fabric, this velvet Jacquard, is really heavy. It's heavy fabrics because they come from furniture. We started to think that this velvet Jacquard, maybe, can bring something into our fashion world, in a modern revision, in the concept of IMHO. We came from furniture, so it's nothing about fashion.

Aina
Last question, what do you think that makes the ‘Made in Italy’ label so special?

Manuel
‘Made in Italy’ is a tradition, a really old tradition, a culture, a concept. We strongly believe in it. And even IMHO collection is all made in Italy. We started from the fabrics. They are all made in Italy, we buy from companies that are all located in Italy. And the models are made by our laboratories. We even buy our hoodies, our sweatshirts, that are made by 100% organic cotton, because we even believe that direction of the fashion could be sustainable.

Aina
That's perfect.

Manuel
This concept, like IMHO is a concept. Made in Italy is his idea, is a culture, is the old tradition culture, that we believe in.

Aina
That's great. Well, that's all on my side, thank you very much for being here today. We really appreciate that you took the time to answer our questions. And from The Italian Secrets, we wanted to say that we love your designs and your brand's motives.

Manuel
Thank you! Say hello to Melissa.

Aina
I will! Yes, of course.

Manuel
And we are looking forward to meeting you here in Milano.

Aina
Yeah, sure. That would be great.

Manuel
Just you know, you're welcome.

Aina
Thank you. Thank you. Well, I'll see you soon then.

Manuel
Thank you. Bye.

Aina
Bye! Ciao!

Manuel
Ciao!