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    Taller Marmo’s design duo talk their collection that blends vintage charm with modern elegance

    We sat down with the brains behind the fashion house to get the low down

    Taller Marmo's latest collection both harks back to times gone by and transcends modern design. Produced in under three weeks, the pieces symbolise a new chapter for the brand.

    Remaining true to the brand's heritage (which was set up in Dubai in 2013), signature kaftans have received a new twist that bridges the gap between nostalgic fashion and contemporary style. We sat down with designers of the fashion house, Riccardo Audisio and Yago Goicoechea, to find out their inspiration behind the collection.

    Taller Marmo founders Riccardo Audisio and Yago Goicoechea. Photo: Taller Marmo

    By reflecting the essence of the 60s and 70s and embracing the dynamic lifestyle in Dubai, Taller Marmo showcases a refined aesthetic that embodies an advanced yet timeless image for the brand. 

    What distinguishes this collection? What sets it apart from your previous work? Or is it a reassuring continuation of your aesthetic that everybody knows and loves?

    This collection is quite different for different reasons. It was an incredibly personal journey. We conceptualised and executed this collection within a remarkably short timeframe of just two to three weeks, which is truly remarkable. Over the past year, we've focused on expanding our team and solidifying the foundation of our brand, even since COVID. Collaborating with big retailers has its perks, but it tends to slow things down because they prefer a more consistent and continuous flow of content. But we saw a growing hunger for newness and innovation among our clients. After a decade of building our brand, we felt it was time for a new chapter. This collection embodies that sentiment, with approximately 80 percent of it comprising entirely new designs.

    Our signature piece, the kaftan, remains at the heart of our collection, serving as a bridge between our fascination with the 60s and 70s and our experiences living in Dubai. It shows our commitment to refinement and evolution. Working within the constraints of a well-defined aesthetic has been both challenging and liberating. It's forced us to innovate within a narrow scope, creating designs that are undeniably ours and instantly recognizable in the market.

    Off the shoulder with feathers. Image: Taller Marmo

    The silhouette in this collection, especially the circular cuts and the single-shoulder kaftan designs, feels quite fresh yet iconic, especially in your universe, is this correct?

    Definitely, the single-shoulder kaftan is a new twist for us, but it does nod to the bold styles of Pierre Cardin and the space-age vibe of the '60s and '70s. It’s like we’re having a bit of fun mixing classic inspiration with a modern flair. During COVID, everyone wanted to feel comfy yet chic at home, and our designs hit that sweet spot.

    Now as we’re stepping back into the bustle of life, we're also slimming down our designs to keep up with the active lifestyles of our customers. We're keeping it stylish but more tailored. We don’t see ourselves as typical fashion insiders; we're not deeply in the fashion social circles but we are intensely connected to broader cultural trends. This keeps our designs grounded and relatable.

    As you celebrate a decade with your brand and step into the next chapter, what elements do you see continuing, and how are you pushing these into the future with your new designs?

    This collection really simplifies things in a way that you can elevate your kaftan with high heels or pair it with a rucksack and sandals—it’s all about making it yours. We're always thinking about how to keep our occasionwear modern. If anything too romantic or cheesy, we toss it out. We want a modern touch, and that’s our standard. This versatility means you can pack one outfit for diverse settings, whether it’s a gala in London or a chic restaurant in Sicily, depending on your accessories. It’s about creating multifaceted fashion that’s adaptable and feels right, whether it’s resort-inspired or for city life. With kaftans and our other designs, it’s not just about throwing something on anymore; now it’s about the actual cut, the dressing up and down. Essentially, it’s about providing options that are adaptable and timeless.

    You mentioned something exciting about launching destination wear for the fall/winter season. Can you tell us more about that? 

    Destination Wear' is something we’ve been cooking up and being eager to launch for a while. We decided that now was the time. This collection will feature our classic shapes, but in fabrics like linen and cotton, all engineered with a unique twist. We've been collaborating with a silk mill known for its exquisite work since the late 1800s. The current head, who’s about our age and the founder's grandson, helped us mix up traditional luxe materials with everyday ones. So, what looks like simple stripes from a distance turns into an intricate dance of textures and shadows up close, almost three-dimensional details. This isn’t just another collection; it’s the beginning of a whole new chapter for us, this line is not just clothes but a fuller lifestyle range,  excluding things like leather goods or shoes that don’t resonate with us. It's about growing what has been calling us. 

    Modern sparkles. Image: Taller Marmo

    We noticed some bridal pieces on your Instagram. How long have you been offering bridal wear?

    We've been in the bridal game for three years now, starting back in 2021. We release a new bridal line once a year. The idea came from noticing tagged photos on Instagram — many women were getting married in dresses that were often the same. That sparked the idea to expand the offerings and give them more options. Our bridal collections are kind of like special editions — think Fruit Loops, but for wedding dresses. We focus on what the modern bride wants, she is a bride who shops online or in-store, with dresses that may have little to no alterations. It’s all about understanding the new bride and offering new possibilities in the market.

    We saw your Salone del Mobile collaboration with a rug designer. Is interior design a new direction for your brand, or was this collaboration more about spotlighting another artist’s work?

    A couple of years ago, we dipped our toes into homeware with a lounge collection that turned out to be quite a hit. But, to be honest, we realised we didn't have the bandwidth or the team to fully commit to that path. I like to keep things transparent, especially about the quality and pricing of what we offer. If we're going to do something, I believe in doing it right. Recently, we opened a new showroom in a fantastic space that was once a bustling wholesale pearl market from the '70s to the '90s but had been abandoned for 15 years.

    It’s a massive space, filled with old goods, including Swarovski crystals marked 'Made in West Germany.' It was so outdated that it had 13 tons of these items nobody wanted to buy. We leaped and bought the whole place, contents and all. So, while we explore spaces like these, our core focus isn't shifting entirely to interior design just yet.

    You have some signature elements like feather trims, fringe, and a distinct emphasis on shoulders, along with clean lines. What do you love about these features that they've become such a hallmark of your brand?

    Our design philosophy comes from a very practical background. Between families that have run glass companies and shops. We both value practical and hands-on work. This practicality influences our designs; for instance, our garments are often one-size, focusing on ease and flexibility. We reveal the shoulders or use elastic elements, blending functionality with a touch of fun.

    The decoration and dreaminess you see, like the fringing and feather trims, are deeply personal to our tastes. These components evoke the bohemian spirit of the 1970s by drawing inspiration from icons and figures in costume design. The emphasis on shoulders, interestingly, also comes from a practical standpoint.

    We are self-taught, with only two years of university education before dropping out. My partner was our first pattern maker for many years, and simplicity was key. We often chose to focus on shoulders because necklines were complex for us to perfect at the start. This practice not only made our designs distinctive but also simplified our production process. Even our approach to necklines has evolved from necessity — initially opting for high necks because they were easier to craft, and now they've become a signature look.

    Much of our design evolution is based on the way we've always returned to those elements that were not only aesthetically pleasing but also practical for us to execute. That's why even as we've expanded,  we've maintained a focus on what we can do excellently and locally.

    Structural elegance. Image: Taller Marmo

    Now that you've hit the 10-year mark, what's the next big dream or project for your brand? Are you thinking about introducing more embroidery, growing your team, maybe even opening a store? What’s the dream for the next chapter?

    For us, the recent launch of our e-commerce platform last November has been a game changer. We've realized how crucial it is to connect directly with our customers. Although it's still in the early stages and growing, this direct line has opened up a whole new world of possibilities.

    Before this, our chat with customers was pretty much limited to quick messages on Instagram, even though we were stocked in about 70 places. This direct feedback loop is already sparking ideas for how our products can evolve.

    So, while the idea of opening new stores or expanding into completely new collections is tempting, but we're not rushing into that just yet. This direct engagement is a new venture for us, especially after a decade of relying on third-party data from our retail partners. It's incredibly enlightening and something we’re excited to explore more.

    Since launching in November, what has been the most surprising insight you’ve gathered from the data? Was it something about the bridal line, or did something else catch you off guard?

    First off, the data really confirmed what we'd sensed but couldn't prove before — that our appeal is incredibly international. We’ve got orders coming in from places as diverse as Kansas City, Kuwait, and Australia. It's amazing to see our fashion resonate across such different markets.

    Another big revelation was about sizing. Unlike many brands that typically stop at size 44 or 46, we’ve offered sizes up to 50. We always believed in inclusivity — if someone wants to buy a dress, why shouldn’t they have it in their size? But it wasn’t until we got direct feedback that we realised just how much demand there was for larger sizes. This has been a huge eye-opener.

    We also do fun tests, like having everyone in the office wear the same dress to see how it works across sizes, from 36 to 50. It’s challenging but rewarding to ensure our designs are truly versatile. These insights are guiding our future designs and helping us prioritize what matters to our customers, whether it's adding more sizes or focusing on the most popular new items.

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