The idea, which later became a start-up, was born from Karen Margarita Modeo, eco-designer and textile colorist. It starts with her, in Bogotà in 1989, and cultivates in Italy, the country where she grew up, a spontaneous attraction towards the secrets of manual creativity and the history of human activities related to it. She specializes into fashion, between IED studies and work experiences in Rome, Milan and Florence; then she decides to undertake a journey abroad to get in touch with more eco-sustainable fashion environments. For that too, Karen starts a craftsman’s journey linked in particular to the natural coloring that then takes shape into Studio AK, of which she is the curator of the workshops. Back in Italy she attended the Out of Fashion masterclass in Milan; from meeting and sharing values with other girls, Rén Collective is born, a non-profit that aims to make sense of sustainability in fashion. She currently lives and works in Apulia, a place that allows her to devote herself to her research and her projects, including the ‘Amis’ baby clothing brand.
Crucial was the meeting with Angelica Perniola, born in 1991, expert in projects for cooperation and development, owner of Primodì Bebè, a company from Apulia specialized in knitting for babies. With a background as a student of International Relations in Bari and a thesis research experience in France, she continued her studies with a specialization in European Design in Bologna, with a research on Industry 4.0 in the Apulian territory. Back in his homeland, Apulia, she participates as a designer and in charge of reporting on the project of the Officine Standby urban laboratory, funded by the Department of Youth, with the Arci Stand By Association, which has always been active in the development of social projects. Her contribution on the commercial, administrative and planning side was the perfect joint to start up the activity of Studio AK and the related Brand Amis.
The creative process happens in the laboratory. That hospitable place where you feel welcome, where there is physical – and mental – space to devote to textile experiments and low environmental impact colorings, where to stop to discover a rare, concrete and conscious creativity, where to return, with the certainty of spending quality time and getting out of it always enriched, with some more knowledge and new ideas in a circle. And the eyes full of wonder for how much nature is able to offer to those who still know how to notice it and contact it.