By Giulia Piceni. Images courtesy of Pierpaolo Flores. Cover image: Thinking Blue. Designer: Pierpaolo Flores. Model: Nathan Cawet. Photographer: Cauê Pintaúdi Pascholati.
THE STORY OF AN ALUMNUS
“Working for Heliot Emil? I was shaking when I realised they had hired me”. Pierpaolo Flores, an alumnus, spoke movingly about his experience being hired on the spot by his favourite and forever inspirational brand, Heliot Emil, right after graduating. Congratulations, Pierpaolo!
Curious to know how it all went? While there is no guaranteed recipe for success, his story may serve as a heartwarming reminder that hard work and determination can lead to a happy ending (or maybe beginning) and a great source of inspiration for anyone who needs it.
This young talent from Pisa flew all the way North to Copenhagen to fulfil his fashion aspirations. After embarking on a varied academic journey, Pierpaolo Flores has taken his first steps in fashion as a Junior Fashion Designer for his dream brand, Heliot Emil. Read his inspiring story that ignites hope for anyone seeking a career in this exciting industry.
BEFORE LANDING AT HELIOT EMIL WAS A IGZAGGING AMONG FASHION COURSES
Not all academic journeys follow a straight path. Some take unknown directions but ultimately lead to the highest goals you set for yourself.
Pierpaolo Flores started his academic journey as a Fashion Management student at Istituto Marangoni Firenze. Although his grades reflected his talent in various subjects, he felt something was missing.
“It was a project, the creation of a capsule collection”, he says, “that made me realise the creative potential I had within”. At the end of the first year, he presented an imaginative capsule collection for Prada inspired by a recent trip to Japan. The project helped him win a scholarship from the school and enrol in the first year of the Fashion Design programme.
The aspiring fashion designer was in his element as he dedicated hours to patternmaking, enthralled by the process and allowing his creative self to blossom freely. He completed his academic year, and his teachers suggested he attend an intensive course instead of the usual three-year path. Pierpaolo Flores had what it takes to succeed and enrolled in the Fashion Design Intensive course in Florence.
As he prepared for a new beginning, he took advantage of the summer months to teach himself how to use Clo3D, an essential software for creating digital and printable patterns. Another year of learning passed, and Piepraolo Flores learned many skills that prepared him for the world of work. In between job interviews and lessons, he was able to crown his academic path with a strikingly personal fashion collection called Mourning Process.
MOURNING PROCESS: ENDS AND BEGINNINGS
No matter how painful, a void always provides space for a positive new beginning. In February 2022, Pierpaolo had to say his last goodbye to his grandmother, a significant figure in his life. He was also going through the most stressful months of the academic year, which is when he had to create his final collection, so the young designer decided to channel his grief into creative energy. That is when he came up with the concept of his Mourning Process.
The collection can be described as a visual journey that goes from messy, dark looks and culminates in absolute simplicity and lightness in terms of both colours and materials.
Mourning Process aims to illustrate the various phases that Pierpaolo Flores had to go through while coping with the loss of his beloved grandmother. In the beginning, everything is dark and cluttered, and it seems like there’s no escape from that suffocating situation. This feeling has been depicted through an intricate manipulation of materials, in both garments and especially accessories, such as boots and gloves, which were covered in polyurethane foam and topped with black spray paint.
Pierpaolo’s use of this particular material showcased his great passion that Pierpaolo for chemistry and experimentation. He believes the fashion industry’s evolution is only possible through scientific development and chemistry. As the looks appear on the runway, there is a clear transition from grim textures to pure minimalistic shapes in the lightest shade of all: white, the universal symbol of rebirth.
HELIOT EMIL CAREER AND THE CROWNING OF A DREAM
In August, Pierpaolo Flores took a one-way flight to Copenhagen to work as a Junior Fashion Designer for the brand that has made Paris go on fire: Heliot Emil.
The creative duo of brothers Julius and Victor Juul has always been a major inspiration for Pierpaolo’s designs as they are both inspired by the Post-Atomic Japanese designers and a dark palette for their creations.
Referencing avant-garde designers with several references to workwear, techwear and even a hint of gothic romanticism, especially in the women’s pieces, Pierpaolo’s graduation collection, Mourning Process, caught the attention of the Creative Directors of Heliot Emil, so much that they hired Pierpaolo on the spot, during the first job interview.
“I couldn’t believe it: my biggest dreams had come true,” said the young designer with a voice full of joy and continued, “Working for Heliot Emil? I was shaking when I realised they had hired me.”
Grateful for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, Pierpaolo has sailed to the wild North to conquer the fashion industry with courage, initiative and the kind of determination that can only lead to the success he deserves. Good luck, Pierpaolo.