Knitwear salvation – Carlo Volpi

“I’d say life in general is inspiring. My eyes are the only tools I use to record and subconsciously process the information I like. My work is simply a consequence of my life experiences. Generally, I tend to gravitate towards grotesque material, overloaded with colour and with a very dirty sense of humour!”

Carlo Volpi is more than just a knitwear enthusiast. He’s a textile genius – plus he’s hilarious.

His unique—and extremely bold—knitwear collection has been featured everywhere around the world and is effortlessly an avant-garde trend.

Carlo’s personality is just as audacious as his fashion. A personal favorite of mine, “Lipstick Stab Wounds” is one of Carlo’s projects that he describes was “just a piss to take on those male, macho, sporty stereotypes that I never really got along with as a child.” This satirical revenge mantra gave an edge to the collection that makes you want to go shake Carlo by the shoulders and say, “You have to make more stuff!”

Carlo, unlike others in the industry, was not raised in an art-supportive environment. “I’ve always liked making things, drawing, trying to play instruments, but as a child I always had the impression that I had to do something academic in order to make a living.”

“Most of the kids from my generation were pushed to become doctors and lawyers, and if you didn’t like studying academic subjects, the other option was to get any job. I don’t think that creative people were nurtured enough because creativity didn’t necessarily equal career success and money.”

Carlo was—believe it or not—pursuing an education towards becoming a Latin scholar or interpreter. “I grew up around knitting machines and people knitting, but I never even considered it as a career option.” After a machine-knitting workshop and a degree in textiles at Goldsmiths changed his life, the Carlo Volpi collection was birthed.

With an upcoming collection to go for sale, Carlo Volpi is “on it.” But of course, even fashion designers get to daydream: “[In 10 years, I see myself] living in a hot country, on a small island, in a cute house with all the people I love, travelling to London occasionally to work.”

“Do your work because you love it, not for the great press attention you may get or the money you’re going to make. If you really love what you do, anything else won’t matter, and as Confucius said, if you find a job you love, you will never have to work again!”

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