Friday, February 8, 2013

Contemporary Florence: An interview with Julie Lombardi

As an artist and designer one of the most important influences for me are other artists and designers. I believe that having a community of like-minded people who share  the same ideas and passions is essential to creativity. Art in its many forms is a language and I am continually fascinated by the message that other artists aim to communicate though their work
The ideas of the Renaissance masters was not to continue repeating the same ideas and methods but rather to continue pushing forward and create the new and unexpected and to challenge the perception of what art is while paying tribute to those that came before them.  Contemporary art aims to push the boundaries of these accepted ideas and move away from the past to create the present.  With this in mind,  I will be conducting a series of interviews here on my blog to highlight the artists, designers and creative minds of present day Florence
In conjunction with our facebook group Creative People in Florence, I will be conducting these interviews with our group members. In the coming months I hope to be able to interview each member who is currently living in Florence as a way of highlighting their wide range of talents. The questions will be exactly the same for each artist/designer and creative person, what is fascinating are the similarities as well as the differences in the answers.

I can hardly believe that its Friday again! Of course that means I have another great interview for you with the lovely Julie Lombardi. Her new line of women's shoes are absolutely fabulous! I want every pair. Have a look at her designs and learn a little bit about what inspires her to create! 

Tell us a little bit about yourself:
After graduating from Parsons School of Design in 2000 I ventured on to work within the fashion business in New York and later on to Italy.  I always knew that I innately was drawn to bring beauty to the things that I created. Growing up, I loved learning new crafts and discovering new mediums to create with, I then started to focus in and wanted to create what I really loved. I appreciated my Mother’s and Aunt’s closets to understand what was elegant and timeless worn again by me only to confirm the style I had inherited. I began to break down the boundaries that were how fashion was commercially viewed and thereafter decided to follow what I thought was right. I started my footwear career with Vince Camuto and I am grateful for the education that he and other mentors continue to offer me.
I am now starting my first solo collection For The Love of Jules with this idea that I have gathered to always push the envelope, educating the customer by offering a craft of Made in Italy shoes, never compromising style and comfort for the modern woman.
 I believe success is achieved by following your heart and therefore always making room for great vision.
Why did you choose Florence or did Florence choose you?
 I started my fascination with Florence when I decided to study here in 1998 only to return in 2002 for a few years and then again in 2009 when I returned again from New York  to work with a fashion house. I kept getting pulled back each time with a  different intention but the last time purely chose me which I happily accepted and soon  will continue to admire it from afar.
Seriously? How great is this shoe?!
What is your favorite thing/place/sight in the city or all of the above?
I am still taken back when I glance up at the duomo.
I love the rose garden just below Piazzale Michelangelo and taking walks through the boboli gardens which are just a few steps from my home.

Was there a defining moment when you knew that you wanted to be an artist? If so when and what was it?
Creating has always been part of my process, shoes happen to be one of the things  that  I enjoy working on..

What or who is your greatest inspiration and why?
My grandmother is my greatest inspiration.
She is a pinnacle example of strength, femininity and a pure demonstration of love for me.

What is the best thing about being an artist? What is the most difficult part?
The freedom to start with a blank canvas and the most difficult part would be self-discipline

What message do you hope to convey with your art/creative process?
trusting my vision to stay focused on what is authentic

What is art/design to you? How would you define art?
Art is: Transmitting your genius.
How I define it: Art is how one transmits what is inside to the outside
I want both pair of these sandals for summer! 

Do you listen to music when you work? If so who or what?
It’s vital.. The xx, James Morrison, Ray LaMontagne and Lana del Rey
I also love John Leggend and Common

If you could go back in time 10 years knowing everything that you know now what would you change and why? Or what would you tell yourself?
I don’t live with regrets, but if I needed to pick something I would have studied design in Paris.

How have your two cultures affected your work?
 It has given me more clarity and allowed my to deepen my understanding of myself  and my craft.

Who is your favorite artist/designer/writer/performer?
Martin Margiela, YSL, and Halston

What is your favorite movie?
Sense and Sensibility

What is your favorite book?
Proof of heaven by Eben Alexander

Describe yourself in five words.
A seeker of truth, loving, strong, feminine, with a trademark laugh

When you’re not being creative what do you do?
Getting inspired.
Living in Italy has allowed me to travel much more because of how easy it is to travel in Europe. I am very intrigued by the different cultures that are geographically so close to each other yet so different especially in Europe.
I love learning, meeting new friends and good wine.

If you could go anywhere in the world where would it be?
I love, love the South of France but I would love to discover Israel, India and more of Spain.

Is there anything else that you want people to know about you?
Stay true to your heart and be humble.

*I also would like to wish Julie a very Happy Birthday today!! Auguri Jules! Julie will also be returning to New York City next week where she will develop her line. She will however, come visit us here in Florence often. Good Luck with your new adventure Julie!

1 comment:

  1. Fabulous! I love Julie and LOVE her designs! Gorgeous new photos !!! xoxo


Thanks for your comment! I always look forward to hearing from my reader! It will just take a second and I will get your comment posted!

Don't be Shy! Share!