Riccardo Audisio and Yago Goicoechea met at university in Milan after Goicoechea moved there from Argentina. “It was super random,” Goiocoechea said of the duo’s decision to move to Dubai in 2012 to launch Taller Marmo. “We knew we were going to leave the school to do the brand, but we didn’t have an idea where. It was 2012 and Europe didn’t sound good to us. We visited Dubai as tourists and we then said ‘why not?’ Dubai has something that not a lot of cities have, which is this insane pursuit for the new. Everything under construction everywhere. It is multicultural but not in the classic Western way. Somedays it feels like Miami with the vibe of Las Vegas. We love it.”
Though they’re based in Dubai, they spend half the year back in Italy for production. “We manufacture in a quiet town in Piedmont, in northern Italy, in a small laboratory where the owner and head seamstress is a 68-year old Sicilian woman [who has been sewing] since she was six years old.” The designers take real pride in the craftsmen and artisans they work with; all the hardware on their garments are made in the same town by a mother-son jewelry duo called Soldani & Bianchi, and last February, the company launched a project called “Slowfashionfast” to highlight the stories of their partners.
Here, we highlight theirs.
Why did you launch Taller Marmo?
At that moment, we felt that everything was too much about marketing and there was not an honest interest for the craft itself from young brands. We wanted to create a brand that makes people fall in love with what they are wearing. Those kind of fabulous, quality pieces that our grandmothers had in their wardrobes. At the same time, moving and launching Taller Marmo in Dubai influenced us a lot, and since then, we wanted the brand to be this sort of cultural bridge between East and West.
What do you perceive to be “an honest interest for the craft?”
The desire to build something that lasts, using and preserving crafts and materials that are gradually disappearing or, at the same time, employing new techniques and working with young craftsmen.
How did you meet some of your craftsmen?
I remember the first couple of times I visited Riccardo’s hometown, he told me about how good the hardware craftsmen were and that his father bought something for his mother there. So for our first look book, when we were 19 years old, we wanted to style with their jewelry. We asked them and they called their best clients to lend us the best pieces. I think it is one of the best memories I have: We ended up exiting the place super scared that something could happen to us because we had our coat pockets fully loaded with uninsured dragons and huge rings made from gold and stones. A couple of seasons later, we asked them to make our hardware.
What’s the hardest part of working together?
Because we come from different backgrounds, we have completely different world of references to look at. Later we understood that was a big part of what makes our collection interesting to people. In addition to that, since 2013 we lived all the 365 days of the year together, so that was quite challenging at the beginning too.
Of being a young brand?
We are self-funded so the biggest challenge is to find the smartest way to establish ourselves and to spread the word until it becomes profitable.
Who do you aim to dress?
We design for a niche of cultured women who want to experiment with fashion without losing their femininity. Our clients simply want to feel chic and sleek and they come to us when they are looking for a statement piece that makes the outfit or a loose dress or a kaftan for an special occasion.
What are some your favorite pieces?
We love the jackets and trenches because of the work that goes into making them, it takes a lot of know-how so it is quite rewarding when we see our clients reacts positively.
Particularly, we are obsessed with the Nez jacket because it is made with the first jacquard we ever produced. It was developed from an illustration made in 1581 by Nakkas Osman who was chief miniaturist of the Ottoman Empire during the XVI century and it features two solid silver buttons made by Soldani & Bianchi. We also always say that a caftan is a good idea.
What advice do you have for a young person trying to start a brand?
There are so many brands around so probably the best advice we could give is to build a brand that carries your own fingerprint, your own method. It is the best way a brand can stand out nowadays.
Lookbook images courtesy of Taller Marmo.