Belee Milano is an Italian knitwear supplier. We believe their remarkable expertise in knitwear production deserves a proper introduction. Belee Milano is a 100% Italy based supplier that provides a full range of services, starting from support in yarn choice and sampling to accessory services and production. Interesting, right? That’s why we’ve arranged an interview with Belee Milano to talk about their adventure as a fashion supplier so you can get to know them a bit better.

Can you tell us a bit about your business?

It all started three years ago when we decided to establish a company focused on fashion designer’s needs, supplying them not only with products but with expertise, advice and support too.

Interesting! Can you tell us more about what you produce?

We specialize in fine knitwear production, 100% made in Italy with natural yarns.

Just wondering, do you also work with brands from different countries?

At Belee Milano we supply clients all over the world. Our young and talented team speaks English as well as French, which helps us to clearly communicate with different brands from all over the globe. Also, modern communication tools really come in handy and are the wonderful way to get and keep in touch with our customers. We work like this with international customers day by day, and it almost feels like we’re sharing the same desk!

Any brands we might know that you currently work with?

We currently work with brands like Damir Doma, Etienne Deroeux, Jonathan Christopher Homme, Valeria Bosco, Sex.Clothing, FAVE and many others. (Note: Etienne Derœux is a French ready-to-wear brand based in Paris in 2011; Damir Doma is a Milan-based designer who reflects contemporary minimalism.)

Good to hear you work with these brands. Do you have any secrets on how to build a long-lasting relationship with a brand?

No, we don’t really believe in secrets. We just listen, listen and listen to what the brand or designer has to say or is looking for. I think that’s the only way to truly understand our client’s needs. Trust me, this really works, at least for us.

Let’s talk about a trending topic in nowadays industry: Sustainability. More and more people talk about sustainability. What’s your opinion on this? Are you interested or already involved in sustainable manufacturing?

We think that a modern consumer has a duty to be informed and critical about the way their clothes are produced. The fashion industry slowly begins to understand the importance of producing in a sustainable way. In our part, since the beginning, we decided to give priority to natural and environmentally friendly yarns, like OEKO-TEX certified yarns or recycled cashmere. So yes, at Belee Milano we keep this in mind when talking about production.

I think it’s also interesting to share thoughts on “ups and downs”. What’s the biggest challenge you faced? Can you describe what happened and what lessons you learned from it?

Haha, of course, we encountered some ups and downs. Most important lesson: always trust your spinner’s advice! We encountered big issues in knitting, particularly Japanese silk. Problems came out since we didn’t follow knitting instructions provided by our spinner. You can imagine, we’re not crazy, but it was just impossible to achieve the product that our customer wanted (and he wanted to use ONLY that specific type of silk) following these directions. So after a lot of research, meetings, and quite some coffee, we finally found the way to knit that silk as we needed it to be. Was a useful learning for us!

I feel like getting to know you better… Can you maybe also tell something about the working process of your business? How does a typical day at work look like?

My work is wonderful, I really love it! Obviously, it is not a nine-to-five job, so each day is totally different. One day in the office, the other in my car and calling or visiting clients. From the client’s office to our sampling labs and production plants or spinners… I think that’s basically how my home looks like.

And what do you like the most about working in clothing production?

For me, that’s the look in our client’s’ eyes each time they see and get a new sample in their hands. Simply indescribable!

Is there anything you want fashion brands to know?

The most important thing I want to share is that at Belee Milano we’ve a new, fresh, flexible and different approach to fashion production and it’s industry in general… I welcome every brand or designer looking for a suitable partner for their product to just contact us and ask for a showcase if needed. Simply send your enquiry and let’s see if we’re able to start working together.

Thanks Belee Milano for the great story, definitely something worth sharing!

 

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Please cite this article as: Manon Kowalewski,Ioanna Zigogianni,Wouter de Roy van Zuidewijn (2017): Portrait: Belee Milano, In: _zine, Vol. 2, Issue 1, online at: https://zine.tcbl.eu/portrait-belee-milano/