Exactly a year ago, the native Italian woman founded her knitwear label Knitted Love. The fact that she wanted to make a statement against the mass production and the throwaway society with her knitwear was clear from the beginning. This is why her dreamlike dresses, cardigans, sweaters and accessories are produced in Italy and her adopted home in Austria, locally from Fair Trade merino wools, recycled cashmere, organic cotton and soysilk.
Knitted Love – Handmade knitted cuddle artworks
Does it sound like a maximum cuddling factor AND a really good concept? Correct! And that is why, from the first moment on, it was clear to me, that this is going to be an intimate and long-lasting relationship. And so I met Orsola in Salzburg and talked to her about XL stitches, cuddly cashmere and the passion for needles. Oh, her prototypes Orsola still knit before the knitters start.
In conversation with Orsola Bertini Curri of Knitted Love
my-GREENstyle: You are running a fashion agency and founded a knitwear label last year. When did you discover your enthusiasm for fashion?
Orsola Bertini Curri: After my art studies, I had the opportunity to work in the area of Membership & Special Events at the Peggy Guggenheim Museum in Venice. When Tom Ford (then creative director at Gucci) gave a dinner party in honor of Richard Serra, one of his favorite artists, on the roof terrace in 2001, I knew where my paths lead …
my-GREENstyle: How did you come up with the idea of starting a knitwear label?
Orsola Bertini Curri: When I moved to Austria, I discovered a red wooden box with all sorts of useful tools, an old Singer sewing machine and the knitting kit of my grandmother – a green bag with various knitting and crochet needles. And that is exactly what I just took back when I started my new life in Klagenfurt. In a foreign country, with a foreign language and without friends. I just knitted for myself – to relax, get down. In the meantime, I had already founded my consulting company Milktonic and my fashion agency Lifestyle Circus. But at a business meeting in an Italian showroom, my needles and a few “works” were discovered in my pocket and found to be good. I should knit a whole collection. And already the idea was born to found a knitwear label.
Orsola’s motto: “Do what you love and love what you do!”
my-GREENstyle: And what was the first part you knitted in your life?
Orsola Bertini Curri: My grandmother was an enthusiastic knitter and could also crochet fantastic. My first knit set I got as I said of her. A small frinette with a whole series of short needles and pink yarn. I do not remember what I knitted from it. But I remember very well the first sweater I knitted 20 years ago. He was to accompany my friend at that time on his travels to Russia. I wanted to give him one of those typical Irish Aran sweaters for Christmas. A pretty big project for a beginner! And in the end, of course, he was too big and had such a monstrous collar that one had to think of the white hare from “Alice in Wonderland” immediately.
my-GREENstyle: When has the issue of sustainability become so important to you that you have decided to operate a fair fashion label?
Orsola Bertini Curri: I have worked for fashion labels for many years, which often left the quality on the line. It was just about more, more, more. With my own label, I do not have to compromise.
At Knitted Love I do not have to compromise
I can remain faithful to my moral principles. And I have exactly one goal: to produce beautiful things – with respect for the people, the environment and the animals. Even at home, my husband and I try to live as consciously as possible: We are both vegetarians, buy our food locally, heat with wood, recycle water … Some little, uncomplicated things with which we contribute to the world a bit better.
my-GREENstyle: Your collections are knitted wonderfully slow by hand. In Austria and Italy. Do you betray us more to where, who and how?
Orsola Bertini Curri: In my adopted home Klagenfurt I work a lot with pensioners and women who need an additional income. Also with a knitting group, the Organic Knitters. They meets every Friday night to knit with cakes and beverages. Petra, a single mother with two children, is my seamstress. And “Grandma Christina” crochets the patches for Knitted Love. From Padua, my hometown, comes the recycled cashmere and here lives Deana, my master knitter, who helped me with the spring / summer collection. She can just so incredibly great crochet!
At Knitted Love each part is a unique one-of-a-kind
In Puglia I have a summer house. Here, together with a group of women, I do all the handmade embroidery. Valeria, a young woman who is doing a sewing apprenticeship, makes the crochet hats. And from Tuscany there are large parts of the yarn that we use at Knitted Love. Here, I work with a cooperative that supports women in job search and / or integration. Antonella, my second master knitter, was a great help in the development of the drawings for my fall / winter collection.
my-GREENstyle: In your current lookbook you are talking about recycled cashmere …
Orsola Bertini Curri: As I said – my label is about 100 percent fair for people and the environment. And of course for animals. That’s why I try to use as little cashmere as possible. Instead, I prefer other luxurious materials such as alpaca wool. But many consumers are not aware of the circumstances in the cashmere industry. Demand is still correspondingly high. To make my customers happy, I now designed a small Capsule Collection of recycled cashmere. This is made from leftovers 100 percent climate-neutral. A really fantastic alternative.
Recycled Cashmere from leftovers is a fantastic alternative!
my-GREENstyle: From Italy to Klagenfurt. And what made you move to the other side of the Alps?
Orsola Bertini Curri: LOVE 😉
my-GREENstyle: You lived in Milan, Venice, Brussels, LA and Amsterdam before you moved to the quiet Klagenfurt. What does home mean to you and where do you feel at home?
Orsola Bertini Curri: Home is where my heart is.
my-GREENstyle: Your favorite place in this world?
Orsola Bertini Curri: The panoramic coastal road between Torre S. Andrea and Torre dell’Orso in Puglia, Salento.
my-GREENstyle: Townie or country folk?
Orsola Bertini Curri: Definitely country. Close to the beach. That would be my absolute dream!
my-GREENstyle: And in which language do you dream?
Orsola Bertini Curri: In an adventurous mix of Italian, English … and German!
„Stay in Bed“, „Serial Chiller“,„Abracadabra“ and „blablabla“ – Statements for Slow-Fashion-Kntwear
my-GREENstyle: What role does art play in your life?
Orsola Bertini Curri: I love everything that has to do with art – from painting to photography to film and music. I can not imagine living without creativity.
my-GREENstyle: Is there an artwork or an artist that really impresses you?
Orsola Bertini Curri: My favorite picture is “The Kingdom of Lights” by René Magritte. But I also love Rothko and Andy Warhol.
my-GREENstyle: I love every single piece in your collection! But what do you wear when you wear nothing from Knitted Love?
Orsola Bertini Curri: Oh, thank you very much! Of course, I often wear parts of the brands that I represent in my fashion agency Lifestyle Circus. For example, the black tulle skirt from Love Stories, which I am currently wearing. And when I buy something? I love the stuff of Humanoid.
my-GREENstyle: Which fair fashion labels do you particularly like?
Orsola Bertini Curri: I think the stuff of Stella McCartney is great. And the shoes of Veja.
Thanks for the conversation, Orsola! Her dream-loving favorite parts are by the way here