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OUR dna

Southern Italy: a dazzling sunlight, an intense ever-present heat, time passing slowly, sweat dripping down your face, flies buzzing around, a bench with some old women all dressed in black. Any other associations with this part of the world?

Modern Rome - a capital city of a well-developed European country - does not seem to be far from this cliché. Rome is very southern in its character. Maybe this might be why in the cold season you can't find clothes other than black, be it in stores or on the streets.

If you are not quite within the stylistics of Desigual you will find nothing but black, grey or dark blue available. Black is the color! Go to any party in Rome and you will immediately feel like participating in a memorial service, where wearing another color feels inappropriate.

The Italians' admiration for the black is justified by the type of beauty the Southern people represent. With their jet black hair, brown eyes and dark complexions they look fantastic in black indeed. It might be safe and practical, it composes well with anything. Yet for a fashion designer with vibrant ideas the concept of offering black only in all kinds of shades seems depressing indeed.

Ciriana has challenged the monochromatic way of thinking by making an experiment. We let a pretty Italian girl in her 30-ties go around in our dress of a simple form but in a decisive cobalt blue color. It was quite safe actually, nothing like an outburst of some vibrant Mediterranean fantasy. And guess what. Her new color turned out to be an utter surprise for anybody she met. It worked like a magic wand waking up people to realize that colors exist and may look great on you! People simply stopped and stared.