It happens sometimes that in life you may have to change direction. A job that is no longer fulfilling, different ideas, the desire to get back into the game. All of this describes of the experience of Dorina Camusso, reared as an industrial designer in the rampant Milan of the 80s and who was converted, after various work experiences, to creating handcrafts yet without forgetting her own roots.
Her story began at the Polytechnic School of Design in Milan, where Dorina graduated in 1979 and was influenced by Bauhaus and the noble names of design and architecture of that period. Her career path has almost followed a natural order: first in a studio, then later on her own, Dorina has worked with different Italian industrial design organizations, creating furnishings for many brands and two lines of bags for Versace Sport.
Time passed and the creativity of Dorina began to feel the effects and ever increasing obstacle of a market, that of design, destined by the evolution of tastes and the contractions of capital to withdraw within herself. The beginning of two thousand was her turning point; eager to experiment with something totally new and “free”, Dorina approached the world of handicrafts on a small scale, dedicating herself to hats, “difficult” pieces of clothing since highly personal and for some time, in a crisis of identity. The market no longer had an interest in hats; they weren’t an object sought after nor standardized. Hence the challenge of Dorina; why not recreate hats to define one’s own personal language, or representation one’s state of mind and become an “ambassador” of one’s personality?
Her past as an industrial designer has helped Dorina in her search of materials, workmanship and choice in forms, which above all must be practical. Debuting as such the first collections, especially winter (boiled wool, later with felt and straw), marked by the carefree spirit of the shapes and colours. The proposal, nonconformist and original was so enjoyed in both Italy and abroad that in a short time, she was able to create the Cadò brand and opened a store in Milan. Here, in her workshop, Dorina continues to experiment with new forms and materials, going from hats to handbags, gloves and other small accessories and recently with a line of cashmere clothing. With a focus on eco-sustainability and the reuse of materials, making wise and valuable choices in a time of crisis and unnecessary waste.
An anecdote, in particular, best reveals the creative philosophy of Dorina, where imagination, refined shapes and a touch of chance make her work unique; a hat reminiscent of the Renaissance, one of her most popular creations, was not really inspired by the famous portrait of Federico da Montefeltro painted by Piero della Francesca, but was created as an attempt to reproduce the typical hats of the Afghans. Realizing the undeniable similarity, Dorina thought to propose the model in red, just as in the painting, and let her customer make his own possible interpretation. Because, in the end, imagination is always the most important thing …