The Italian street wear company 55DSL have been around for 15 years now already. By being involved with street sub-culture they collaborated with Bloody Beetroots, Fakso, MTV, DIM MAK, Complete Technique and Zound are just some of the names.
Now 55DSL is relaunching their classic FW’11 range, but also the start of an ongoing exploration into some of Italy’s other creative exports: it’s artists.
The Kids In Italia series starts with two short films (made in partnership with VICE), which is a documentation of these artists at work.
Lele Saveri ,Italian photographer who divides his time between Milan and New York. He has photographed for Rolling Stone, NME and VICE. The film follows him as he explores and shoots traditional Sicilian festivals for his forthcoming book.
“What are you up to in San Fratello, Sicily?
I’m doing a project based on the theme of fear and I wanted to take pictures of the religious festival which takes place in this small town. Historically, Italian religious festivals can be quite scary, so this place is perfect as there are not many tourists around.
How do you get to know the people you’re shooting?
To begin with, I take a digital camera and shoot everything so the people get used to the camera and me. Usually it takes a day for them to get used to my presence, and that’s when I take the good pictures.
How many photos do you normally take?
I go through 600-700 photographs before I start shooting the good ones.
The local kids like it in San Fratello, right?
They showed me a part of Italy I wasn’t expecting to see. I always thought that people in small-town Italy, like in provincial towns everywhere in the world, want to run away. Here they showed me that there are people who are really proud of their tradition. They have a crazy pride for their town.
Don’t you too?
Well, I left Rome, which is a big place, but it felt small to me. I wanted to go and see what was happening everywhere else in the world. The kids in San Fratello love being there”
Giulia Centofante and Elisa Bee are DJs from Milan. ‘Giulia From Above’ and ‘Elisa Bee’ ,rare female duo in a scene dominated by male DJs. As we follow them in the build up to a party they’re putting on in the biggest club in Milan, the girls give us their insights and motivations from this unique perspective.
“Where are you two from?
Giulia From Above: I come from a small town close to Bassano del Grappa. I’m a DJ and I used to live in Milan for a couple of years but now I’ve moved back home. Elisa Bee: I live in Milan and I’m also a DJ and a radio producer. I met Giulia in Bassano del Grappa.
How did you meet each other?
Giulia: I was DJing at this party called Trash-Dance, a really famous night in Bassano del Grappa for electro music. elisa came and we spent the weekend here. Elisa: We have lots of mutual friends here.
Where does the name Giulia From Above come from?
Giulia: It comes from this old brand of t-shirt I printed. I used to print t-shirts and promote them. I was doing merchandise for the Bloody Beetroots, an electro duo from Bassano del Grappa, in late 2007.
What are Italian crowds like?
Elisa: They are really young and really hot! Like, they wear t-shirts with my name on it, giving out hugs and kisses. They are very friendly! Giulia: I love Rome and everything that’s happening there now, every time I go there I really have fun.
Are there many girls who DJ in Italy?
Elisa: In the electro scene it’s not very common to see girls DJ. There’s maybe two more other than us. Giulia: Most of the time you find that girls get to DJ just because they look pretty and not for their technical ability or musical style. I think in a club when you are dancing you shouldn’t be aware if it’s a girl or a guy DJing, either you like the music or you don’t.
What advice can you give to aspiring DJs?
Elisa: The main thing you need is a passion for music and discovering new tracks and to be open about every kind of new music. I get sent new music all the time as a radio producer. You have to be open minded, alert, and it’s important to practice all the time. Giulia: I love travelling with a USB key, meeting new people and asking them what they are listening to, there are also a few blogs I check daily for new music. Elisa: I’m lucky because I receive new music daily, we love to play it at every show, maybe even unreleased stuff too.”
This “Kids In Italia” series is supported by the “55DSL Italians Friends and Family” t-shirt series, celebrating the most original stuff happening in Italian street culture today as seen through the eyes of its global creative community. 55DSL tracks down the next generation of Italian street culture ambassadors and explores the environments in which they play.
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