Style - Life & Work Balance

Disagio Clothing, a non-fashion brand

By Sara Stefanovic
6 min read

Paolo Palmeri is the brilliant mind behind this innovative project that was conceived ‘by chance‘.

There has never been an idea, the thing just started. I made a T-shirt for myself using as background the famous Obey logo and writing DISAGIO (unease) on it. My friends loved the idea and in three days I created a website that started to work well.

Paolo Palmeri
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After a year Paolo and his partner in crime, Marco Stefanon (the accounting officer), decided to make a real brand out of DISAGIO and to open a store in the center of Turin. Seven years have passed and now we can draw some conclusions.

The Collections

Two collections per year that, in the last two years, were able to free themselves from the fashion concept of ‘collection’. There are no more seasons. As soon as they have an idea they give her a shape.

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There are three very successful collections that are the bomb:

  • PIZZA IS THE ONLY ATOMIC: The idea was born when people thought that the third war war, caused by Kim and Trump, would have started. This collection (of T-shirts, hoodies, and socks), in order to lighten the mood, was delivered in a pizza box. The key word is IRONY.
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  • Zero Like: these t-shirts feature a print representing a crying girl in pop-art style, but her sufference is decontextualized. She is crying because people don’t like her pictures on Instagram. A satirical whiplash that criticizes those girls who base their lives on Instagram likes and followers.
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  • Meme collection: a new entry that was immediately sold out. Memes are being employed in many occasions, an image, sometimes, is worth more than a thousand words… so why don’t we wear our feelings out with wearable memes?

The Lockdown

The lockdown has challenged every and each of us. For Disagio Clothing’s mind, Paolo, it was both productive and a dark horse. The brand decided to avoid making discounts and sales, it opted for a standby. But humour, never stops, and to the general existential unease, the greater unease caused by masks is added.

The quarantene was stimulating from the creative point of view: I’ve conceived a new collection. A sort of re-branding, basic clothes, without strange graphics but with a new logo. A more mature line, because we all have become adults.

Paolo Palmeri

Disagio, in the end, must also evolve. Every day new emerging brands are born and every day the competition becomes increasingly unfair. The initial disagio target, street-chick, between young people and trappers, has also evolved. Now, the brand focuses more on university students and normal people. Obviously, Paolo’s second job helped him, and still helps him, in promoting the brand.

A completely digital work

The creation of digital content, between graphics and communication, is today considered a job in all respects, but 10 years ago, when Paolo began to approach this world, it was not considered seriously. It all started with Two Fingerz, who were particularly popular at the time, with whom he collaborated for the creation of the video for the song entitled Burattino.

From that moment, thanks to personal raccomandations, Paolo entered more and more into the music world, so much so that he was the one who put Fedez‘s first record Il mio primo disco da venduto online.

The singer wanted to make the disc available to everyone, but people needed a place where they could download it. At the time, Spotify did not exist yet, so we solved the problem creating four download links on Fedez’s official website, in order to avoid the crash due to the large number of downloads.

Paolo Palmeri

Over the years the number of artists with whom he has collaborated has incredibly increased: from Nina Zilli to Boro Boro up to Shade. Projects have evolved and, with the advent of Spotify, the work has increased even more.

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Social Media and Apps

A commitment on many different platforms, in recent years many more singles have been released (and they too need covers), while the discs come out once every two years. Besides, there are now many more promotional vehicles from a musical point of view, the radio is fading into the background.

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Before, singles did not need a graphic, now almost all the singles need an artwork to be used for promotion and sharing on social networks. That stamp is only the tip of the icebearg, the work behind it is incredible.

Paolo Palmeri

Spotify, as Paolo confirms, has become the heart of music and those artists who cannot get out on the platform inevitably fall behind. However, there is a rising star, Tik Tok that has displaced everyone.

This social network entered the market, even the musical one, and made us all Boomers. Tik Tok is a new platform which, if you’re lucky, can give you a lot of visibility. A piece that is unknown on Spotify maybe successful on Tik Tok.

Paolo Palmeri

“Boomer”: all those who were born during and after the famous economic boom following the end of the Second World War, between the 50s and 60s.

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New Projects

Music never stops and it hasn’t stopped even during the lockdown.

Songs that were supposed to come out were released, the only problem we had to faced was linked to the planning of most important artists’ tours. Artists who do not do so many lives were not particularly affected.

Paolo Palmeri

Paolo continued to work as always, perhaps even a little more, and he had to make virtue of necessity. The latest idea was to shoot a music video entirely on WatsApp. The video of the song Mal di Testa by Fabri Fibra and Elodie was edited by simulating a Wapp chat. In this chat ‘Mal di testa’ (headache), like the name of the song, various celebrities (including Belen, Diletta Leotta and Marracash) send videos in which they sing the song in playback.

We need to be more and more original, now there is a lot of competition and advertising ourselves is of little use. Singers trust facts more than words.

Paolo Palmeri

And what about the future?

The plan is to engage more and more on a musical level, developing more and more creative and original ideas. A small spoiler: he is taking inspiration from past things that have been successful.

With Nina Zilli, we are looking at some paintings by Salvador Dalì … but I don’t want to add anything else.

Paolo Palmeri
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Furthermore, Paolo would like to convey an important message, even if he has yet to decide which means to use to do it (a book, a collection … who knows). During these years the number of “freeloaders” who contacted the Disagio Clothing page proposing collaborations has become exponential. Paolo’s mission is to remind people that what is real can become digital, but what is digital is rarely real.

With this story of social media, anyone is convinced to be a blogger, in most cases employing fake followers. If I have to give someone something, I prefer someone I admire, even if less famous.

Paolo Palmeri
6 min read

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