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Fashion illustration and luxury Italian craftsmanship merge in Fida's Rodisegno prize

By Jackie Mallon


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BM Communications

In a move that Fida founder, Patrick Morgan, describes as “the start of a journey and partnership between artist and artisan,” the Fashion Illustration and Digital Arts community and Italian accessory house, Rodo, collaborated to create the “Rodisegno Prize - Drawing an Icon.”

The competition is a result of Fida’s aim to promote excellence in the field of fashion art, enhance best practices, and enable artists to live a more sustainable life as creative professionals. Since 1956, Florence-based Rodo has epitomized glamour, innovation and the proud tradition of handmade in Italy epitomized by its signature rattan craftsmanship. "For a long time I have wanted to have Rodo reinterpreted in an artistic way. Who better than Fida Worldwide, which represents young international illustrators?" says Bona Bonarelli for Rodo. "In a world made up of images, I thought it was essential to also experiment with a different point of view, that of illustration.”

Handcrafting Rodo's accessories Ph BM Communications
With the patronage of the Municipality of Milan six international artists––Connie Lim, Chris Gambrell, Ekaterina Demina, Joanna Layla, Kelly Bailey and Hossein Borojeni––were asked to reinterpret six iconic Rodo products. An international jury was summoned to choose a winner which included Tommaso Sacchi, Councilor for Culture for the Municipality of Milan; Angelo Flaccavento, journalist and fashion critic; Simone Marchetti, European Editorial director of *Vanity Fair* and Editor in Chief of *Vanity Fair* Italy; Andrea Tenerani, Editor in Chief of *Icon* magazine, and Betty Morgan, Director of the Kenneth Paul Block Foundation.

London-based illustrator wins first international Rodisegno prize

The winner, London-based LA-born Connie Lim who teaches life drawing at CSM, Kingston and London College of Fashion, was invited to Milan to receive the prize during Milan Fashion Week at an exclusive event held at the Casa del Manzoni Museum in Via Marone. 

Winning artwork Ph. BM Commuincations
Lim, who has experience working with brands describes her approach to the brief: “I always give my clients options and I did a classic and experimental one. It’s an Italian heritage brand but I had a feeling they wanted something new and fresh. So I actually developed two proposals in different genres.”

For the classic option Lim selected the brand’s seashell-shaped clutch and upon learning that the design was inspired by Botticelli’s "The Birth of Venus" she extracted her color palette from that painting and drew ideas for the composition. “The position of the hand was like a birth, like it was holding a baby almost,” she says.

L-R Winning artist Connie Lim, Fida Founder Patrick Morgan and Rodo's Bona Bonarelli Ph. BM Communications

"But they chose the more experimental one, where I draw over my old drawings, recycling them. I was quite surprised they chose it," says Lim. "At Fida we often discuss whether artists should look at the DNA of the brand and adjust their interpretation of the brief accordingly or should artists just do what they want? I did both and they chose the one that was just me being me.”

Connie Lim
Fashion illustration
Work in Fashion