Painter, musician, creative director, photographer, graphic designer, artist, this is how Filippo Sorcinelli defines himself.
It happened by chance while reading a newspaper I turned the page and a beautiful picture stole my attention, a detail from Gentile da Fabriano's Adoration of the Magi. Suddenly the painting brought lost memories from my childhood in the Marche, the area were I born and grow up. During the ancient time Marche, from the 8th century until 1870, was part of the Papal States.
The article was talking about the smell, divine and cathedral and more specifically about an Italian artist, born in 1975 in Marche, who is now living in a small town in Emlia-Romagna, a neighbor region. From the article I found out about Filippo Sorcinelli, the Pope tailor and the perfume guru having his own perfume brand called UNUM. Captured by this mysterious and trilling story I started to research more about him and then few days later I decided to contact him.
Filippo Facebook and Instagram profiles are full of black and white portraits and also his website is all about black nuances. At the first spot of his profile you might think he is a dark poet, but he is much more.
Filippo Sorcinelli established his atelier specialized in sacred vestment called LAVS in 2001, in the last two years he and his team have been working also in perfume area, UNUM.
When I called him via Skype, he was wearing (obviously) a black outfit, seated in his white atelier with his beautiful cat Dexter. A live call between Sant'Arcangelo di Romagna, the Italian town where he is living (population: 21,000) and Bangkok (population: 8,300,000).
The call was done on December 21st, one day after the opening of his new public space called UNUM container in Sant'Arcangelo di Romagna. A space that is, as Filippo described, an extension of his atelier, a sort of private sphere blended with the public space. A way to thank the town for the continuos support.
I did express what was my point of view regarding his work, an atelier not a simple office but a research center with a renaissance spirit. While listening Filippo, Ferran Adria the spanish/world famous chef, pop-up in my mind who as well started business in a very small town, the rest is history.
We talked about multidisciplinary, the use of senses and how from education to business the exchange and the knowledge transferred from one discipline to another is the key to change and modify the landscape.
The point of overall conversation was to underline the importance of "following your instinct". A friend told to Filippo that something will happen to him at the age of 38, he told me that for long time he was very scary about that, having no idea what to think about it, … "maybe a pianoforte will kill me" … who knows ?!. He said that through a subsequent series of event when he was 38 years old his life and work started to flourish. Probably because as he explained me " I accepted myself and this made me deeply conscious about my persona, perhaps stronger than before."
The products that he with his team are producing and realizing are somehow a self expression of who he is but at the same time it is the result of different people with different backgrounds working together to achieve a common vision. He also told me that he is following every single aspect of his products and of the communication. As he affirmed "It is difficult to find an agency able to communicate such range of works, from Sacred Vestment to Perfume (another element will be added soon), better to do it by myself."
UNUM his new perfume line was presented at Florence fair few months ago, all big perfume company were curios about this new perfume line. Filippo explained me that " UNUM is about Spirit. Not only about spirituality. Born from the awareness that the Spirit goes beyond all boundaries, embracing the pulsing lifeblood of every population,built on their traditions but without being sterile."
At the moment Filippo is working on several projects that he does not want to disclose now, but I am sure he will surprise everyone once again. Just stay tuned ;)
photo by Silvia Perricone, NEOS 1911