Fashion Made in Luxembourg: Manalena II

In my first "Fashion Made in Luxembourg" post I already introduced you to the label Manalena. Now I can finally show you the second piece I chose from the spring/summer collection and the designer was also kind enough to answer some questions about her work. Make sure to read the post until the end as there might be a little surprise waiting for you...

Clothes and Camera: Tell us a bit about yourself.
Maddalena: I was born in Luxembourg from Italian parents. I celebrated with a bottle of champagne when I got the Luxembourgish nationality at the age of 19, but I've always felt like belonging to both nationalities.
My passions are fashion, fabrics, travelling, foreign languages and art. I have been travelling a lot but I always felt attracted to Luxembourg so at one moment I came back and launched my company and my label Manalena in order to live my passion.
I have a gorgeous son who is two and a half years old and who has followed me with every step I took. I am a single mum, a mumpreneur, and yoga helps me to unite it all.

C&C: When and why did you decide that you want to become a designer?
Maddalena: I've always wanted to be a designer but once I had my high school diploma, people convinced me that it's not a good way to go. After hesitating for a long time, I decided to take a completely different direction with my studies, which at least allowed me to practise my other passion: Foreign languages. I don't regret the path I took because my master's degree in Political Science and International Relations helped me to become an autodidact and form a critical mind.

C&C: Describe your creations for Manalena.
Maddalena: The concept of "Particular Clothing" is an eclectic and contemporary style that reflects countless impressions and feelings through a huge variety of textures, colours and personal prints. Every piece is inspired by different cultures that influenced the 20th century, be it in the fields of art, movies or music. I get inspired by all of these flows in order to create my own outstanding individuality and to get a super feminine collection out of it. 

C&C: Where does your inspiration come from?
Maddalena: What I love about inspiration is that it can come from everywhere: There are no limits when it comes to transforming a simple idea into something real. I do what I love by observing the world and the beauty that surround me: People, colours, places, art, fashion,... Creating simply means expressing myself. 

C&C: What are the Manalena fall/winter trends gonna look like?
Maddalena: The winter collection is finally ready! The lookbook has been shot in Paris last March (the video can be seen here) and I assure you that I'm surprised by the result myself. There will be a strong male imprint with ultra feminine elements: Male pant cuts and cloths are covered with splendid female embroideries or mixed with lace, transparents or satin. The light transparent cloths stand in contrast with bold and 3D style winter cloths with loose threads and ripped details. The main imprint has been inspired by a "back to nature" feeling with marble effects, abstract flowers and stony grey tones. 

C&C: If you had one wish for your future, what would it be?
Maddalena: I would like to find a financial partner in Luxembourg that trusts me to continue my creations and develop my label. I have hundreds of other dreams. Always aim for the moon, even if you miss, you'll land among the stars.

C&C: Which other brand do you like to wear or which other designers do you admire?
Maddalena: I'm totally in love with and could always wear Stella Jean, Ashish, Au Jour Le Jour, and Dsquared 2. I love originality, bright colours, crazy prints, embroideries, pop inspiration, extraordinary shapes and vivacity. But there are so many brands I like: Anthony Vaccarello, Manish Arora, Miu Miu, Marni, Moschino,... The list is long.

C&C: What do you think are the advantages and disadvantages of being a designer in Luxembourg?
Maddalena: Luxembourg doesn't have an organisation that supports fashion designers. In Belgium for example they have the WBDM which advises the entrepreneurs and designers when it comes to export or financial matters. One of my favourite brands, Filles à Papa, started off in Brussels and got help from that organisation to find press agents that helped expand the brand. It is a pity that all the talented designers in Luxembourg are all on their own so they don't dare to launch or go to other countries to do so. It's a talented brain drain!
I also think that local designers aren't being represented well enough. Often the consumers don't understand the designers: The consumers need to learn that there is a difference between a fashion giant like Zara, and a local designer that respects local fabrication techniques.
Finally the press should play a role in it, too by leaving at least a little space for local designers and Luxembourgish prêt-à-porter. 

As for advantages the size of Luxembourg makes it easy to get in contact with other designers for a positive exchange and sometimes even to create a synergy. Many of them prefer an unification that helps to expand together, rather than rivalry. 

C&C: How important is it to you to produce fair and sustainable clothes?
I think that producing according to ethical values all while respecting a sustainable development is an important aspect to gain the consumer's confidence. As I produce my clothes in Italy I know about the working hours of the employees, I know that they get a just payment, that their savoir-faire and experience is being respected, that there is no child labour,... By not importing my clothes from a far away country I also avoid excessive carbon emissions. However I'm still looking for a clothing factory here in Luxembourg, in case you know one? Like this I defend not only the ancestral Italian savoir-faire, but also the Luxembourgish designers by granting a high quality of my clothes.

blouse - MANALENA, pants - MANGO, heels - MAISON MARTIN MARGIELA x H&M, necklace - SUITE BLANCO

So now I showed you these amazing clothes made in Luxembourg and you surely already had a look at the collection but maybe the pieces didn't really fit your budget? No problem! The designer is offering my readers 30% off on everything in the web shop! Simply use the code CLOTHESANDCAMERA to get your first piece from this up-and-coming Luxembourgish fashion label! And if you want to try the clothes first you can also visit the designer at Norte Store where she will have a pop up with 30% off as well. To be part of this sale simply register on Facebook


  1. great outfit and location! the blouse looks super soft and comfortable!! xx

  2. That blouse is so cool, I love the fit it looks great.

    Check out my MAC Lipliner x3 giveaway!

  3. Gorgeous! And these shoes, oh man! Love the entire look!

  4. Oh wow, I really love the whole look, the top is just sooo gorgeous. I've always had a love for the ocean and sea creatures and then I realize your necklace has coral looking pieces! Lovely interview, I always want to know what inspires designers but don't bother reading up much on designers so it's nice to hear background from one!

  5. Interesting interview! The blouse looks fab!

  6. So ein toller Style. Das Outfit steht dir super Carmen. Ich bin ja ganz verleibt in die Schuhe!

    Liebe Grüße Jessy von Kleidermädchen

  7. The shoes are perfect and the blouse is really stunning!! Great photos dear!!



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