SOL recently sat down for an enlightening conversation with Milan-based creative Ia. Her journey is a tribute to boundless creativity starting with her 13-year tenure as Senior Fashion Graphic Designer at Fondazione Sozzani and 10 Corso Como. IA launched her own brand IA BY IA, a creative platform showcasing one-of-a-kind jewellery, illustrations, and home décor. This summer exhibiting at 10 Corso Como Seoul, IA spoke to SOL about her brand, her love for all things creative, living in Milan and her new exhibition which will be held in in Liguria as well as her up and coming second book ‘Ill Make Me Happy”. To stay in the vibrant world of IA BY IA, you can follow her on Instagram @ia_by_ia and explore her unique creations on her websitehere.

Tell us a little bit about the story behind IA BY IA?

One day when I was a middle school student, my father brought home the tables and chairs used at school. It was a wooden chair and table. The top of the table was dark green, and the rest was a plain table and chair with a wooden texture finished with varnish. I remember running to the hardware store, buying some sandpaper, immediately scrubbing the table and chairs, then painting them roughly with white paint, and being very satisfied… That sums up IA, I always love to recreate! IA BY IA was founded in Milan and is an ode to all things made by me from illustrations, home décor, jewellery to one-of-a-kind objects.

Has creativity always been a big part of your life?

Always! Every single day! I have the pleasure of dedicating my time to create something. For me, not being creative is death.

You are currently exhibiting at Fondazione Sozzani in Milan, can you tell us more about this?And what have been some of your highlights thus far?

The exhibition at Fondazione Sozzani in Milan was my first and most important experience ever. I spent 13 years under the direction of Sig.ra Carla Sozzani as senior fashion graphic designer at Fondazione Sozzani and 10 Corso Como. This inaugural show was crucial to me since it marked the first year since I launched IA BY IA, based on my 13 years of expertise. This summer, the exhibition spread to 10 Corso Como Seoul after beginning at Fondazione Sozzani. and Now I’m preparing for an exhibition in Liguria and Shanghai for next year.


Where do you go to find inspiration for your works?

I reside in Milan, where I find inspiration in the city's diverse offerings, from its 500s’ museums and lush botanical gardens to the simple yet delightful experiences of strolling through a street fruit market, savoring a morning coffee at a local bar, or basking in the warmth of a sunlit library.

Take us through your creative process.

I generally use my five senses. Some days from what I see from a rainy window, some days by the smell lingering from old memories, on another day, by the wind that unintentionally touched my hand.

How would you describe the ideal IA BY IA dreamer?

I envision her as an captivating blend of Kirsten Dunst portraying Marie Antoinette in Sofia Coppola's "Marie Antoinette," the graceful subject of Giovanni Boldini's "Busto di giovane donna con un fiore (Ragazza dal garofano; Jeanne)" from 1912, and the enigmatic charm of Gwyneth Paltrow as Margot Tenenbaum in Wes Anderson's "The Royal Tenenbaums."

Any exciting projects on the horizon for the brand you would like to mention?

I'm preparing an exhibition in Liguria at BOCCA MONTE, a building designed by Milanese designer Luisa Castiglioni. She is renowned for her collaborations with prominent figures like Gae Aulenti, Franco Albini, and Giancarlo De Carlo, and her work has graced the pages of esteemed publications like Domus, Casabella, and the now-defunct Metron. However, it's her residence in Bocca di Magra, where the exhibition will be held, that stands as her magnum opus. Nestled in a private forest, this sanctuary is a poetic ode to nature, ensconced within the embrace of pines, holm oaks, camphors, strawberry trees, rosemary, and oleanders. BOCCA MONTE is an iconic place that has already been introduced in AD magazine. The exhibition will employ "Meok," a traditional Asian ink substance, to convey Bocca Monte's profound connection to nature, serving as a bridge between art and the natural world. The exhibition will be planned in collaboration with Maddalena Scarzella as the head of Fondazione Sozzani, and the granddaughter of Luisa Castiglioni. She has an aesthetic sense of curating exhibitions.


My second project involves the publication of my next book. My debut book was showcased at the prestigious Paris bookshop Yvon Lambert and Fondazione Sozzani bookshop, hailed as the world's most beautiful. It quickly sold out. My affinity for flowers, which bring solace even in moments of melancholy, was the inspiration behind it. The first book, "Day Therapy," published in a limited edition of 50 hand-bound copies, was conceived to offer daily healing through floral illustrations.The second book will chronicle the entire journey of the "I'll Make Me Happy" exhibition. Similarly, this book will only be published in small numbers and will be extremely artisanal.

Are you open to collaborations? And if so are there any brands or creatives you would like to work with in the future?

Yes, I'm extremely open to working with anyone on different projects! There are so many brands that intrigue me, including Sophie Buhai, Julie Lansom, Ginori 1735, Studio Ashby, Corraini Edizioni, and brands involved in jewellery design, book publishing, interior design, and of course, fashion.

Where can one keep up to date with the colourful world of IA BY IA?

I frequently post updates on my Instagram @ia_by_ia and one of-a-kind objects can be found on my website https://www.iabyia.com.

Finally three words to describe IA BY IA.

Muslin, Knots, Flowers