Raffaella Schlegel, born in Castellanza, Italy, was destined for a career in fashion design. Not only did living so close to the fashion capital of Milan contribute to her success in fashion design, but also her exposure to a family member with a similar background in the industry. However, Raffaela began honing a different passion in her younger years. She was drawn to the water at an early age involving herself in competitive swimming. Her efforts came through as she made the Italian National Junior team at only 12 years old, then the National team when she turned 14. This experience really nurtured Raffaella’s love for water.
Upon successfully completing both Art & Design and Fashion Design diplomas at the Institute Marangoni in Milan 25 years ago, she has since been extremely active in the design industry. Although actively building her career in fashion design, Raffaella continued to indulge her passion for water, discovering a love for diving as a result of numerous diving expeditions alongside her father. Holidays and weekends began to be filled with diving activities and travel. Once an Italian swimming champion, Raffaella has evolved into designing beachwear for big brands such as Arena and Speedo to materials design for Celine, Trussardi, Fendi as well as the design of the Chanel Sport Collection in Paris. Raffaella also had her hand in design projects for Mini Cooper, BMW, Mercedes, Jaguar, Alfa Romeo and Fiat, and sportswear for Salomon & Nordica. Fish, amphibians and mammals are the subjects of the images taken by Raffaella. The images are printed on fabric, with a multitude of effects and variations. Sometimes the subject is clearly identifiable. Sometimes it becomes abstract and exaggerated in its proportions. Sometimes the focus is on a single and specific detail - such as the scales, gills, or ampoules of Lorenzini (the sensory organs of both sharks and rays) - and the image becomes a purely graphic element. The chromatic palette reflects the richness of the reference world: a kaleidoscope full of hues - light or deep - between blue and bright blue, coral red, natural tones, sand gold, as well as the intense tones of the earth and bush landscape.