NM: Hello everyone! My name is Naomi Mongardini, I am 20 years old and I live in Rome, Italy. I have achondroplasia, a condition that causes dwarfism. Despite this, I live my life in absolute normality. At 9 years old I started to perform lengthening operations on the lower and upper limbs, now I can say that even if it was hard it was worth it. I’m in my first year of uni studying languages, and in the future I see myself traveling the world experiencing new cultures. I have a determined character, sometimes too much and I often get what I want. I love animals, spending time with friends and having fun with them.
If you could send one message to today’s fashion designers, what would it be?
To perhaps think outside the box. I think as a society, we’re certainly heading in the right direction, but I think there could be more work. Utilise and include more diverse voices in fashion development to truly gain a deeper insight into adaptability and presenting a wider diverse and inclusive sense of fashion, considering the minority and not just the majority.
What do you think are your top challenges with clothing?
The biggest challenge there is when it comes to clothing is pants. Jeans, leggings, sweatpants.. I always have to get them hemmed up and taken in otherwise if I don’t take them in, they look really baggy and it just doesn’t look appealing.
Is there anything you’d love to wear but feel you can’t?
My top challenges with clothing are trousers, I would love to find a pair of trousers/jeans that fit like a glove (I even find it hard to get gloves to fit). I would love to wear a nice stylish dress, it’s difficult to find one because of their shape and length.
So, how much do you know about sustainability and how does this affect your buying decisions?
To be honest I didn’t care a lot about this stuff until I started to study a masters in marketing with a specialisation in fashion. Since getting certain knowledge about sustainability, I take it into consideration when shopping for clothes. One thing I know for sure, I won’t buy clothes in Primark. I think 5 years ago I saw a behind the scenes video of how they sell cheap T-shirts and how they treat their employees, I said to myself “no, thank you, I’ll never buy that again”. However, I would prefer fashion companies / brands to start making more appealing clothes which are made in more sustainable way because as far as I could see is such clothes are mostly one-coloured produced.
Any style that I see that I feel would be flattering and with items of clothing I feel I could make work off the rack: Old or new, doesn’t matter to me so much, stylistically. There are definitely things I see that I wish I could make work for me - i.e. cold weather wear like cute long sleeved shirts, cosy drapey fall/winter wear. I have honed my eye to be able to spot things that may work for me and I just try tons of things on to see if they work.