My first visit to Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia's capital, goes back to September 2006.
We started with a project called TAM, a European Investment Bank (BEI) initiative, aimed at helping underdeveloped countries to make the best use of their raw materials, in this case a noble fibre: cashmere.
Cashmere srl, thanks to years of experience in the sector and Géraldine Alasio, designer of the collection, became the final link to the chain with the distribution and styling of the merchandise; a chain which his seen the involvement of many people, transforming BE YOU into a vertical company with a high quality final product.
The team which consists of a coordinator, a supervisor, knitting machine technicians and stylists have had to face the greatest and most obvious problems of a company in a developing country.
It was in this way that I started teaching young Mongolian boys who wanted to grow and learn in the world of International trade.; all the production was changed from handlooms to the latest technological machines; Our technicians were able to teach the Mongolians how to use complicated programmes on their PCs, and the young women who worked in style were given help on understanding proportions, trends, fashion, colours ... and lastly, the export market, thanks to appropriate channels of distribution became a vital part of a business which turned authentic quality into its company mission, providing the best cashmere to the most sophisticated and demanding consumers.
Results began to be seen from the Italian experience provided over the years and it is here, that nine years ago, the BE YOU collection came into being - Géraldine Alasio.
The creation of BE YOU products - Géraldine Alasio, in line with the tradition of excellence, is essentially based on the quest for quality and the capacity to translate the values of this wonderful land into a clothing collection.
Every time it's time to go, it was and is, a great journey full of surprises, characterised by our close and understanding relationship with nature.
We have given, but continue to receive so much from these people so far away from our own culture and attitudes.
This project provides inspiration for the love that we have for our work, and it keeps us looking ahead with immense curiosity for what we may lie around the corner.
Mongolia is an enormous country where your thoughts stray when faced by the infinite wide open spaces before you. But in reality, it is here in this very place that we received a most precious gift; the gift of finding ourselves.
Hence BE YOU; because when you're there, and you have this vast emptiness around you, you sense only your breath and your heart, and you are simply YOU.
And this is the sensation I have tried to bring to my knitwear.