La Récréation Milano: How a Frenchwoman is shaking up children’s fashion in Italy

At the service of the circular economy, Chloé Berthoule, a French expatriate in Milan, has just launched La Récréatin Milano, a Franco-Italian brand that warns of the need to change the way we consume. Meeting with a formidable ambassador of the upcycling.

La Récréation Milano, a new Franco-Italian brand for children and mothers has just been launched in Milan. Its concept is that of the Greek philosopher Anaxagoras “Nothing is created, nothing is lost, everything is transformed”. Wonderful ambassador of upcycling, Chloé Berthoule has worked throughout her career in fashion. Brands of fast fashion in luxury ready-to-wear, she did scenography retail her specialty, and the observation that she no longer wanted to participate in the great waste. By launching La Récréation Milano, it carries the colors of France in Italy and through pretty creations, alerts on the need to change our way of consuming.
Chloé draws her collections according to her fabric finds. Each piece is unique and handmade in its Milanese workshop.

The idea really took off in 2020 and the various confinements gave him time to develop the project. By hunting down its fabrics on Vinted, in second-hand cooperatives and other destocking, the designer gives life to pieces of fabric doomed to gather dust. We therefore see the reappearance over the course of her creations of obsolete patterns that she brings up to date with original creations (at the moment it is small vests for children or mothers who bring patchwork blankets back to life). “I’m always looking for new fabrics so if you have unused blankets or good quality fabrics lying around, I’m all ears! »she exclaims.

The enthusiasm of its customers can only be seen: “Initially, the sales first started thanks to my friends and my family. But word of mouth has worked so well that I now have orders from London and Berlin as well. It is extraordinary to see that upcycling is gaining momentum and that many of us realize that overconsumption is toxic”she explains with contagious enthusiasm.

If the offer on the site is in Italian, La Récréation Milano currently attracts mainly French customers thanks to its je ne sais quoi that reminds us of the cozy clothes of our childhood. The mother-child duo pieces are timeless and if the prints do not follow the trend books of magazines, vintage is clearly in vogue.

clothing designs playtime

Today you are anchored in your family and professionally as a business leader in Italy. How did your life in the country begin ten years ago?

After meeting Paolo, my husband, in Paris, I learned Italian and found a job in my industry. After almost 20 years in fashion, first in fast fashion then in a luxury house, I wanted to transmit my own vision. Especially since the idea of ​​launching my own brand had been germinating for a while.
For the child, it seemed obvious to use the technique ofupcycling because from a technical point of view, transforming blankets or adult clothes into smaller clothes is very simple. And from a responsible point of view, the products are made only with deadstock or some pre-loved product It’s a real springboard for my creativity! And as each product is remade in Italy, I am responsible and local in my production. Without being extremist, I like to go to the end of the concept, to be able to tell a true and clean story in every sense of the word.

La Récréation Milano following a logic ofupcycling and circular economy, what is the creation and manufacturing process?
Creation goes a long way when sourcing materials. The fabrics or blankets inspire me and I decide from this material and the patterns if I will make a jacket, a vest, pants or a skirt. As I create the models as I go, there is no boy or girl color, it’s a freedom that I love. After having defined the models according to the fabrics, I cut according to my pattern then I take to the workshop for the sewing and finishing part.

This concept ofupcycling already exists in other countries, how do you feel about the reception of Italians towards your offer?

I feel like it’s still a niche concept in Italy. But like many European countries, Italy is in the midst of a transition when it comes to consumption and fashion will have to follow.
The Italian sartorial tradition is beginning its transition to more responsible fashion and I find it very encouraging that the change is happening from the bottom up. Some Italian brands ofupcycling for emerging adults, such as Giglio Tigrato Where culo camicia. I encourage you to discover them.

Can we entrust you with fabrics, blankets, patchwork or other to have personalized clothes?

Sure ! Everything that can be rehabilitated, reused and transformed is a small gesture for the
planet and would love to develop the concept of personalization.
The 3 Rs – Recycle/Reduse/Reuse – banner of the Zero Waste movement can be declined whatever the sector but that of fashion even more than the others. For me it’s the future…

What are your plans for developing La Récréation?

In the near future, I hope for a massive membership for theupcycling.
On the site Recreation Milano it is possible to order the models that I create and I would very soon like to develop a section for the second hand. When the children grow up and the garment can be reused, I want to offer my customers the possibility of reselling it at a lower cost to the buyer. The seller will in return obtain a voucher for other products on the site. And so the loop is closed.

Next event La Récréation Milano: Cocktail and private sale November 30 from 6 p.m. at the Arte in Salotto Gallery, Via Milazzo, 6

La Récréation Milano: How a Frenchwoman is shaking up children’s fashion in Italy