“The shortest path to oneself leads around the world.”

Hermann Keyserling 

About

My name is Alessandro and, without really being aware of it yet, I started to define my current path about ten years ago.

I was a boy like many who approached the world full of enthusiasm and with a great desire to do but without yet clear the direction to follow.

I started studying economics and foreign languages, but the need to live my passions in a more concrete and direct way was too strong.

So at the age of 19 I decided to have my first experience abroad and I moved in London.

It was an extremely constructive choice because I immediately launched into the world of work by getting busy and arranging myself, I traveled to various European capitals, deciding to move for a period in the magical New York.

The results of these years were positive and, above all, they laid the first concrete foundations of my path. I learned English, I created new and useful knowledge and, moreover, I found myself approaching the field of fashion which was a real discovery for me.

I had clear my passions for languages ​​and for the commercial aspect, but there I understood that fashion could be my sector.

Back in Italy with my little wealth of experience I felt different, more aware of myself and of the world and more determined.

So I decided to make my contribution to the family business by applying the aspect of wholesale trade to a classic food and the results were actually excellent.

I was satisfied with what I was doing, but I was aware that I wanted something different, that I probably wanted to launch or, simply, that I wanted to build something that started with me and that really represented me.

Ero soddisfatto di ciò che stavo facendo, ma avevo la consapevolezza di volere qualcosa di diverso, di volermi lanciare probabilmente o, semplicemente, di voler costruire qualcosa che partisse da me e che mi rappresentasse davvero.

Travel

During a phone call, a friend invited me to follow him on a trip to India where for a month we would experience a culture still unknown to me. I accepted immediately.

It was my first approach to the oriental world and I was incredibly fascinated: the places I visited, the local traditions I met, the people I met.

It was all very rich in emotions, but above all I found myself living among textile traditions that made suddenly clear the direction that my future would take.

It was in India that I definitively became aware of the sector in which I wanted to operate, and thus I combined my passion and my commercial background with textiles.

At that point, I decided to extend my stay for another four months and to use that time to experience local culture and traditions from a
commercial point of view.

Thus began a buying / selling business and for the next two years I continued going to and returning from India.

Then, all of a sudden and even a little by chance, my path took a slight but definitive turn.

I joined my brother in the middle of the Nepalese valleys for a music festival, an enchanting event, but a journey full of setbacks and misadventures.

However, it was precisely these negative aspects that were significant because in the face of discouragement and renunciation, I chose instead to adapt to the difficulties and continue the journey.

In fact, I can say that if my choice had been different, our brand would not exist today.

While staying, I was followed by the Italian ambassador of Nepal who became passionate about my history and my interest in textile traditions. She then decided to put me in touch with some of her acquaintances, thus opening doors for me that I would probably have found closed.

I spent several months in Nepal, trying to build a business relationship with Italy and with the need to further deepen cashmere, because I fell in love with it.

I hardly searched for someone local willing to show me and pass on their textile knowledge.

I managed to find someone who allowed me to acquire more knowledge about the material, giving me basic notions and making me experience every artisan step: from combing to
weaving. This was my school, he was my teacher.

I decided that Nepal would be the new base for my small business and ordered my first 50 cashmere sweaters.

Back in Italy I began to resell them to friends and acquaintances, organizing small and well-kept events, also presenting color charts in order to make the choice of garments more personal.

Given the results I decided to go directly to the shops and also in this case the results were positive. At that point I contacted the manufacturing companies and we organized ourselves for the first customized productions.

This is how, partly for fun and partly for luck, we arrived at what Alessandro Aste is today.