& Other Stories designers Behnaz Aram and Luca La Rocca
on their creative union.

Inspiration for the brand’s F/W 2014 Stockholm concept; all photographs courtesy of & Other Stories

BEHNAZ ARAM: We first met in August 2011. In Stockholm, actually.

LUCA LA ROCCA: Behnaz was in Stockholm, but I’m based in Paris. At first, & Other Stories had us do a small project. We each had to interpret two of the brand’s four concepts: Stockholm, Paris, Berlin, and New York. Behnaz and I picked Berlin and Stockholm [unbeknownst to one another].

BA: We have the same inspirations. Both of us arrived in black clothes, and looked at one another. Something that we initially had in common was the darkness!

LLR: I brought all my materials, leathers, and other things for the project. The first day in Stockholm we just hung out, doing research. There was an immediate connection.

Inside the Stockholm atelier

BA: We both love the same artists, painters, architects, and designers. So in that sense, it was like: Wow, I have a boy me! In the beginning, I’d go to Paris and Luca would come to Stockholm.

LLR: Traveling helped a lot. We had to build a connection between our teams to get them to communicate with each other. It was a long process. The good thing was we could critique one another’s work and nobody took it personally. We’re very forthcoming.

BA: I would say, “Oh my God, that’s really shit.” And Luca would say, “Yeah, well, yours is shit.” And then we’d both say, “Okay, let’s go for lunch!”

Shoes in the & Other Stories Stockholm atelier

Luca La Rocca and Behnaz Aram at work in the & Other Stories Paris atelier

LLR: & Other Stories is built on trust. You don’t feel the pressures you have in fashion houses. You’re free to express yourself; Behnaz and I saw each other’s potential and we got our creative process to a point where everything came together.

BA: We like challenges, and if you’re an overachiever you never feel that anything will be good enough. But this partnership is getting better and better.

— as told to The Thick

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Inside the Paris atelier