MILAN–About two weeks ago, a mysterious knock at the door woke 26-year-old Camilla Vinciguerra out of bed. To her astonishment, four women dressed in black birkas got out of a black Bentley and their Italian driver asked politely if they could come in. They studied her bags online and they were ready to buy.
“I was pretty scared. I wasn’t expecting them, but they seemed to know my bags and tried variations that I never would have thought of,” Vinciguerra told BACO at her studio in Milan. “I mostly have Italian clients, I didn’t even know people in the United Arab Emirates knew about my brand,” she said.
But that’s the beauty of e-commerce, isn’t it? Through her nifty iPhone photo apps and her internet savvy she has been able to market and sell herself through her website and through social media – which is how BACO found her in the first place.
Vinciguerra, who graduated from Milan’s prestigious Marangoni Fashion Institute in 2010 and has already worked at Luisa Beccaria and Fontana 1915, has in a short time crafted a collection that includes a series of totes that transform into clutches, as well the new ‘Joe’ backpack for men, which includes a detachable cross-shoulder pouch.
Crafted by Tuscan artisans with leathers dyed in natural tannin proteins, the bags take more than four hours to assemble. The finish product possesses an unfinished, wine-tinted look that only gets more beautiful with time.
“It’s the artisans that make the difference. Some of them have over 40 years of experience. They are now disappearing and it really scares me,” Vinciguerra said.
The bags are limited edition, because most bags are complimented with materials and high-end fabrics that Vinciguerra finds on exotic trips to India, Mongolia and Turkey.
The daughter of an ethnic antiques dealer, it is practically in her blood.
Vinciguerra is now on the brink of trying out a new 3D software that will allow the clients to see their finished bags – assembled with their straps of choice, with their style of choice – almost as if they were looking at it with the naked eye.
“I can’t compete with Prada, but I am doing something new and innovative,” she said.
WHO: Camilla Vinciguerra, Be Convertible
WHERE TO BUY: www.beconvertible.com
PRICE: EUR130 to EUR450
HEADQUARTERS: Via Molino Delle Armi, 13 in Milan