BACO’s Fashion Editor Valentina Accardo chats with two designers, who represent a growing trend of talent being re-shored back to Sicily:
Loredana Roccasalva of LR Couture
Loredana Roccasalva is a Sicilian designer and entrepreneur who decided to going back to her hometown and invest in her motherland. After the experiences at Capucci and Gattinoni, and working on the intense launch of Versace Jeans while working at ITTIERRE, she decided to go back to Sicily. She founded her brand LR couture in Modica (Ragusa). She first started with a bridal collection, and now also with a couture and ready-to-wear lines. At Super in Milan she debuted with an accessories collection LR 2.0 LAB.
“The new collection is about collars matching with skirts made with the finest materials and craftsmanship. We presented in Paris too and we had a great feedback”.
After years of working in the fashion capital, she decided to go back home to Modica on an impulse.
“I drove my car back in my hometown and I started again. It was a big challenge. The internet helped me a lot.”
With her expertise she is helping artisans in Modica and aspiring designers in the area to cultivate their work.
“We put young people together with our over 60 tailors to pass this heritage to the new generation and give a reason not to leave the island or the country to looking for better opportunities.”
“We want to get back to the handmade, and implement different kind of embroideries (sfilato, filet, rintaglio, chiacchierino, tombolo) which are woven into the heritage of the Sicilian tradition.”
HEADQUARTERS: Modica (Ragusa)
PRICE RANGE: from EUR45 to EUR400
WHERE TO BUY: http://loredanaroccasalva.it/#contact.html
Vito Petrotta Reyes is an extravagant designer who breathes life into ironic and original pieces, such as his velvet purses with faucet shaped handles and as his iconic Roobi, a square bag with netting and a “tap” shoulder bag that bears the same name as “Ruby Rubacuori,” who was at the center of the Silvio Berlusconi escort scandal.
Vito started his brand after many years of living around the world and traveling between Milan and Palermo. After returning home for good, he later started his own brand.
“There are amazing places here with creative vibes.”
His bags are a true artisan work of art. With about 12 different steps and about 12 different artisans involved, Vitussi prides itself on its hand crafted quality. Materials include calf hair, laser perforated leather, eel, feathers and prickly pears.
The artisan community in Sicily is unmatched, he said. “There are enormous resources to be celebrated. If you mix artisanal, design and communications skills, you will be able to create a competent product. I am putting artisans on the market that work with metal and others from the sartorial world.”
AVERAGE RETAIL PRICE: EUR1000 to EUR3000
WHERE TO BUY: Milan, Palazzo Grifoni, Via Santo Spirito 17 and Centrale Palace Hotel, Corso Vittorio Emanuele 327; Taiwan – Lu Hong Aly in Taipei OR by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call +39 33836118241 to customize a bag.