VILI GAGE Vili Gage graduated in 2013 in fashion design and in 2015 in art direction. …
“If I have to use only an adjective to describe myself I would say that I am a very dynamic person: I can’t stand losing time without doing something useful. I always have to make plans, to design, or at least fantasize.“
Carlottina Lab is the creative result of a project by Carlotta, the fashion designer and owner of it.
Tell us something about you Carlotta: who you are, where are you from, what do you like… and everything you want us to know!
My name is Carlotta Franzini, I am 28 years old, I was born in Cagliari where I also grow up, but at the moment I live in a small village of the district with my partner and my little child Giovanni.
I have studied architecture and have been always passionated about design. If I have to use only an adjective to describe myself I would say that I am a very dynamic person: I can’t stand losing time without doing something useful. I always have to make plans, to design or, at least, fantasize.
How was your project CARLOTTINA LAB born and what makes it special?
The real project started in 2009 but I actually started to sew bags since I was 16. It is the result of my passion together with the ability to manufacture and create handmade designs. I was looking for a different and more personal dimension of the work, with a tempo and rhythm more compatible with my needs.
Simply put, I wanted to turn around the factory work situation and find a new dimension that would go back to your own abilities to create and organize. I think that this is exactly what is so special about it: You can find this spirit in every bag I produce! Another important aspect is the special and direct relationship with customers: they have the ability to follow the whole process of the creation of the bag they choose, right from the beginning.
In regard to customers, what role do they play? Does the client decide everything or can we define it as “team work”? Are you usually strongly influenced by advices from people who want to customise their “carlottina”?
Usually I always start with an interview of the customer, askying them how would they like the bag, what they are planning to use it for, and what kind of sensations they want to transfer through it: for instance, I ask if they want a stiff bag, that can communicate solidity, or on the other hand, a soft bag can fit with the body). Finally, I ask about the colour, what they want to put inside and so on… Starting with this information I draw a model that I will later show to the customer: they tell me then what they like about it or what they would prefer to change.
At this stage I begin the phase of fulfillment. That is why I describe them as “customised bags with a soul”, because it is like getting a custom- tailored dress. Often a bag is not just a bag, it has a meaning more than a dress: you wear it most of your time, it is coming with you everywhere and it has to represent you and your style: it has to be comfortable or useful, it depends on what kind of person you are!
When did you realize that this passion could become your job?
For many years I was sewing bags just as a hobby, but then at some point I decided to invest in my passion, both ideally and economically, and at that point I became an artisan.
Probably my decision was the result of a period of deep crisis in the society; it was no longer possible to yearn for a permanent job and I really wanted to create something personal in which I could put my energy and that could express my feelings and my personality.
Where do you find the inspiration?
Truth be told everywhere, I like to look around me and discover small details that can become a central idea to manufacture new bags, sometimes whole collections.
What is your philosophy? where does this passion come from?!
The philosophy which leads my work is mostly my wish to bring back together in a single product all my experience and all the values I believe in.
Which kind of values you mean?
There are many virtues that are really meaningful for me: the first of all is intellectual honesty but also the iron will to built something original and that can represent me. Furthermore the seriousness associated with that fact that I am not taking myself too seriously it always helps to enjoy life!
What is the connection between the nature and your bags?
It is a relationship that follows the pre- industrial period, a relationship where aspects like the personal material choice, the attention to wastefulness and, whenever possible, the use of recyclable materials. These are important components of my work.
What do people like most about your work?
I think that they really appreciate the direct and informal relationship that I establish with them, as well as the willingness to create accessories that correspond exactly to their expectations. It is not unusual that, when customers come to my home (which is also my workshop) to order or to pick up their product, they suddenly find themselves drinking a tee in my living room or playing with my son! I love that they can feel like they’re at home with me.
Do you want to spread a message with your art?
I try to communicate to people all the passion that I put into everything I make. I strongly believe that people have to go back to believing in workmanship; they should buy products made from small retailers rather than big companies as much as possible. Handcraft can become the new motivation power of the world economy.
You can find Carlottina Lab in Via Palermo 43, Sant’Anna Arresi 09010 Carbonia- Iglesias (Italy)