Flavia Palombo wants to take the stage with her made in Naples
Speaking of future prospects, Flavia Palombo hopes to go far , to win the attention of an ever wider audience. But stubbornly remaining made in Naples . Because she is, a Neapolitan designer of belts, bags and leather accessories. And because you know that the Campania capital "is a city recognized abroad, known for its beauty. An added value, that is, within the made in Italy. Palombo, however, when you talk about local identity is not referring only to stylistic codes, that is, to the question of the imagination. But also to the material aspects of the product. "I only use Neapolitan leathers, or in any case Campania - he continues -, just as I only turn to leather workshops in the area". Of course, hers is not an autarchic choice: for the realization of her models she also uses components from other Italian regions. “I minimize the use of foreign products, especially Asian ones - she tells us -. Paying attention to the price would be easier, but also counterproductive. Because my benchmark is always quality ".
Made in Naples
It would be unfair to say that Flavia Palombo came to found her brand by accident. But it certainly cannot be said that her path has been linear, the usual one of those who come from families already in the sector or trained in fashion schools. “I started with passion - she says -. My studies, which led me to a degree in Conservation of Cultural Heritage , allowed me to realize a dream. I would have liked to be a theatrical costume designer, but I'm in a field where I can express my artistic vein ”. Before setting up the company, in 2020, Palombo worked for years as an artisan. "Years in which I participated in fairs, from Lineapelle in Homi , and frequented places to gather ideas ".
First of all, the skin
The leather, bell and quality, is the material that distinguishes the Palombo collections. This does not mean that it excludes fabrics a priori: “I do not set up stakes, I want to feel free - she explains -. For example, I designed a sea line with the same materials used for the upholstery nautical ”. If there is a categorical no, however, it is to cheap synthetic materials, especially those that imitate leather. “They cost less and are simpler, but I don't use them. Double the belts in leather . I want a product I believe in ”. The creation process, in this sense, includes the dialogue with the leather goods workers. How does it relate to its suppliers? "I am stubborn on stylistic choices - she replies -, but I listen to the advice on technical matters </ b>. As in any job, you have to know how to be humble. But working with them is an opportunity. We spend a lot of time together, we eat together: often they are family businesses, we become intimate ”.
From Naples onwards
Flavia Palombo can rely on a space in Pensieroverde , a concept store in via Cavallerizza, in the living room of Naples. In autumn, her collaboration with Coin; allowed her to land in the malls of Rome, Milan, Turin and then Padua. “I participated with two models in corners dedicated to emerging realities - he says -. It was supposed to be a place to meet and introduce oneself, but the second wave of coronavirus has affected the activities. In Rome, for example, the shops remained open, but in Milan, where it had started well, we were limited by closures ".
Sure, launching a new brand in conjunction with a pandemic doesn't help. “The coronavirus does not allow programming . I bought leathers with the idea of making evening bags, but I suspended production: it doesn't seem like the right moment, now that we are closed at home for social distancing ". This does not mean that Flavia Palombo has no ideas for the future. What products do you intend to develop into? “I don't want to lose contact with bags, but I will never abandon the belt - he replies -. It is an important accessory that characterizes the outfit. Man? In due course, certainly not in Naples where men's fashion is still very traditional ”. Covid was an opportunity to invest on the e-commerce: the ideal tool to make yourself known, but also a challenging territory. “I take care of the contents of the site, I respond personally to the customers. It is important to convey the value of my product, together with the passion behind it. But it is not easy to explain the quality - he concludes -. When I receive customers in the store, I encourage them to try on my accessories, not just looking at them in the display. Online it's more difficult. But whoever buys from me, then comes back . And this shows that I'm doing a good job. ”