Earlier this year we left you with suspense when presenting the IntreccinCantiere project. But the time has come to give you some updates on what we have been working on for the past months. To refresh your mind, go read how Mirta is supporting Athison’s contest for young talents - Athison’s project that started 7 years ago that connects students and future generations of artisans with the experts of Made in Italy. This year Mirta had the opportunity to take an active part in the contest with our co-founder, Martina Capriotti, as a member of the jury. But that’s not everything: we are proud to offer as part of Athison's collection on Mirta the product winner of the Leather category.
The winning project from the IntreccinCantiere contest is now a real bag available for sale
Today we want to present to you Giovanni, the young talent that created Masera and won IntreccinCantiere’s Leather award. Read on to find out more and scroll until the end to check out the newest addition to Athison’s collection.
Mirta: Let’s start from the beginning. Tell us a bit more about yourself.
Giovanni: My name is Giovanni, I'm 26 years old and I come from Salerno. I moved to Milan last year but I started my path as an artisan in my hometown in Southern Italy.
M: How did your passion for fashion start and evolve?
G: I’ve been creative since I was a kid. I used to draw princesses’ dresses and play musical instruments, but then I opted for a scientific path in high school and pursued literature for my bachelor's degree. During my first year of high school I started going to clubs and bars where I fell in love with costumes and set designs, eventually finding a job. I loved it, so I signed up for Accademia di Belle Arti. After graduating I couldn’t find a job so I decided to continue my studies with a master in Leather and Shoes Design and Production at IUAD. I have to admit that bags are my world - I really enjoy working with leather and enjoy crafting products from scratch even more. I also tend to adapt feminine designs to masculine models.To me, bags are not only for one gender but for all.
M: We are very happy to be part of IntreccinCantiere this year. We truly believe in the power of connecting young talents like you with Made in Italy experts like Athison. How did you find out about the project?
G: I first found out about the project during the Covid lockdown last year. It wasn’t very easy for me because I couldn't go to school or work and I couldn't order materials to create new models. That’s why I started doing as many contests as possible, eventually learning about IntreccinCantiere. Then I signed up through the IUAD and participated with other university colleagues.
M: Your handbag won the contest and is now available for purchase on Mirta. Tell us a bit about your creative process and how you came up with that specific design.
G: Everything started when I saw Athison’s raffia. I am a fan of animal print, so when Athison sent the fabrics and leather pieces, I was so amazed by the woven raffia that I decided to use it. I started thinking about how to emphasize it but also wanted to use the leather because, for me, that’s always the real protagonist. I imagined creating a small bag to carry on the wrist but that could also be worn as a crossbody since I like to design handbags that are practical and easy to use.
While i was crafting the bag I asked for help from a local artisan in my hometown, Mr. Antonio, who is a real star in Salerno. He crafts bags for all shops in the city and that’s also where I learned the basis of craftsmanship.
M: Thanks Giovanni. And what are the next steps for your career?
G: After IntreccinCantiere I started working for a company as a designer: I design and create luxury handbags from scratch. Also I am working on my thesis project, a capsule collection of handbags. The idea is to pair leather with technical materials used for outdoor clothing mainly. For instance, I'd love to recycle my cousin’s old boat sails to craft something new that is sustainable and mindful of the environment. I am also planning to include a small collection of handbags using some materials that Athison kindly gifted to me.
M: Last but not least, what are your thoughts about the future of Made in Italy?
G: I really think that sometimes young people don’t perceive the importance of Made in Italy, but I honestly believe it’s an excellence of our country that needs to be preserved. I am sure that if any Italian artisan goes abroad to work in fashion he'd be seen as a step ahead thanks to our methods and old traditions.
I really believe in the value of Made in Italy, that’s why I decided to start a career in this field. I spend 8 hours a day working but to me it’s fun and enjoyable! Some of my colleagues consider themselves as laborers but I define myself as an artisan. If we aren’t artisans, then who are?