Designer Interview: INVERTED COMMAS
I had the opportunity, to have a little chat with Francesco, owner and designer for the Italian bag brand "INVERTED COMMAS" Let me tell you a little more about it, founded in the fall of 2011, it is currently located in Florence, Italy. "The main purpose was to create a place to share my personal art and make it reach more and more people." Says Francesco, when asked about the origin of the brand's name his answer is "I chose "INVERTED COMMAS" because I'm the kind of person who says "in inverted commas" like a hundred times per day, obviously gesticulating too."
So, wanting to celebrate the 100+ readers of my blog, we decided to have a little interview, if you like the idea, I want to periodically have interviews with independent designers, so if you are one or know one, let me know! So, here it is!
First of all thanks for contacting me and being so open about this interview! So, let's start!
Tell us a little about yourself.
I'm Francesco, I'm 29yo and I'm currently living in Florence, Italy. I mainly work as a teacher and an illustrator. I love art, photography, fashion.
How did you decided to start "Inverted Commas?"
I work as a teacher during weekdays, that takes me lot of time since I do love my job, in the meantime I wanted to do something more artsy, I wanted to have a project that was all about me, like my own private world. So I started to look for an idea that could fit this desire. I've thought about lots of things, but I finally came up with the INVERTED COMMAS concept. I wanted art to easily arrive to "common" people, I didn't want it to be élite anymore, so I thought tote bags could be worn by everyone on a daily basis.
Are all of the bags illustrations unique, or do you make duplicates of them?
They are not unique, not till now at least, I've lots of projects, I'm already thinking about new designs and maybe a limited editon. I've already made some tote bags with the 4 debuting designs, but there will come a time in which I will stop the production, so there won't be around lots of duplicates.
Why bags, and not t-shirts that are so popular lately?
Maybe because of that! I'd love to make some t-shirts, but I feel like lots of people are exploring that, so I would like to make something different. I've already had several requests from customers to make some t-shirts, it's definitely something I'm thinking about, but I'd love to find some new ideas.
What's in store for Inverted Commas this 2012?
INVERTED COMMAS is like one month old, it's like a little baby who's slowly growing, I've so many ideas on my mind but as I said earlier I want to make everything right, with no rush, and I need to see how people respond to INVERTED COMMAS so that I can follow some lines. I'm already working on new designs that will be added to the shop soon.
How do you see the brand in 5 years?
I've lots of dreams for INVERTED COMMAS, but I don't know if 5 years will be enough to accomplish them! I feel very grateful and satisfied about this first month, I've the feeling everything is going pretty fine, and I'm happy I started this venture. I do hope things will always go this way and to have the support of those who like INVERTED COMMAS and wear my stuff, I think it's the most important thing. Beside this I hope INVERTED COMMAS will become more and more popular.
Do you think your heritage, and culture influence your style when illustrating? Tell us, what inspires you?
I think it's possible. Of course my personal history and culture influence my art vision. Even if I've never felt like belonging to one single place, not even my home. So maybe it's a mix of lots of things, like it should be. The people I've knowm, the places I've visited and where I lived, the music I listened to and the books I've read...all these things have inspired me. I think I simply try to express my vision on the world around me and I hope that other people could fit it.
I like the idea of art not being elitist anymore, because with fashion it used to be the same, but I feel that's changed so much in the last couple of years, with the influence of bloggers and sites like lookbook and chictopia, what's your view in this, do you think that art can reach that point?
Of course. There are many artists that refused to work with galleries or art circles, instead they wanted to work with common people, on the streets, on projects that could involve anyone. I don't feel like I'm the first one at all. As for fashion, I think that a big part was played by brands like Zara or H&M, that brang to people fashion with affordable prices, so that people could play more with their fashion taste and styling skills. Communities like Lookbook or Chictopia sure helped too in this process.
Also, as an illustrator and artist, what are your views in fashion? Because, I've always thought that they are related, art's such a big inspiration for designers, but can fashion inspire art?
Of course. I think it's a mutual relation. Any kind of art form is influenced by others. Music, photography, cinema, theatre, fashion...everything is connected now. I think it's something more than positive, and as for myself I hope I will be able to explore this path, with other artists and designers too.
Do you have any advice for people wanting to start their own independent brand?
I don't know if I could give any useful advice. I think you need to be patient, no rush, meaning that you need to wait the moment to have almost everything set up and clear and then you can start your own thing, then you'll need to be patient again because it usually takes time for your business to get popular. But above all, you need to love what you do, otherwise you'll loose your passion and inspiration; it can be easy to get frustrated, but you should remember why you decided to start your own brand every day. That means you need to have fun too!
And as I plan to have interview with independent designers more often on the blog, what would you like for me to ask the next designer?
Is your business online only? Are you planning to make a real shop in your town?
I want to thank Francesco for this opportunity, it was a real pleasure to chat with you for this interview, we hope to hear more from you and your brand in the future!
If you guys want to know more about his brand, or buy some of his lovely bags, you can contact him on the following links!
Also, if you'd like to know how to win one of his amazing bags, here's a link to a giveaway!