Creativity, design, innovation, and sustainability have been the inspiration of the first edition of ThinkBag, the project created and promoted by Leather&Luxury and Loipell. Two classes of Polimoda students participated: third year Fashion Design Management and Master in Bag Design students. The project, which began in January 2021, involved the collaboration of students and companies in the creation of bags for those that could potentially become the designers of the future.
The final act of the initiative took place on May 27th, where the bags of the ten finalists were presented and judged in the presence of a large jury of technicians, journalists and experts at Villa Favard, the institute's splendid Florentine headquarters: Rossella Sciommeri (Leather&Luxury CEO), Matteo Rovelli (Project Manager ThinkBag for Leather&Luxury), Niccolò Loia (Loipell Ceo), Michael Falagiani (Project Manager ThinkBag x Loipell), bag designer Gianfranco Lotti, Carlos Maculan (CluXter Srl), Laudomia Pucci (Emilio Pucci Deputy Chairman and Image Director), Andreas Lotti (Leather&Luxury editor in chief), Jacopo Pozzati (SOTF and PLAYGROUND buyer), journalists and fashion critics Eva Desiderio and Daniela Fedi, Monica Sarti (Faliero Sarti Creative Director) and Niccolò Giannini (Nico Giani). The jury also included the initiative's partners who contributed by providing materials and technical support to the students: Sara Filippelli and Massimiliano Rosi (Materia Prima srl), Alberto Falcini (Guido Falcini Spa), Massimiliano Maruccia (Ceitex CEO), Marina Raffaelli, (Tissés), Desiree Calamai (Air Collection) Francesco Bencini (Creazioni Lorenza CEO), Chiara Pezzatini (CDC SRLL product manager) e Lapo Roccia, (Agile srl CEO).
Each finalist presented their bag with passion, competence, and creativity. In the end, the “Lilia” bag triumphed: Natalia Lilian’s project, a young German Master in Bag Design student who convinced both the jury and the online survey on the social channels of Leather&Luxury. Natalia's bag will be produced in twenty pieces by Loipell and then sold in a selected store. The entire proceeds of the sale will be donated to charity. Here are Natalia's words after her victory.
Natalia, how do you feel the “day after” your victory?
“I'm very well, I'm very happy, thank you. After all these months of work, I was finally able to sleep again!”
Let's find out a little behind the scenes of the winning bag, “Lilia”....
“I am passionate about architecture, my parents are architects, so generally my creative process starts with drawing. In this case, however, I initially worked a lot with paper. I created various paper patterns until I found the right design. Then I started drawing the details until I had the final shape of my bag. In the next steps, I developed the prototype with bonded leather and researched accessories such as the shoulder strap, to create the functionality of the bag. For the handle in particular, from the beginning I imagined designing something with a round shape, and so pearls came to mind. The creative and production process was very long, but the result is exactly what I had in mind, so I'm very happy.”
In your presentation of “Lilia”, you actually describe a veritable brand with your name “Natalia Lilian”...
“Yes, my brand idea is based on the concepts of quality, design, functionality and sustainability. The desire is to create unique and timeless pieces that combine a modern style with the classic artisanship of leather goods. This is to create a product that lasts over time, that escapes from fast fashion, and therefore becomes sustainable. In my opinion, quality means sustainability.”
How was your relationship with ThinkBag's partners and suppliers?
‘In the early stages of the project we met suppliers who presented us with innovative materials and gave us important inspiration. I, for example, had chosen to use a soft leather from the beginning, in particular the cream nappa cosmo of Guido Falcini Spa, the Creazioni Lorenza accessories and metal pearl engraved with my logo, and last but not least the chain of CDC srl.
The ThinkBag partners did a great job with us students, they managed to help us create the designs we wanted, they really did the impossible for us. It was a success for everyone.”
What do you dream of for your future?
“I have been drawing since I was little, and my dream is to create my own brand. I would definitely like to get some work experience after my master’s degree at Polimoda, but the goal is to create my own brand.”