For centuries, Italian craftsmanship has been prized for its quality and beauty. That’s why luxury brands from Chanel to Prada have flocked to small Italian villages to find the best artisanal workshops and factories to make clothes, bags, and other accessories. But who are these talented craftspeople?
Elisa Rossi, an Italian native who worked at Apple and Square, believes that today’s consumer of personal luxury goods is less attracted to big flashy labels and is more interested in the real people who make their products.
“In cities all over the U.S., people love farmers’ markets and microbreweries,” recalls Rossi. “They’re interested in the story behind what they buy.”
Fascinated by the idea of why the story behind each product is so important to the customer, Rossi launched a startup called Rossi & Rei that attempts to bring luxury artisans directly to the people buying their products with the aim of further enhancing the story and the emotions constructed in the process.
For months, she’s scouted luxury craftspeople across Italy who make products for top luxury brands and partnered with them to make collections of limited-edition products. She has coined the phrase “human-to-human luxury” to describe this unique approach.
Some of the craftsman under Rossi&Rei are Maglificio Tomas, a well-established family business in the Marche region of Italy, Veronica Marucci, and Le Panier, a young, modern, and gifted crew from Sicily who has broken the mould of the traditional artisan archetype.
For the first month, the brand has made bags, sweaters, and hats. In the future, as an added bonus, customers will be able to customise each piece to their liking, choosing their own combination of colours, strap length, and other details.
“Storytelling is the critical component here,” Rossi says. “We take time to make videos about the artisans and give the customer a glimpse into their studios.
Moreover, we believe that technology such as VR could be used to create a real emotional bond between the artisan and the person who will eventually be owning the product. More, on the official website.
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