Label of the month: AQUATELLUS
Artisan-made accessoires from Italy, using old techniques and superior materials – that’s what husband and wife team Nermin and Alessandro are producing with their lines AQUATELLUS and AQUATELLUS Le Poesie. Based in Florence, the couple manufactures a collection including personal accessories like scarves and jewelry and home wares like blankets and towels.
We spoke to Alessandro about the story behind their brand, their ideas and their plans for the future.
– Please tell us something about your brand and the ideas behind it?
The ideas came by chance after a vacation in an highland near Istanbul, where we found beautiful, light and handwoven fabrics turned into towels and robes. They were a reminiscence of our young years when our grandmothers were used to employ such fine fabrics in the house. So we set in motion to find the sources of such artisan-made products. They required a different interpretation and an update that could better reflect our needs and most definitely our tastes. Once we found a few master weavers, we re-arranged and tested their products for two years in order to achieve what it is today the collection of AQUATELLUS.
As for AQUATELLUS Le Poesie, it came purely out of love for ancient techniques that existed since the times of the Silk Road and that are still known by the most talented women – my partner and wife Nermin and her relatives. Again: What existed was not anything that we could hope to sell in sophisticated markets like Italy or Europe. But it was clear that such techniques contained a great potential for a new interpretation of the most common accessories like bracelets and necklaces and that’s what we did. We completely re-designed the product, developing several prototypes until when we came out with the right sizing and shapes, colour combinations and suitable prices for potential customers with a love for handmade, intricate products with a sense of sophistication in them.
– What’s special about your brand? What do you want to achieve in the future?
What moved us and will direct us in the future is the love for real things, made by the hands of real artisans, conceived and designed with real love and passion for the products. We finally achieved a quality which will make buyers fall in love with our products the first time and come back to buy again and again once they discovered them. Even though it sounds pretty obvious, it’s definitely a striving for excellence in quality and desire to share such beautiful and comfortable items that drives our brand and its design.
– What’s your design process like?
We went back to the past and more precisely to the Latin roots existing in Anatolia to get to the starting point of our inspiration. Every day, we then keep applying our love for nature, for its colours, its peculiarities and our technical knowledge in order to achieve a modern version of these ancient products and techniques.
– What was the most exciting experience having your own brand / company ?
It is to see the curiosity and surprise in the eyes of our customers when they see our products for the first time. Some of them are happy to re-discover certain techniques learnt years before and then forgotten, newly applied to something that they can wear or use in their daily lives. Others are completely unaware that such things could exist today and are still being produced – they are glad to find them and to be able to experience them and make them completely their own personal items, their own discreet companions.
– What are some of of your favorite stores?
We have been selling in this first year of real commercial activities to a variety of stores. All of them with peculiar profiles. They range from restaurants to vintage furniture stores to fine paper shops and stationary producers. The latest and most unexpected is Club55 on the Pampelonne beach of Saint Tropez with their emporium on the beach; its owner has welcomed us in a very kind and open manner, enjoying to see our products and embracing our taste and concept.
– In the end, please tell us something about Florence in Italy, where your company is based. Which places (restaurants, shops, bars, …) nearby would you also recommend?
We live and work in Florence, right on the hills surrounding it, and right here we have started our first timid steps of sales. After leaving our products at a friend’s renowned Spa in Via S.Egidio called ‘Soul Space‘, Maria Cassi (actress and wife of Florence’ famous chef Fabio Picchi, owner of ‘Cibreo‘ and ‘Teatro del Sale‘) bought our scarves and after showing them to Fabio, we ended up developing a whole new line of items for his shops where he is selling a variety of artisan-made lifestyle products. They are a great couple and they run their restaurants with great passion and energy and a hard-to-find originality.