MAGAZINE February 25th, 2021

AIM/HANDMADE IN ITALY Interview

 

Anna Maria is an accessory designer and consults around the world, mainly in New York. She has always had in mind to make her collection of bags, but he never finds the right time. It happens by chance: at the market, she stumbles on a purse from the seventies, falls in love with it; the door in the factory and reproduces it in a functional key, giving it a geometric handle of great authority. Not bad, people stop her on the street and ask her, "Where did you get it?" Anna Maria returns to the factory and starts a small production. The lockdown will stop her, but not all evil comes to harm. The project manifesto takes shape. Aim Handmade in Italy is born, a brand of well-made bags with a solid, clean image with a responsible attitude. 

Where does the AIM name come from?

"AIM represents the purpose and meaning of my life: the expression of the self, the result of a harmony achieved between feminine and masculine. Today we see women divided between two poles: excessively feminine or, to emerge, completely masculine. I tried to integrate the two parts of me into my bags. You can observe the balance integrated into Olivia, my first bag: strong handle, welcoming volume.»

Craftsmanship and sustainability, important themes today. What value do they have for you?

"I think people today want something that lasts over time, and something that lasts must necessarily be done with their hearts and hands. I'm trying to do my best on the sustainability issue, using inventories and production waste, my supplier, and the tanneries. I don't think it will ever be necessary to produce anything new. Even if I grow in volumes, I will rather make limited editions. I am also open to the use of new materials. I produce everything in Naples, where I have always tried to bring work to support local craftsmanship.»

What are you presenting to White?

"There are 4 models from the collection. I am now working on a fifth model and a small accessory made from leather that remains from the handle's shape. I had a surplus, and I thought I would make a small coin purse".

Stores, e-commerce, Instagram: for a young brand, what is the right strategy?

"We started with IG in June, and people started writing to me. Of course, everything was slowing down because I didn't have an e-commerce, so the interaction was slow. Now I've been equipped. Besides, I am doing door-to-door presentation work, with the knowledge, the sector's connections, calling the right stores: I am collecting some orders, and I will make a spring delivery. I think that at this stage, it is necessary to open up to more possibilities, remaining in the momentum.»

What plans do you have for the next few months?

"I still work for Frances Valentine New York, which is Kate Spade's project. In 2018, unfortunately, the designer took her own life, but her best friend, who was her partner, decided to continue, and I am in charge of purses collections and small leather works. I hope that my project will become a more substantial reality, even the producers believe it. Meanwhile, these days, we're launching e-commerce.

 

 

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