LEDEFF, a brand which takes shape from generational development: an architect and an economist jump into their grandmother’s trunk and re-emerge covered in fabrics and small vintage accessories, such as buttons and brass buckles.
Paris and their show in many magazines are the following steps in the run up to the opening of the showroom in 2019.
Barbara and Luigia, you are the soul of LEDEFF, tell us about your background and how your paths join together, in terms of jobs.
Luigia: first of all, we are sisters, then colleagues! A huge collusion and well developed aesthetic sense join us. It’s incredible how much our taste is often the same, always well defined. Sometimes we send each other the same inspirations and we laugh about it! We have very different backgrounds, it’s true, I studied Economics but I have always wanted to work in Fashion, so, the first jobs in Milan from small businesses to Ralph Lauren from which I learnt a lot.
Barbara, instead, has an architect as a dad, creative and visionary, anticipates trends well. Until she was twenty, she drew bags and produced leather handmade carpets. About me, I have always been involved in vintage research, in unique pieces in tiny markets around the world. She is a furnishing fabrics lover. Both of us were convinced, that soon or later, we would join our passions to make something amazing together, and that’s it! I remember perfectly the moment in which LEDEFF was born, four years ago during dinner at my parents house. The table was covered with beautiful fabrics we inherited from our grandma and our father.
Silk velvet, french embroidery fabrics, buttons and vintage garments. After hours and hours of talking the idea was born: “why don’t we use it to create a purse s collection?”. All unique from one another. Soon we will be in Paris at the fair with our first real collection, a unique emotion! LEDEFF is a tribute to our family. Our inspiring muses were our mother Silvia, from her came the name of our iconic purse, and our grandmother. These are women made of a timeless elegance and class. LEDEFF wants to be exactly this: a mix between ancient and modern, between fashion and furnishing, with timeless taste that will last.
How do your experiences and educations that are so different influence your relationship? How are you able to balance, in the right doses, the relationship between Creativity and Commerciality, which are often conflicting?
Luigia: eh… As with all respected fashion firms, the conflict between these two spheres is something we have to live with. But I have to admit that it’s lucky that our figures are so complementary and as often as we can have different ways of thinking, we are able to find a common path. There is great communication between us and this makes the exchange of ideas and thoughts constructive and not just conflicting. When my sister flies too high with her fantasies, I’m the right one to bring her down!
“Designing accessories is a challenge that grazes the limits of surgical precision.” What do you think about these words? What are the characteristics of your creations and which ‘critical factor’ will not lack in your purse, ever?
Barbara: as an architect, I know something about precision in designing! It’s my own background that leads my hand to the project of a new model. There is a maniacal attention to details, to seams, and not only to pure aesthetics. In the designing phase I’m always in search of ‘innovation’, in shape and in function of the bag. Then, it’s known, every new model has to be tested to understand eventual criticism. We are our own critics first, we always wear the new model and we try to understand and correct eventual imperfections.
Talking about the creative cycle: research, design, study of materials, development, selling, etc. How would you re-organize it considering the elements that distinguish yourself?
Luigia: material research: my favourite phase! For us, even the most important. Often the fabrics, the materials, the colors and the different kinds of leather inspire the designing of a new purse. It’s from the research that all processes begin. Our fabrics come from the world of interior design, but often we like finding unique pieces all around vintage markets. In this phase our focus is on the quality of materials and on the excellence of our supplier.
Then, the idea becomes a sketch, my sister loves old school drawing, she doesn’t use digital technology a lot. In an era in which everything is digital we like preserving something more authentic.
From the sketch to the realization of the product, is the most beautiful moment, but also the most gentle. Though, we are lucky enough to work with the best artisans of Campania, who provide us with a high level manufacture.
Instead, concerning the selling, we have many ideas to realize. We want to impress our final clients and become closer and closer to them.
Which elements cannot lack in the perfect outfit, and why own a purse? Fashion psychology says that the bag is a bodily extension of the person who exposes and uses it. What does ‘wearing a purse’ mean, for you?
Barbara: I have to admit, I don’t always carry a bag! Yes, because a Purse is not only a useful container of objects. The purse has a life of its own which is comes from a mix of details, colors and shapes that must work perfectly with the look, but also with the physicality of whoever is wearing it, and that may not always be possible. Therefore, sometimes it may be better to do without. Ledeff aims to avoid this and make sure no woman has to deprive herself of a bag.
What is the last purpose, or the first (if we consider it on the other side), of your work? How do you want to achieve or develop it?
Luigia and Barbara: the first purpose of our work is to transmit a message made of authenticity and elegance ( that has a bit lost in recent times), in our purses there is personality and our eclectic style. We want to do it, creating a desirable product and, moreover, something ‘timeless’, overcoming fleeting trends, that may became iconic.
Creative and art direction by Sarah Venturini
Photography by Paolo De Luca
Fashion by Sarah Venturini
Original soundtrack by Valerio Campodonico
Production and fashion assistance by Nadia Lametta and Claudia Chiarolanza
Modeling by Margherita Paloma Giacopelli
Make up & hair by Isabell Taranto
Special thanks to Avavav, Vivetta, Retrophilia Vintage Clothing and Doctor Vintage