Barbara Rosin of Ventidue: A Creator of Unique Leather Designs with Her Own Unique Flair!By Kaylene Peoples | November 1st, 2009 | Category: Fashion, Interviews, November 2009 | No Comments »
“I’m a very determined person. If I’m not doing something for myself, what a waste! With all my resources, I thought, this is the time!” -Barbara Rosin
Barbara Rosin is the creator of the leather label Ventidue. She recently came from Verona, a city in northeast Italy, near Venice. This is a part of Italy that has been involved in creating and cultivating leather products for years. New to designing, Rosin just started making her leather collection about a year ago, and her garments are refined and edgy. She uses metallics and uniquely and skillfully treated leather. Rosin combines leather with jersey, cotton, and organza to create her own unique flair. According to Barbara, the leather has a memory and keeps the shape of the wearer’s body. For example, a leather jacket keeps its memory forever. She loves leather for this very reason.
What is your design process?
The process is really simple and natural. I love to design and I like a simple style, while at the same time I love the combination of some particular fabrics, in this case leather, jersey, cotton, organza, etc., combined with metal.
Metal, now that’s different. I noticed you have metal studs on your handbags.
Yes, especially metal. I use it with the leather to create more detail. Everything is completely different if you use materials that are unusual.
Do you make your own patterns, like your pleated skirt, for instance? I’ve never seen a leather pleated skirt before.
This is actually a big job I did with Eveline from EM and Co. It was an amazing combination. I think it’s a particular skirt that everybody can wear. It looks one way in cotton and a completely different way in leather. You can play with the look by combining a simple white tank top or a blouse to make it more elegant. With leather it’s versatile. For instance, a leather jacket is something you can wear everyday. But if you put studs or wear with metallic leather pants, or even accessorize with shoes or bag, it can pull the look together. I love this collection for this reason. Every single piece you can put your personality and play with it a lot!
What would you say is special or unique about your particular designs?
I try to give more personality to my pieces. We did leather leggings in metallic. There are particular materials I use to make my pieces more unique.
I hadn’t seen very much metallic in leather before I saw your collection. How did you come up with that concept?
It’s because I come from a part of Italy where they have been working withleather for a really long time. I’ve been around this material all my life. It’s very natural for me.
As I look at some of your handbags, I don’t really know how to describe them. It’s leather with an edge. Tell me about how you came up with that idea.
As I was cutting leather for something, there was all this excess material that was just going to waste. Why did I have to throw all this beautiful excess away? The kind of ageing of this leather is fantastic. So we took the excess, put metallic on top, and it was amazing. This is the reason that my handbags were born.
So it’s kind of almost like being “green,” recyclable.
Yes, and I love the idea because you can customize it more because of the room inside the bag. You modify to [accommodate] what you need. For instance, if you need something very short for evening, or if you need something very big for daytime, you create it accordingly.
You left Italy to come here. Are you permanently living here now, or do you go back and forth?
How can you play with this kind of leather? I have to go back and forth because the quality of leather is difficult to get here. Unfortunately, you cannot have this kind of effect—it’s a different kind of labor. In Italy they do amazing stuff with leather to make it very soft, like butter. You can have these kinds of effects only with Italian lamb.
Did you have any obstacle while trying to create your designs?
I’m lucky because I received great feedback when I presented my pieces. Economically speaking, it is not a good time to start a business, but I’m very strong and very determined.
What are some of your price points?
I was really impressed with the people who have helped me. Not to take away anything from Italy, but here in the United States and particularly in Los Angeles, a lot of people are really nice and amazing. Everybody was super helpful. I was like, wow! I’m so happy. There was so much support.
The economy is bad, but if you believe in yourself, you can keep going. When you get low, you just need to wake up and go for it with everything you’ve got. Because if you believe it and if you are lucky enough to have a partner, don’t think about the negative; just be strong and remember that tomorrow is another great day.
How has the economy affected your designing?
Everybody thinks that the leather will cost too much. I just explain that it’s something new, so it doesn’t have to be expensive.
What advice would you give to an aspiring designer?
Do it. Sit down, make your design, try to speak with a lot of people and try to make your project happen. If you take the time, you can meet with the kind of people who can help you. So, if you feel you have something . . . do it! I love that my pieces can make women happy all around the world.
Which designers inspire you?
My inspirations come from everywhere—my family, traveling, Italy. I do love Thierry Muegler, but I consider everyday life an inspiration.
You can find Ventidue at EM & Co in Los Angeles, CA. Also visit www.emandco.com to purchase Ventidue online.