The pres­i­dent of leather goods brand Furla has lux­ury in the bag. By Cai Mei Khoo.

Harper’s Bazaar (Malaysia) - - Style -

What was Furla like when it first started back in 1927? Well, my fa­ther founded the com­pany in Bologna, which, at that time, distributed fash­ion­able prod­ucts and ac­ces­sories for ladies. But the very first Furla bou­tique opened in 1955 and we have re­mained faith­ful to the val­ues and com­mit­ment that in­spired my fa­ther 85 years ago. You took over the fam­ily busi­ness with your broth­ers in the 1970s. What did you have in mind for Furla then? When my broth­ers and I joined the busi­ness, we de­cided to shift our fo­cus to the de­sign and pro­duc­tion of leather hand­bags and small leather goods. Our mo­ti­va­tion was, and still is, to align the brand’s stylis­tic evo­lu­tion to meet the needs of the ever-chang­ing global sce­nario. Is the com­pany to­day what you had en­vi­sioned back then? No doubt, it is. Furla is a pre­mium life­style brand known for its qual­ity prod­ucts. The idea was to cre­ate a trans­ver­sal brand, one that’s both pop­u­lar and edgy, and we did. What’s your de­sign process like? I work with a cre­ative team that trav­els ex­ten­sively to scout the lat­est trends. We choose the leathers and ma­te­ri­als that best rep­re­sent the mood that in­spires the col­lec­tion. Strik­ing a bal­ance be­tween Ital­ian ar­ti­san know-how and the com­pany’s in­trin­sic drive for re­search, ex­per­i­men­ta­tion, and in­no­va­tion is the end-game. What we re­ally want is to sur­prise and se­duce the con­sumer. Best ma­te­ri­als to o work with? Furla urla is leather, leather first. first Our prod­ucts best ex­press the com­pany’s ex­per­tise in select­ing the finest ma­te­ri­als. We also be­lieve in the state­ment of ‘tra­di­tion meets in­no­va­tion’ and en­joy ex­per­i­ment­ing with ma­te­ri­als such as ny­lon and rub­ber, like in the iconic Candy bag. In your eyes, what makes the per­fect bag? A bag is per­fect when it con­veys the right mix of cre­ativ­ity, won­der, fun, and qual­ity, be­com­ing a cov­eted and use­ful ob­ject, suit­able for dif­fer­ent looks and oc­ca­sions. A bag is never just a bag … In­deed, it is a de­tail of style that makes you feel spe­cial and unique. It both gath­ers a woman’s pri­vate be­long­ings and re­flects her per­son­al­ity, taste, and life­style choices. Word has it you’re a lover of con­tem­po­rary art. I am. Among my favourite art pieces is a print cre­ated by Vanessa Beecroft, rep­re­sent­ing one of her live per­for­mances. It is part of a limited edi­tion of only y six pieces and I own the first one, e, which is c cur­rently housed in the com­pany’s head­quar­ters in Bologna. I also ad­mire the work w by Amer­i­can con­cep­tual artist art Joseph Ko­suth. Your Yo must-haves for Au­tumn/Win­ter Au ’13? It’s a bag that rep­re­sents the per­fect perfe blend of el­e­gance and in­no­va­tion, in­nov with its clean lines ac­cen­tu­ated ac­cent by a panel of soft matt leather le in bright colours. We have also als pre­sented a new ver­sion of the Candy Can Sun­set, fea­tur­ing bright colours wan­ing into translu­cent shad­ows. Tell us more about the Spring/ Sum­mer ’14 col­lec­tion. The con­cept is nat­u­ral light­ness and free­dom, as ex­pressed by a del­i­cate colour pal­ette. One of the pieces to look for­ward to is a bag with an ex­clu­sive mix of soft and pre­cious ma­te­ri­als, such as pony skin and saf­fi­ano printed calf­skin, em­bel­lished with small gold-tone de­tails. A spe­cial piece in your daily bag? Oh, a lit­tle me­tal pen­dant ded­i­cated to Furla’s 80th An­niver­sary. A motto you live by? Sim­plic­ity is the key to so­phis­ti­ca­tion. Who in­spires you? My fa­ther, my per­sonal hero. He mo­ti­vated and en­cour­aged us to con­tin­u­ously go be­yond tra­di­tional bound­aries and to fly high. He used to say to me, “You are like a ves­sel and you have to fill your­self with con­tents.” Furla re­opens this De­cem­ber at Lot 3.61, Pavilion KL.

Giovanna Furlan­etto

Furla Spring/ Sum­mer ’14 pre­sen­ta­tion

Tote, Furla

Candy bag, Furla

Sling bag, Furla

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