The president of leather goods brand Furla has luxury in the bag. By Cai Mei Khoo.
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.
Furla Spring/ Summer ’14 presentation
Candy bag, Furla
Sling bag, Furla