Designer Interview

By: FashWire
Feb 16, 2024 10:33 AM

When did you know you wanted to become a designer?

Overall, I believe that especially women somehow have an inborn talent for design. I personally uncovered my passion and talent whilst in the family business, which has been involved in printing fabrics with the widest range of designs for over 50 years now. I have had the privilege of both seeing and touching an infinity of designs and colors printed on a multitude of fabrics and I realized that this triggered an overwhelming positivity, enthusiasm, exceptionally good mood, and creativity in me; so much so that I felt I had to start this project to share these amazing feelings with others. Silk is a fabulous fabric that is capable of not only conveying an incredible visual sensation but a tactile one too. Try touching silk, it will have you hooked, its softness conveys a magnetic feeling.

I believe the products of the future will be those that can solve the clients’ problems or respond to their needs, thus making the usefulness their primary characteristic. This is how I came up with the idea of creating something new, useful, and functional as well; something that does not exist at present within the fashion accessory sector; something that would offer the possibility to “wear” silk in a completely different and unprecedented manner. My daily needs and the wish to create an immediate outfit, without any particular effort or stylistic competencies, by simply using colored accessories, was the starting point for the outburst of my creativity.

Functionality is the most important element I have always considered as being crucial while creating my collection of fashion accessories. They must thus be comfortable, practical, light, colorful, of a very high-quality standard, and last over time. Thus, opting to use silk as the only fabric taken advantage of made everything more romantic, with a pleasant reminder of the past and the history of the fabric which, in my opinion, has by far generated the highest number of passions over time.


What did the beginnings of EMA-BIA look like?

The peculiarity of the project is that in the initial stages, we started in a completely different manner from what normally happens while setting up a brand, I might even dare say in the opposite manner.

We started off with the printed silk which was already available in the company. In my opinion, an Italian company which has been present on the market for over 50 years has to be safeguarded; especially in a world where impersonal mass production has wearied the consumer. Having a historic company that passes on its experience with archives full of drawings and top-notch know-how is extremely rare these days; but our company is not grounded in the past as it is aware of how utterly fundamental it is to innovate, and remains in step with the times while continuously broadening the line through an incessant development of the company, especially from a point of view of visibility and reduction of waste which is dramatically high in the fashion sector.


What can you tell us about the new use of the silk you use for designing?

The option of choosing silk mainly stems from the wish to offer different uses for this fabric which has always been used in the creation of accessories, dresses, and clothes in general but has never before been used to create bonded bags.

Extensive research was performed to understand which types of silk were the most suitable to be taken advantage of and bonded to make solid accessories without losing its characteristic softness, brightness, and peculiarity at the touch, which only silk can create and is the characteristic feature which has made it so precious over the centuries.

We therefore decided to always use only silk for the production of our accessories, so that we could share the pleasure of wearing this magnificent fabric in new forms and shapes with our customers.

This choice was perfectly in line with our wish to promote Italian craftsmanship, elegance, and taste as well as the Made in Italy brand at a global level. 


“Our goal is to offer collections that can respond to different tastes without the need to necessarily follow a fashion trend, but rather respond to the customer’s own personality, need, and attitude.”


Where do you find inspiration?

This project was initially launched to find new manners for using the existing silk. We had different colors and numerous different prints and designs, and as a consequence, from our point of view, could be taken advantage of in a multitude of applications. There were cuts of silk with very nice prints representing animals, vegetables, and various objects. Many times also suitable for environments in which children play and stay so we came up with the idea to create pillows and ready-to-use cushions of various sizes, which could even be used in children’s rooms (silk is antiallergic and exceptionally soft and therefore also suitable because of these characteristics), but also in the kitchen, the living room – any environment where it would be nice to find soft silk pillows with prints of a pumpkin and eggplant to add a wonderful touch of color. We thus found a new way of using silk within everyday life and in joyful moments.

But there was so much that silk could also be used for - accessories that were not in the “home decor” category; silks with extremely refined prints that were more suitable as a touch of color, for instance, easily matching monochrome outfits; but once more with the idea of creating something new, useful, and functional.

We therefore broadened and launched the creation of silk bags.


What are the processes and materials that go into designing your silk bags?

The bonded silk begets, a new material without losing its softness at the touch, whilst being very resistant and thus suitable for bags. To make everything even more perfect, we decided to insert elements of leather in various points of contact or rubbing points to guarantee a longer life of the items.

To make our items even more fashionable and practical, we created a kit with a bag and matching foulard and so created an added value for our product as this kit allows you to fashion an outfit in a matter of just a few minutes.

A classic foulard is a very refined accessory with a sole use. We came up with the idea to renew this item and its uses by creating a matching bag and thus transforming it into a multifaceted accessory. We created a shape that could have several uses, i.e., not only as a foulard to be worn around your neck but also as a belt for coats - a bracelet to be worn on your wrist or ankle – a ribbon for your hair, in a nutshell: we have given this accessory a new life with a multitude of different uses.

This is the creative process that led to the idea of the Silky Stripes, matching, and sold in combination with the bags. Since they could be ruined by wear and tear or during the washing process, we thought it to be a good idea to put two of them in the kit so that if one gets ruined, the customer still has another one, or you could even decide to use both at once to make your outfit even more special.

While creating these kits, i.e., containing a bag and two stripes made of the same fabric, print, and color, we also came up with the idea to create several different bags that in general can be used during the day:

SILKY KIT 30 – a large, zippered bag with handy handles to be used over jackets and coats that we decided to name SILKY KIT 30 (the number refers to its size so that there would be an immediate and clear reference to the size of the accessory).

SILKY KIT 22 – to offer the possibility to have the same type of bag but in a smaller version which can respond to our needs during the day but may well be used at night too.

SILKY KIT CLUTCH - an elegant clutch that can be used with long dresses and for evenings out as well as on special occasions, such as weddings, parties, dinner parties, etc. The clutch was created to be a real clutch bag but keeping in mind that very often one needs to use their hands during such events and parties – we therefore designed it with a decorative elastic band that can be used if you need to hold your bag while having free hands.

We then started creating a multitude of other models to respond to all the needs a person might have. We now have a collection ranging from clutch bags, silky T-CASE, silky T-CASE mini, silky 24, and 24 minis, to bags designed to be used both as shoulder bags and clutch bags. When traveling you can therefore pack just one bag, because you can use it both during the day as a shoulder bag with its incredibly practical and elegant elastic band and at night as a clutch. 

We design all our items whilst keeping practicality, functionality, and elegance in mind, and every bag has its very own story.


What sets your brand apart from the rest?

I believe that every brand has its own unique characteristic features; we have seen so many exquisite ideas and creations of goods in fashion.

I personally believe that the key factor is being able to combine more than one characteristic feature within one item; it is for this reason that we have created goods that enclose quality, functionality, simplicity, color, and fashion. Our goal is to offer collections that can respond to different tastes without the need to necessarily follow a fashion trend, but rather respond to the customer’s own personality, need, and attitude. We combine sensations and use, whilst offering a product that is totally new on the market, and that with the bonus feature of owning a fully Made in Italy craftmanship item. Through our brand, we have also created the occasion to offer a possibility to stimulate the creativeness of our customers. Each item has its own characteristic features, especially now that we have created our collection of blouses. Every one of our products can be combined with other accessories created and designed by our brand to give the possibility to create a truly exclusive and unique outfit, adding a touch of color to monochrome garments, which our wardrobes are full of.


Do you have a favorite piece that you have designed?

My favorite Silk Bag is without any doubt the Silky SUN, which was studied in all its details and produced with handcrafted excellence. The bag is completely made with 2,5 mt long silk, both on the inside and the outside, only the handles are made of leather; this bag is soft and light and can be packed in your luggage but is still rigid enough to stay upright. In my opinion, it is a true work of art! 


How would you describe the style you aim for your brand?

Our priority was to also solve our customers’ problems by creating useful accessories. For this reason, we do not have one defined style within our brand, but we try to capture and englobe different styles and needs based on the different personalities and the occasions in which our accessories will be used.

Italian fashion represents refined elegance and EMA-BIA fully represents this very Italian fashion feature.


“We like to think that every person who is wearing one of our accessories experiences the unique sensation of being clothed in a work of art.”


What brand values are most important for EMA-BIA?

I believe that the main value of the brand lies in the originality of the product, its quality, and the reliability of Italian production as well as that our projects and collections are created around our final customers. Therefore, we do our utmost to create accessories and garments that are useful, comfortable elegant, and refined without any particular effort or stylistic competencies. Our products are even more exclusive because of their uniqueness, no two items are the same.


What is the one piece of advice you would give to a new designer?

I believe that being a designer means having specific competencies that go beyond having a mere design idea. I think that a designer needs to have the capacity to transform objects into artwork. First of all, as a consumer, woman, mother, and entrepreneur I believe that the most important priority and goal for future designers lies in being able to create a fashion that can be used and not only to design items that maybe, on first sight, are beautiful and are featured in the most well-known magazines because they are flashy but are not very functional at all.

In a world where waste is no longer acceptable, I am convinced we need to create something that is satisfying but can also be used over time and not discarded after a while because it is not very practical or even of poor quality.


What was the toughest circumstance you overcame when just starting your business?

For sure finding the most suitable silk for this project and then making the public understand that the EMA-BIA silk bag is a bag that can be used in every season because the silk is bonded and is thus perfectly durable over time. Moreover, contrary to other bags, the silk bag is truly unique to own even if the brand is not very well known yet because for now only sold online.


If you could go back and tell yourself one thing before beginning your career, what would it be?

One always sets off thinking that selling is the final goal to be reached. I, on the contrary, am of the opinion that the voyage and the people we share it with are the most important elements. This is the only manner to remain enthusiastic and original and preserve the will to proceed further.

Perseverance and the wish to learn, progress, and innovate in a world evolving at such a fast pace, as well as the awareness that we are creating beautiful and useful items must remain our sole goal, all the rest will happen as a consequence.

Every moment has a why, every experience sets the way to reaching the next stage without ever losing one’s individuality and one’s vision of things and situations.

The most exciting things will come the following day. 


Do you have a passion other than fashion or design?

The brand is the expression and grouping of my passions.

Within the project, I can express and work with all my greatest passions. Firstly, the possibility offered by my hunger for creativity, creating and preparing colorful collections with always new models is truly marvelous; having the possibility to interact and enter in contact with so many people working in the sector who teach me, and I can learn new things from is extremely stimulating. It is a sector in which I can learn so much about fashion, the technologies linked to social platforms and marketing, and discover new forms of communication. This being an international brand, I also need to stay updated about IT platforms and international habits and uses. I am involved in every aspect of the project, so I span from the creative process of the design and production to the management of the commercial area and marketing; in a nutshell, all the aspects I have always been interested in.


What should consumers expect to see next from EMA-BIA?

Always new and colorful accessories. New combinations between accessories and clothing as well as new ways of having the wonderful fabric of silk close to you.


What is the most important thing you would like your brand to be recognized for?

A brand that offers a new way of wearing silk, something new in a sector in which it is not easy to discover or create novelties. The quality, beauty, comfort, uniqueness, and peculiarity of all the EMA-BIA creations and designs. We like to think that every person who is wearing one of our accessories experiences the unique sensation of being clothed in a work of art. A design not showing off the BRAND but talking about the PRODUCT.

A silk bag is a style that will always remain fascinating. Timeless refinement.