Imagine a world made of vibrant colors, Italian glamour, joy, and elegance…it’s not a fairytale—it’s Sara Battaglia!
In 2010, at 26 years old, the Milanese designer launched her eponymous label. Her colorful, refined, and exquisitely feminine bags stole the heart of celebrities and fashion connoisseurs alike. In 2018, Sara Battaglia was named “Best Emerging Brand” in Italy in the fashion category by the Fondazione Altagamma.
Sara Battaglia’s FW21 collection is dedicated to the youth: colorful, experimental, and glamorous pieces inspired by youthful enthusiasm and rebellion as a creative act.
We reached out to Sara to find out more about the origins of her brand, her design process, and her creative vision.
How was Sara Battaglia born?
The brand was born from a need to express my creativity. I’ve always been extremely creative: I was drawing before I learnt to read and write, my mum still has all the drawings I made when I was four, five years old. Creativity was always a strong force in my life, and I couldn’t live without it.
So, after a few years working with other brands, I took courage and decided to found my own label, starting with bags, which is possibly the most difficult category I could have chosen.
What made you want to expand into ready-to-wear?
For several years I only created bags: I wanted to give structure to the brand, have a clear creative direction. I then decided to expand into ready-to-wear, to offer a “total outfit”.
With the SS20 collection I introduced my first shoes – because of COVID, however, they’re not as established as other Sara Battaglia pieces yet.
Can you tell us some more about the collaboration with Salvatore Ferragamo? How did it come to be?
It was a like a fairytale! The collaboration was supposed to only be a capsule collection, but it went so well, both in terms of marketing and sales, that it got extended. I was given the opportunity to design the window displays and to be in charge of the shooting, outside of designing the bads of course.
There was an incredible chemistry between Paul Andrew, Massimiliano Giornetti, and I. I loved swimming in this beautiful world, that is very close to mine: Salvatore Ferragamo also started with accessories to then expand into ready-to-wear, and we share the same joie de vivre that we want to express through our women.
What is your greatest inspiration when designing? Give us some details of your design process.
My design process varies. Sometimes I take the most canonical approach: a blank page, eyes closed, and I start sketching from nothing. Blank paper never frightened me, rather it’s always excited me, and it always leads me to wonderful challenges.
Sometimes, on the other hand, I happen to be walking down the street and I see something that inspires me. I also love movies, music videos, music, books…All that makes me feel inspires me.
How long does it take to make a Sara Battaglia bag?
Quite long! My workers love and hate me at the same time. Some bags need ten, eleven hours, as some processes are complex and take time. I really care about quality, so I would rather the manufacturing process take longer than to deliver a mediocre product.
The Sara Battaglia collection is fully designed and made in Italy. How important is that to you?
Made in Italy to me is a lifestyle, a guarantee, a symbol. When something is made in Italy you know it will last a long time, and that it was made with love. Artisans have meticulous attention to detail, and they love what they do. Which is why my bags, clothing, and shoes are fully made in Italy.
If you had to pick a bag and an item of clothing that best represent the SS21 collection, what would they be?
It’s like asking a mother which is her favorite child! I would say the rainbow concept best represents the SS21 collection. Rainbow is my favorite color!
How important is functionality in your designs?
It’s essential. When I design an evening gown, I make sure to add two pockets, one for the phone, the other for keys. With bags I always think of women who are having a drink standing, or going to work… so the handle has to be comfortable, and the woman needs to have her hands free. I also sometimes add an external pocket that is easily reachable, for the phone. Obviously, this functionality is surrounded by creativity.
What materials do you use in your creations, and how do you source them?
I like using all materials. From faux leather, to silk, to cotton. I love contrasts: I like using a simple material, such as cotton, for an elegant, red carpet dress, where usually you would use silk.
Who is the quintessential Sara Battaglia woman?
A woman who is strong, feminine, and sure of herself. A woman who wants to be in a good mood everyday. And who wants to feel special, and unique.
What are the next steps for Sara Battaglia? Where do you see the label in 5 years?
I want to complete the “total look”, which for me includes home décor. From shoes, to shirts, to chairs, tents, and glasses… I want to create a Sara Battaglia world.
Your SS21 collection was shot in one of the most iconic Italian locations: Forte dei Marmi. Are there any other places in Italy that you would recommend our readers not to miss if they visit Italy?
All of Italy is beautiful! I particularly love the sea. Looking at it, the colors, hearing its sounds, I feel cleansed. As if I was reborn. I have a strong connection with water. So I would recommend the Italian coast: all beaches deserve a visit.