Viterbo | Benedetta Bruzziches

Benedetta Bruzzichesnot to mince words, is a fashion phenomenon, a design success story with few equals, a free spirit who’s accomplished a meteoric rise to the very top of her chosen profession. Which is creating bags. Quilted bags galore, then bucket bags, basket bags, string bags, parcel bags, book bags, mirror bags and many, many more: an astonishing variety of styles but to the last utterly original, always remarkable, mostly offbeat, and snatched up just as soon as they arrive in some of the most exclusive stores on three continents.

Rather like Benedetta herself, in fact. She’s a maverick and a fantasist, impossible to pin down, so here’s just a sample of her weird and wonderful thoughts. She doesn’t so much design her bags as tell them in words. She’s not really interested in talking about materials or shapes: her collections are stories and the bags are the characters in them. She’s espoused a philosophy of Joy. Entering her study is like walking into Wonderland. A woman’s bag is a talisman. One day, around 2009, she woke to find herself transformed into a bag. Fashion is her way to dreams. Her feet are never firmly planted on the ground. Her dream is to learn to fly.

Back on solid ground, Benedetta Bruzziches studied at Rome’s Istituito Europeo del Design and went on to Milan to do fashion for Romeo Gigli. She wasn’t enjoying Milan when a chance encounter threw up the opportunity to design bags in India, where she learned the secrets of her trade and much more besides. Then China, and Brazil, and finally back to her home town, Caprarola near Viterbo, to do it under her own label. Her brother Agostino, sensing a winner, dropped out of university to work alongside her. They haven’t looked back.

What are bags for if not to contain stories?

Benedetta Bruzziches