Category Archives: Accessory Design

Online Shopping List for Middle of Fashion Week Bliss

Need a Shopping Spree that you can immediately enjoy after following the Fashion Weeks’ news?

Check out these choice picks at FUTURE NOTION!
Ksenia Schnaider Jersey Dress, $319
Ksenia Schnaider Jersey Dress, $319
Camilla Wellton Ceti Top, $145
Camilla Wellton Ceti Top, $145
MODEMENT Lace Up Boot, $369
MODEMENT Lace Up Boot, $369
Irinalaaja Sexy vs Straightjacket Dress, $195
Irinalaaja Sexy vs Straightjacket Dress, $195
darkcloudsilver Sterling Silver headphones Pendant, $390
darkcloudsilver Sterling Silver headphones Pendant, $390
De Siena Mary Jane Pumps, $850
De Siena Mary Jane Pumps, $850
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Francesco Lorenzi, De Siena Shoe’s Designer shares the Grit behind the Glam.

The next time you want to shop for a truly unique shoe, keep De Siena in mind. It is one of those fairytale Shoe stories that every woman who is even a little bit in love with Luxury ( and who isn’t right?) will love.

Today, we sit down with Francesco Lorenzi, De Siena‘s handsome Creative Director to talk to him about the frenzy behind the fashion. Shoe Fashion, that is.

Francesco Lorenzi of De Siena Shoes serving it up!
Francesco Lorenzi of De Siena Shoes serving it up!

FUTURE NOTION (FN) :  Tell us a little bit more about yourself and how did you decide to De Siena.
Francesco Lorenzi (FL) : To be honest I’m still asking myself every day why I started it and I can tell you that so far, and considering this tough economical period, I haven’t found an answer that makes sense: it’s probably pure passion and a little touch of craziness!
I grew up in a textile district not far away from Florence, and my family was in the textile business, so I grew up amongst fabric swatches, colors, drawings. I started my career first as a textile designer and later on became head of design for several companies. There came a point where I was tired of working to make “other people’s dreams” come true and decided it was time to pursue my own dreams. That’s when I started my own company, De Siena.

FN : Why Shoes? 

FL : The decision to start a Shoe business came first because I envied a lot of famous shoes designers who always make women so happy with their creations and also because I have always bought so many shoes as presents for my friends that I thought having my own line would be a money-saving trick 😉

Jokes apart, I have always been in love with and attracted to the world of shoes. I’m passionate about the creative and artisanal skills you need in order to create a masterpiece: a perfect shoe is so complicated to design and produce that it is a real challenge to make it happen.

De Siena Shoes 100% Made in Italy
De Siena Shoes 100% Made in Italy & sitting pretty!

FN :  The economy is not good right now, what is your secret to being able to succeed as a new brand? any tips for aspiring designers too?

FL : Yes unfortunately, it is extremely difficult to succeed with a new brand; you have many competitors in the market and the big brands have huge financial resources, which makes competition very hard for the newcomers.

I believe that the secret to success is exactly the same as 50 years ago:

1. offer a high quality product, almost handmade  – do you know that 12 different people are working on a single pair of shoes in order to produce it?;

2. find a producer that will be your best source of all your business and treat him like your best shareholder.

3. find the right people to help you run the business, not just cold professionals but individuals that are 100% committed to your project, and make them part of the success of the company.
If you start with these basics, sooner or later you will succeed in the market…of course you need many hours of hard work, during the week end, nights, holydays…almost after thinking about your brand every single minute on a 24/7 basis!
FN :  Your shoes are Made in Italy – is it difficult to keep the price points , quality and workmanship how you want it? How do you do it? constant bargaining with factory 🙂

FL : Being Italian, I’m very proud to produce and present to the market a 100% made in Italy product.

Working with small shoemakers companies (with an average of maybe 30 employees) brings a specific story and very deep meaning for me: every single person in these companies are so skilled, competent and committed, and you can almost feel the love they bring into your product.

The drawback is that, being small, sometimes lead to a problem. Most of these people are so goodhearted and passionate about shoes that they would always like to help everybody, they can’t say “no” and they risk to accept overloads of orders that are way over their capacity, thus leading to delivery delays. This is something everybody needs to be careful with.

As for the bargaining issue, it’s not such a big difficulty, but of course being Italian makes it much easier!

More of De Seina's Luxury Shoes being Made in Italy.
More of De Seina’s Luxury Shoes being Made in Italy – It takes roughly 12 people to produce a pair of De Seina Shoes.
De Seina shoes being produced. 100% Made in Italy.
De Seina shoes being produced. 100% Made in Italy.

FN : Who are your style inspirations?

FL : My style inspirations are the big designers like Valentino, the French masters like Chanel, Dior, or the Italians like Prada…all those brands that are timeless but always so modern, never vulgar and that are able to give an “allure” of romanticism to women.

FN : Who are your customers?

FL: I love to mix the romanticism as described above together with a rock style: I’m thinking of somebody like Cinderella with AC/DC on the Ipod.
I’m addressing my products to the everyday woman – a sexy yet sophisticated individual, who wants to feel like in a fairy tale, and will be able to dream while wearing her shoes “of desire”.

FN :  You seem to be able to do it all – photography, styling, designing, AND run a business – how many hours do you sleep a week ? 🙂

FL : I must admit that I can’t sleep much during the night. I always wake up very early in the morning and start making plans for the day. I would say I sleep around 5 hours a night, so 35 hrs a week.

-end-

There we go kids, the secret behind successfully launching a luxury shoe label with European flair and panache. 35 hours of sleep a week is your answer!

De Siena Shoes are exclusively available at FUTURE NOTION.

What does Design mean to you – a frou frou consideration or an antidote to a problem?

Minna Impio & Mari Martikainen of Mifuko

Minna Impio & Mari Martikainen of Mifuko

Mifuku Colored Necklace

Mifuku Colored Necklace -$40. Made from recycled magazines & newspapers & varnished to a high shine.

Sorry for the long silence, but we were so busy with the launch of FUTURE NOTION that we simply didn’t have the time to post. Do check it out, mak a coupla comments on your favorite items and do share , tweet & tumble.

However, we have so much to share it will take several posts to spill everything..so, in typical all over the place fashion, we’d like to start with something dear to our hearts – how design can solve a problem, add value and enrich.

One of the designers that FUTURE NOTION is showcasing is Mifuko. Meaning “pocket” in Swahili, they have a really special story and are a shining beacon of the good Design can accomplish.

Based in Finland, the brand is helmed by Creative Directors and Co-founders Minna Impio & Mari Martikainen,  working on a Helsinki / Kenya axis. -To put it simply, accessories & lifestyle product is conceptualized and designed in Finland and manufactured under Fair Trade terms in Kenya.

The brand’s main aim is to preserve traditional Kenyan artisanal techniques & handicraft while injecting a Scandinavian sensibility into product design. Oftentimes, the artisans might be skilled, but they lack design sophistication which results in cannibalization of sales between very similar looking products. Thus, Mifuko saw the opportunity to use design as a differentiating (& winning!) factor so that goods produced can stand out from the run-of-the-mill souvenirs.

Check out one of our favorite products, the Mifuku Necklace. Bright & Colorful, it looks like its made of beads or ceramic, when in actual fact, it is crafted from  from recycled magazines and newspaper. The paper beads are rolled from recycled paper and each bead is different and unique & the colours and tones vary according to whichever magazine is used. Once the beads are varnished, they shine beautifully and the small glass pearls between them add extra sparkle.

How awesome is that – upcycling, Scandinavian Design sensibility, enriching lives and sustaining a business. This is what Design is supposed to be about!

FUTURE NOTION – launch imminent.

future notion launch page

So the FUTURE NOTION launch is set for 23rd January 2012. Let the record show that it is with great trepidation that this is being committed in WRITING because, murphy’s law being murphy’s law is murphy’s law.

Do sign up for priority access okay? (being first is always fun 🙂

Amidst all the crazy, busy knots to unravel, marketing strategies to plan, technological riddles to solve, we saw some wonderful wonderful creative, inspiring talent that had us bouncing up and down at the edge of our seats.

The FUTURE NOTION road is starting very very soon , and it will be an exciting, exhilarating one – won’t you join us in discovering and implementing the value of Design in our every day lives?

Social + Design + Creativity = Sustainable, passionate businesses = Win!

Form & Function Fills the Fun.

This PRO chair launching at IMM Cologne 2012 is a perfect example of slick, style & sturdy coming together in one neat package.

A collaboration between renowned German furniture makers, Flototto & equally legendary Munich native Konstantin Grcic, these gum colored,  100% polypropylene stools of fun will punch up the grey walls of any institution – learning or otherwise.

We think Tom Sawyer will be in the house for this one.

Design is when you see the ceepy and make it pretty.

Sometimes, it takes a really open mind to make the grotesque sublimely beautiful. An eye for beauty and certainly inner peace to make the world at large re-look, re-think and re-assess how we can re-interpret what is aesthetically pleasing to us.

Here are some creepy pretty insect prints on expensive silk from Giles Deacon SS10 Collection, Karen Walker SS12 Collection & Klaus Haapaniemi’s Scarf Collection – do you have any you’d like to add? Have you ever saw beauty in something rather gross?

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FUTURE NOTION IS LAUNCHING SOON!

FUTURE NOTION IS LAUNCHING SOON!

So we have some extremely exciting news –  we are launching soon – end of this month to be exact!

So, if you’d like PRIORITY ACCESS during our private beta launch, do send us an email at info@futurenotion.com

If you are a DESIGNER looking to sell on FUTURE NOTION, do drop us an email at designers@futurenotion.com.

Send us a few pictures of your work, with a little bit about yourself and we’ll hit you up with our designer kit.

But in case you’re wondering WHY FUTURE NOTION, here are the top 5 reasons why we rock:

1. We are a low-cost & economical way of launching your brand, selling your collection & publicizing your work. We want you to succeed.

2. We focus our resources on digital and social trends so that you can concentrate on what you do best – create, design and innovate. Leave the selling, marketing and tedious social strategies to us. Already working an online store? No worries, think of us as an additional sales channel to reach a global audience.

3. Expose your brand to a design-centric community. Our huge database is chock-full with architects, stylists, interior designers, media/PR professionals, retailers and design-savvy customers – take advantage of it!

4. We understand branding, more importantly, we understand how selling in a well-designed social store can contribute to the image of your brand. Thus, FUTURE NOTION will never misrepresent your brand’s image, because we too, have standards. We believe in winning by adding value, constantly innovating and looking to the future, NOT pushing for price reductions.  Did we mention we prefer to build a strong brand proposition over bargain basement prices and throwaway goods?

5. We truly believe in the value of Design to Solve, Simplify & Inspire.

Most of all, tell us what you need – we want to hear from customers, designers, educators, artists, writers, and your neighbors.

Have a happy Monday & hope to hear from all of you soon!