When I was in Florence in Italy last month, it was by chance that we met Patricia Al’Kary, an Italian bag designer originally from Brazil, at the LuisaViaRoma store. Her bags have just started to get stocked there which is great! Patricia was incredibly friendly and she invited us to her studios. She arrived at our hotel to pick us up and take us there while showing us some of the Firenze scenery on the way. While at her studios, we got to see her new bag collection as well as her inspiration books and find out more about the brand. It’s got a real cultural and interesting heritage behind the brand so I was more than happy to do an interview with Patricia so I could share more about her bags with you! Thank you to Patricia as well for giving me the beautiful green and blue bag which you have just seen in this post and you can check out her collection online at LuisaViaRoma.
Lorna: What made you want to start designing bags? Tell me a bit more about yourself!
Patricia: Well, I have been working in the arts field for a long time and artists need to change. I came to Italy to have a new experience, to study its culture and because of my love with the arts. Once here, I started discovering all the beauty of the bag making, all the artisans and suppliers of the leather industry and you know, in Florence, they are the best in the world. So with that in mind, I decided to join all my experience as a designer and artist together to make bags that are different from what the market offers, so that’s how it started, in a way.
Lorna: I know you were inspired by the boats in Brazil for your metal logo, could you tell me a bit more about it?
Patricia: Those boats are an iconic scene on the beaches of my region. They are small, almost rudimentary boats, in which the fishermen go every morning to catch the fresh fish to sell. It tells a story about hard work, a story of simplicity and how the sea and the nature can bring us lots of incredible things, even if we keep things simple. This image when I close my eyes takes me back to my roots, a symbol of my place and I translated it into a very architectonic icon, my logo represents the boat placed on the logs of wood, as the fisherman places them after their day of fishing.
Lorna: When you come up with your shapes and color combinations, what inspires you? I know you mentioned architecture, but is there anything else?
Patricia: Well, I have been working since my early 20’s in the visual art field. My father had a plastic factory in Brazil and I started making art pieces and installations by recycling those plastics and not only, I would do sceneography, multi material sculptures, paintings… everything related with the visual arts. Then, I participated on an art contest and won the first prize which was an exposition at the Grand Palais in Paris and that was when I started traveling the world, lived in London, Paris, New York and of course the architecture of all those places remained as a repertoire for me.
Back in Brazil, I was commissioned the whole interior design of a 20.000 square meters resort with every detail designed by me, from the furniture to the paintings. It was a great effort and a great experience. I also did houses, office buildings and I still have staff that follows that area in Brazil, so for me architecture as visually planning the way shapes will occupy a given space with beauty and harmony, has always been in my experiences and part of my artistic luggage.
Lorna: What is your favorite bag you have designed and why?
Patricia: Oh gosh, that is a though question… Well, I don’t have a favorite, but I have one that was the bag I designer last so it is more fresh in my mind and I still have plans for making versions of it which is the Victoria bag, but each of my bags represent me in some way.
Lorna: I know that Liza Minnelli is a fan of your bags as I have seen! Are there any other celebrities you hope will love Patricia Al’Kary?
Patricia: Of course, I think that every woman that likes a product with a soul that is a reflex of a life, of art and hard work would understand and enjoy the concepts of my bags. For example on my next collection, I think that there is a bag that Victoria Beckham would love, Its speaks a lot about her, it’s chic, it’s fresh, it’s iconic and its important without being too over the place.
Lorna: Could you give me a clue as to what your brand new collection might be about?
Patricia: That’s a secret, but lets say that there will be a lot of contrast on it… That’s all I can say for now, but I will soon release more information and pictures on my website and social networks.
Lorna: And just for fun, if you were designing a bag for Princess Kate, what would it look like?
Patricia: Well I think that now that Princess Kate will have her own little princess to take care of, with the Lili bag, she could also carry things for the baby because it’s spacious and chic. She can unite all her mommy stuff and everything she needs in a very stylish bag.