Federica, 24 years old, born and raised in Rome, attended University of Fine Arts in Rome for 3 years; she told me she skipped more traditional majors and went for Fine Arts instead because she was looking for a more practical approach, she wanted to learn how to actually do things. “They were years of hard work, plastic models and sweat, but they taught me how to realise bags by myself, without any help. This was exactly what I was looking for”.
She told me she has always been passionate about bags, “the real vanity”. She could wear a sackcloth everyday, as long as she has a nice and smart bag to spice it up. And when her ever-favourite artisanal leather bag was stolen from her car, she realised it was irreplaceable: she could not find anything in any store that was as comfortable and versatile as her old one. And then she got it. She had to design and get it done herself. She bought some high-quality leather, used her mother’s Camper‘s string to stitch it and a stainless tubular as a handle. Her first bag had just seen the light, in her bedroom in her parents’ apartment in Rome. I asked her how she felt and she smiled back at me: “Just very very happy!”.
Since then nothing has changed in her bags. They are still minimal, with no lining “to show the real quality of the leather” and Federica is still hand-making them in her bedroom. “It used to take me one hour and a half to finish one, but now I’m stronger and faster, and I’m done in 20 minutes!”. Federica is being loyal to her first intuition, and she follows her inspiration as per colours and dimensions.
And she still marks every single one of them by herself with her brand’s logo – F2A – created by using Autocad. When I asked her what was the meaning of such a name, she patiently explained to me that it has something to do with her name – Federica – and her two French bulldogs’ ones – Addy & Adam. “They are always with me during the creative process in my tanner’s laboratory that my bedroom has became, so they are definitely part and parcel of this brand. And this is why I wanted them to be part of its name”.
When she got big bulk orders (like the one for yoox.com), she felt the need of being supported, so her boyfriend Marco stepped in, and helped register the company officially. “Even though he is my boyfriend [and here her eyes sparkled] he is very honest and straightforward. We work perfectly as a team!”. And I can tell that her brand & bags mean the world to Federica, and I guess this is why she wants to include Marco in this.
Also, at the moment she is also working with Studio DModa, that is helping her to build her brand image with more awareness and professionalism. “There are so many things we have to think about before we go abroad!”.
because this is Federica’s dream: pack her beauties (her bags – “my babies” as she would say) and get them out there, to see if there is a market niche she could occupy. “The problem is that in Italy people are still too label-focused and they are not brave enough to dare and rock anything new. I feel that abroad might different, and I’ve had very warm display of interest from Portugal and Brasil”.
Federica is smart and ambitious, with that kind of good ambition that only brave and creative young people have, and she is also looking at USA, Russia, Japan and, to my big pride, China.
Personally, I loved the sparkle in her eyes, I felt and enjoyed her energy vibe and can’t wait to wear my brand-new pink shoulder bag. It is amazing to think that Federica herself has been stitching it in her apartment with Addy and Adam keeping her company. If this is not the ‘Made in Italy’ Italians are world-famous for, then what is?
Dear readers, given that F2A leather bags might be entering Chinese market soon, I suggest you #staytuned and grab yours as soon as it get available!
Mentre ero a Roma, ho preso un caffe’ con Federica Gatti, energia e vitalità’ dietro il brand romano F2A. Quando possibile, Federica realizza le sue borse nella sua camera da letto, trasformata in laboratorio da mastro conciatore. Ambiziosa e determinata, lavora sodo, insieme al suo partner/boyfriend Marco, per approdare all’estero, dove immagina ci possa essere una migliore risposta alla sua offerta. Le sue borse sono ‘nude’: pelle morbidissima, nessuna tasca interna ne’ fodere di seta. Il feeling e’ ruvido, ma impreziosito dal tubolare inox ‘gioiello’ e dai nodi realizzati a mano. Con un prodotto così, e con la voglia di farcela tipica dei giovani creativi che sempre più spesso mi capita di incontrare, immagino che Federica non avra’ nessuna difficoltà. Forza Federica, il Mondo ti aspetta!
For the chat with Federica Gatti from F2A I was delighted to wear:
Blue dress: COS
Yellow bag: Celine
Earrings: Georg Jensen
Ring: Joyce Makitalo
The pictures at Ciampini were taken with the Olympus μι790 SW my dad lent me when mine was out of battery.
For all the other pictures, special thanks to F2A.[map id=”82″]