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Q&A: Acchitto - Elena Faccio and Francesca Richiardi

Your pieces are generally big, bold and beautiful. Have you always been interested in jewellery?

Our journey started with clothing, but as we got to know each other better we discovered that we both had special attention for vintage jewellery. Moreover, there was this feeling we had that something was missing in the market and the vision of starting a jewellery line that is about creating something contemporary starting from elements that fascinate us about the past, came out very spontaneously. We like the idea to bring with us something that reminds us of a distant era.

You both have worked for Fendi. What was your experience like, working for a big fashion house?

Francesca: It was a great experience, we have learned so much, especially during the Haute

Fourrure season. We used to work a lot and very hard but it was worth it. We hade the privilege to work with professionals and icons such as Karl Lagerfield.

Elena: Fendi was definitively our biggest professional experience. It is such a good school if someone wants to learn how to work and grow in the fashion system. It gave us a solid structure to start our own career and, after that time, we both felt ready to express our own voice.

Do you have any advice for young creatives/ designers/ illustrators/ graphic designers wanting to work at a big brand?

Both: Working in a big brand is definitively something that everyone in the industry should

experience at least once. It gives you a strong method of working and thinking! The most important thing is to keep your eyes open and try to learn as much as you can do in every single moment.

What is the most valuable lesson you have learned since starting the label?

Both: Starting a label, especially at the very beginning, is never easy. You can make right or wrong choices, that feel right at the time. We’ve always acted instinctively and sometimes these instincts have been spot-on, sometimes they haven’t. The important thing is always to get up and have a clear idea where you want to go and what you want to achieve. As much as we have still a lot to learn, we think it’s better to make mistakes on our own than to do it exactly right the first time. This is how you grow. Right now we’ve learned how to spend more time into considering every single aspect of a situation, sometimes maybe by overthinking.

Do you have any advice for young designers wanting to start a label or business with a close friend or partner?

Francesca: I would say find someone that is different than you but you can trust and learn from. We are work-partners, but first of all, we are friends. Working together was very important as we balance each other out. When we both started working on Acchitto we were a bit scared that we could have different ideas, but in the end, we discovered that our vision was quite complimentary and we were able to learn from each other.

Elena: That’s true, we tried to make the best of each one's style. In the collection, you can perfectly distinguish where Elena is and where Francesca is, but for us, it is almost complicated, given that we trust each other very much. Despite our two different aesthetics, we were united in our vision for Acchitto: subverting traditional jewels codes not just for the modern millennial, but for everyone. We wanted a challenge of combining two different styles, and I think we made it.

How would you describe each other’s personal style?

Francesca: Less is more doesn’t work with her. Elena’ style is the epitome of femininity with a sophisticated and romantic touch.

Elena: Francesca’ style is structured, she has very specific rules: slim-fit always with at least one oversize menswear jacket (possibly black). Self-described as wearable art, her pieces tend to stand out. I’m always intrigued to know where she finds her inspiration.

Both: Every piece of our collection comes from some combination of instinct, references, memory, and vision. We take inspiration from 1920s chinoiserie, jewels from Victorian age, Asian wallpapers, vintage furniture, passing through 70s and 80s vibes. We are constantly inspired by vintage and decorative pieces, this will always be the running theme of the collection! This season especially, we were very much inspired by the world of Sicilian and Venetian moors. These series of characters are made interchangeable by a patented mechanism that allows them to be disassembled and reassembled among the various pieces in the collection, creating a jewel that is always personalized, unique and collectable.

Can you tell us a little about the design process?

Both: We tried to channel the strong points of our personal style into the brand, with an eclectic and refined result. As we said, we spend a lot of time in the archives, always looking for new pieces. Acchitto’s jewels have a vintage look, everything, from the shape to the decoration, is designed by us and there is a long research process behind them. That's what makes it precious. We try to revisit the pieces we found in a more contemporary way, sometimes by just taking a few elements, sometimes by redesigning completely them. We have our production in Vicenza, where Elena grew up, and we work with goldsmiths expert in the field, trying to achieve a handmade jewel industrially produced.

How would you like people to feel when wearing your pieces?

Both: We have our slogan: #ACCHITTABLE, wearing Acchitto, doing things and going to a place to be attractive.

Francesca: Our pieces are meant to be seen. I would love people to fees alluring, provocative, and refined without taking the jewel too seriously. We make ‘emotional jewels’: it’s just a feeling based on the perfect combination of volumes, materials, and colours. We want our customers to feel like they own a special, almost one of a kind jewel in their wardrobe. Sometimes you just know that piece is going to be loved by clients as much as you love it.

Elena: can also simply mean owning your own self-expression. We are trying to suggest a new category of jewellery wear, a new code to wear things in a smart way which adapts to the style of each one. We would love our clients to take the pieces out of context and not just look at them as something to wear for a specific occasion. Acchitto is for every day. Wear it with an oversized jacket, a pair of jeans and flat shoes or with a sparkling party dress: it works every way.

Finish this sentence. You would never catch me wearing…….

Elena: I think everything can look luxurious if well-styled, but if I had to choose I would say those clog-like plastic shoes in bright colours, they just not match with my idea of fashion.

Francesca: Fashion goes very fast, everything changes and everything comes back. I can't say whether there is anything I would never wear, but rather that I would wear it in my style.

What’s next for Acchitto?

Both: Our next step is to establish the brand even more and slowly integrate shoes, bags and clothing in order to have a complete look that is a reflection of what we would love to have in our wardrobe. And also make collaborations with other brands and exclusive capsules for our customers.