Alberto Ciaschini is the lead designer at Hidesign, based in Milan and keeps the other designers updated on designs, styles, concepts, finishes, fittings, leather, texture, feel etc. He creates the two main collections at Hidesign for Spring-Summer and Autumn-Winter. He has been with Hidesign since
Fibre2Fashion : What inspired you to specialize in bag designing? What got you started? Please share with us some of your career milestones.
I always wanted to be part of the luxury sector and the leather accessories in India are a great market. I realized my dream when I passed out of Marangoni and started with Costume Nationale, Armani, Trussardi and Hugo Boss. I continued to work towards creations that were more pure, more beautiful and more luxurious and with the support of Hidesign I have been able to do so all these years.
Fibre2Fashion : Which according to you is the evergreen/ classic bag design? Also tell us what is your signature style?
The horizontal tote is a classic, evergreen design. Now that more and more Indian women enter the workforce, this shape has become very popular. It keeps you organized and helps you carry all your work. It is the best design for ladies who like to make an understated style statement at their workplace. For the luxury collection, we have tried many exciting shapes, one of which was inspired by the delicacy of the pleats of the Indian saree! I take my inspiration from so many things around me and I think that including them in my designs is my signature style.
Fibre2Fashion : How is designing different with leather?
Leather has a beautiful touch and texture. It has volume and is not flat like fabric. I feel that leather is one of the most beautiful materials to realize your designs especially when you work with bags.
Fibre2Fashion : Your latest collection with Hidesign is more on luxury front, what was your inspiration behind it?
My sensibilities, the current trends, consumer feed back, my experiences from past collections, research while traveling and how I feel – they all add to my creativity and inspiration behind the luxury collection.
Fibre2Fashion : Detailing, texture, shape and size are very important in designing a bag. How are your designs so unique and distinguished from the rest?
Yes, they are all very essential elements that go into the design of a bag. For me the most important is the detailing. You can take a basic shape and transform it into something extraordinary with careful attention to detail, and that is what inspires me, every range, and every season.
Fibre2Fashion : In some or other way leather industry does harm environment mainly through its processes. Would you like to share few of measures that are and should be taken to protect environment?
Hidesign has an eco-friendly approach and values that make it different from other brands. I am happy and proud to be working with a brand like Hidesign. These are expressed through our practice of vegetable tanning of leathers using extracts from the barks of Wattle trees and seeds of Myrobalan, which do not cause you the harmful effects of chrome tanning. This is better for your skin and the environment. These natural oils and extracts give a unique look to Hidesign leathers with deep colors, good body and long lasting strength. This is great for the user both health wise (would you rather touch leather made from vegetable extracts or chromium?) and because it increases the life of your bag. The leathers of Hidesign are full grain and have not been corrected to hide defects. At Hidesign we believe it is important to highlight the leather’s natural beauty. Tell me, if you are using beautiful teak wood, would you paint over it? Hidesign has also stopped the use of plastic bags in India. I think in this way and many more to come, we must always continue to preserve the ecology around us.
Fibre2Fashion : How is vegetable tanned leather different?
Hidesign is known for the research of ecological use of vegetable tanned leathers. Hidesign has learnt the centuries old skills of tanning with natural seeds and barks and so the aging process of the leathers is very beautiful. They have a rich, nourished feel and look, and are extremely durable. Hidesign has pretty much single handedly pushed the envelope for vegetable tanned leathers in the accessories market. Today we are proud that we are the leaders in the research and development of vegetable tanned leathers. We use natural extracts from barks of Wattle trees and Myrobalam seeds found in local forests in India. It takes almost 30 - 40 days to tan these leathers while chemically treated chrome leathers are made in 4-5 days. The vegetable tanning process greatly reduces the hazards of environmental pollution and is better for your skin and the leather.
Fibre2Fashion : Which other fabrics can be used with leather to enhance the look and feel?
We are experimenting with fabrics that complement our leathers, like canvas. Canvas has a very smart and young feel to it. In terms of the luxury collection as well we are coming up with some very interesting designs for the upcoming seasons!
Fibre2Fashion : Bags have evolved as one of most essentials for making a style statement. Please comment.
More than just being practical and functional, every woman wants a bag that expresses her self and I think the modern Indian woman has become very sophisticated in her taste. Bags are more than a style statement. They are part of her personality.
Fibre2Fashion : One of the biggest challenges is – ‘understanding the new markets and new tastes & preferences of client.’ Please comment.
Understanding new markets, new tastes and adding to it my experience of luxury is definitely a challenge. The accessories market is at an early stage. I keep the focus on creating beautiful designs and I am hoping to create new desires among people who will appreciate luxurious and fine details.
Fibre2Fashion : How is your experience on working for Asian market bringing together the heritage of luxury experience from Italy?
It has been a great experience for me to work in India due to the diversity in culture, not only from other countries, but within different regions, age groups etc. within the country too. To understand and adapt to this diversity has been a learning curve for me. I still design for international audiences of Hidesign, but taste and choices of Indians set them apart. It is exciting for me to understand these tastes and choices and combine it with my Italian background of design. Every season, we learn new things and we try to take the designs a notch higher.