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THE ARTISAN

Rebellious Refinement by
Daniela Mosia

Lazio, Italy | Leathersmith

From her workshop in the Roman countryside, Daniela and her partner Fabio are waging a tiny fashion revolution, one bag at a time. Their goal? Nothing less than taking back the word ‘luxury’.

“We don’t have to settle, or compromise our values, to own something beautiful, something luxurious”.
– Daniela Mosia

At the beginning of 2013, you were a nurse who began working with leather as a creative outlet. Why leather and how did you get started?

It’s a bit hard to explain but, to me, leather is a living material. Not only because of its origins but because it changes each and every day based on its environment and experiences. It’s very human in that sense. Also, leather has the potential to be shaped and stitched in such a way as to reflect the personality and vision of the person working it. Once I reached that level technically, it was all I wanted to do. 

At the outset, however, I was just having fun, experimenting. A few months later, I was lucky enough to find a local artisan, an older man, who had been working with leather for nearly 70 years. He taught me the fundamentals, all in the traditional method. It was nothing like what I expected.

For instance, before you stitch leather, you need to make holes for the needle and thread to pass through, each one at a precise distance from the last. I knew that there was a forked tool that could make several holes at once when struck with a mallet but I was taught using an awl, one hole at a time. The first time I did it, after an hour, my palm was bloody and swollen. Looking back, I think it helped me understand and respect the art form at its most basic level. I’m extremely grateful for that experience, to have learnt from a genuine master.

You officially launched Mosia Design a few years ago. What is the brand’s philosophy?

In terms of look, my goal is to create accessories that are stylish yet practical, made for real life not the runway. I want them to attract attention but not in an ostentatious or arrogant way, more of an everyday elegance of days gone by.

Our bigger mission, however, is twofold. First, we want to show people that there is an alternative to mass-produced “fast fashion” and the negative impact that business model has on our society and the environment. For example, I believe it’s my duty to help clients get to know the materials we use, how they are made, and where they come from. The same goes for our methods and techniques. Essentially, we want to empower people to make informed decisions by being enthusiastic and transparent advocates for our craft.

Second, we want our work to help bring some clarity to the concept of “luxury”. I think that, today, people tend to associate luxury with something that is very expensive or is produced by a famous brand, but it wasn’t always that way. What mattered most was the quality of the materials and the skill of the craftsperson. Also, luxury was made to last, not made simply to be sold. For us, that old-school definition of luxury is a guiding ideal. 

To be sure, the choices we all confront as consumers are difficult and complicated; what’s right and sensible for one person may not be for another. But, ultimately, we want people to know it’s not hopeless. We don’t have to settle, or compromise our values, to own something beautiful, something luxurious.   

You mentioned materials. What type of leather do you use and where do you source it from? 

For our leather, there’s only one place I go: Santa Croce Sull’Arno, just outside Florence. It’s the best in the world, created by men and women who are truly artisans in their own right. It’s also sustainably produced and certified as eco-leather, which is critical. For example, the hides are exclusively the byproduct of the industrial food industry. To them, it’s waste but to us it’s so much more. It’s then vegetable tanned in large barrels, using only plant-based materials. 

Specifically, we use Vachetta leather. Vachetta has become quite famous in recent times but it’s been made here in Italy for centuries. It’s soft, buttery, and untreated, so it develops a beautiful patina over time. No two Vachetta bags will age in the same way; they each have their own story to tell.

In terms of design, where do you find inspiration?

I’m one of those people who never leaves the house without a notepad and pencil in my bag. You never know where you might see or feel something that moves you. But in general, I take a lot of inspiration from the past: classic Hollywood films, old photos, even one of my grandmother’s bags. In a word: vintage.

And from start to finish, everything is done by hand? 

Absolutely, because calm and patience are what ensure quality. We don’t make accessories that need to be replaced. We put a lot of effort into ensuring our creations last years, if not a lifetime. For example, it can take an hour or more just to cut the leather for a single bag. It takes both precision and planning to do it right, as each cut needs to be made according to the unique features and textures of each piece of leather.

We also stitch every item completely by hand, using a saddle stitch technique. Not only is it the strongest stitch but, if a thread breaks, it’s only compromised at that exact spot. The rest of the thread remains firmly intact and a repair can be made without removing the entire thread. And this technique can only be done by hand; there is no machine that can replicate it.

What can the owner of a Mosia accessory expect?

For me, an accessory is more than just a thing. It’s a trusted companion, it reassures us, and it experiences the highs and lows of life by our side. If made well, it carries the memories of shared adventures and it doesn’t abandon us. That’s what we strive to create and I think that’s what our clients appreciate. Every bag we make is just waiting to be found by the right person.

THE ARTISAN

Rebellious Refinement by
Daniela Mosia

Lazio, Italy | Leathersmith

From her workshop in the Roman countryside, Daniela and her partner Fabio are waging a tiny fashion revolution, one bag at a time. Their goal? Nothing less than taking back the word ‘luxury’.

“We don’t have to settle, or compromise our values, to own something beautiful, something luxurious”.
– Daniela Mosia

At the beginning of 2013, you were a nurse who began working with leather as a creative outlet. Why leather and how did you get started?

It’s a bit hard to explain but, to me, leather is a living material. Not only because of its origins but because it changes each and every day based on its environment and experiences. It’s very human in that sense. Also, leather has the potential to be shaped and stitched in such a way as to reflect the personality and vision of the person working it. Once I reached that level technically, it was all I wanted to do. 

At the outset, however, I was just having fun, experimenting. A few months later, I was lucky enough to find a local artisan, an older man, who had been working with leather for nearly 70 years. He taught me the fundamentals, all in the traditional method. It was nothing like what I expected.

For instance, before you stitch leather, you need to make holes for the needle and thread to pass through, each one at a precise distance from the last. I knew that there was a forked tool that could make several holes at once when struck with a mallet but I was taught using an awl, one hole at a time. The first time I did it, after an hour, my palm was bloody and swollen. Looking back, I think it helped me understand and respect the art form at its most basic level. I’m extremely grateful for that experience, to have learnt from a genuine master.

You officially launched Mosia Design a few years ago. What is the brand’s philosophy?

In terms of look, my goal is to create accessories that are stylish yet practical, made for real life not the runway. I want them to attract attention but not in an ostentatious or arrogant way, more of an everyday elegance of days gone by.

Our bigger mission, however, is twofold. First, we want to show people that there is an alternative to mass-produced “fast fashion” and the negative impact that business model has on our society and the environment. For example, I believe it’s my duty to help clients get to know the materials we use, how they are made, and where they come from. The same goes for our methods and techniques. Essentially, we want to empower people to make informed decisions by being enthusiastic and transparent advocates for our craft.

Second, we want our work to help bring some clarity to the concept of “luxury”. I think that, today, people tend to associate luxury with something that is very expensive or is produced by a famous brand, but it wasn’t always that way. What mattered most was the quality of the materials and the skill of the craftsperson. Also, luxury was made to last, not made simply to be sold. For us, that old-school definition of luxury is a guiding ideal. 

To be sure, the choices we all confront as consumers are difficult and complicated; what’s right and sensible for one person may not be for another. But, ultimately, we want people to know it’s not hopeless. We don’t have to settle, or compromise our values, to own something beautiful, something luxurious.   

You mentioned materials. What type of leather do you use and where do you source it from?

For our leather, there’s only one place I go: Santa Croce Sull’Arno, just outside Florence. It’s the best in the world, created by men and women who are truly artisans in their own right. It’s also sustainably produced and certified as eco-leather, which is critical. For example, the hides are exclusively the byproduct of the industrial food industry. To them, it’s waste but to us it’s so much more. It’s then vegetable tanned in large barrels, using only plant-based materials. 

Specifically, we use Vachetta leather. Vachetta has become quite famous in recent times but it’s been made here in Italy for centuries. It’s soft, buttery, and untreated, so it develops a beautiful patina over time. No two Vachetta bags will age in the same way; they each have their own story to tell.

In terms of design, where do you find inspiration?

II’m one of those people who never leaves the house without a notepad and pencil in my bag. You never know where you might see or feel something that moves you. But in general, I take a lot of inspiration from the past: classic Hollywood films, old photos, even one of my grandmother’s bags. In a word: vintage.

And from start to finish, everything is done by hand?

Absolutely, because calm and patience are what ensure quality. We don’t make accessories that need to be replaced. We put a lot of effort into ensuring our creations last years, if not a lifetime. For example, it can take an hour or more just to cut the leather for a single bag. It takes both precision and planning to do it right, as each cut needs to be made according to the unique features and textures of each piece of leather.

We also stitch every item completely by hand, using a saddle stitch technique. Not only is it the strongest stitch but, if a thread breaks, it’s only compromised at that exact spot. The rest of the thread remains firmly intact and a repair can be made without removing the entire thread. And this technique can only be done by hand; there is no machine that can replicate it.

What can the owner of a Mosia accessory expect?

For me, an accessory is more than just a thing. It is a trusted companion, it reassures us, and it experiences the highs and lows of life by our side. If made well, it carries the memories of shared adventures and it doesn’t abandon us. That’s what we strive to create and I think that’s what our clients appreciate. Every bag we make is just waiting to be found by the right person.

Imagination is the Limit.

Unique design? Different color? Personalization? Our relationship with our artisans means anything is possible.

Questions? Let's Talk.

[email protected]
Launch Chat
We are here to help you 24/7/365

Stress-Free Shopping.

Stress-free shopping is our priority. Free shipping on all items to over 60 countries and 15 day no-hassle returns.

© 2018 Quattro Momenti. All Rights Reserved

Imagination is the Limit.

Unique design? Different color? Personalization? Our relationship with our artisans means anything is possible.

Questions? Let's Talk.

[email protected]
Launch Chat
We are here to help you 24/7/365

Stress-Free Shopping.

Stress-free shopping is our priority. Free shipping on all items to over 60 countries and 15 day no-hassle returns.

© 2018 Quattro Momenti. All Rights Reserved

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