CEO of Serapian Giacomo Cortesi speaks to The Kurator about the Maison’s heritage and craftsmanship and discusses the importance of the region and the latest launches including the capsule collection with Emirati Designer Sara Altamimi Exclusive to the Middle East.
What is the biggest achievement with the brand so far?
Our biggest achievement globally was our international expansion, opening flagship stores in Paris, Tokyo, and very soon Dubai. For a niche Maison like Serapian, this is a dream come true. We also took a deep dive into our Maison’s archives, spanning more than a hundred years, to gain an even better understanding of our real DNA and inspiration from our heritage, and to reinterpret it with a modern touch – all the while ensuring that we maintain our excellence in craftsmanship and value in every product. We consider this an achievement because when you visit our showroom in Villa Mozart in Milan you can truly feel this distinctive balance and harmony between the rich history and modern times through beautiful craft.
Originally, Serapian did not create collections as such; it was a Milanese atelier focused on a craftsman-to-customer relationship creating what a client wanted from our exceptional leathers, colours and choice of styles, and it is this bespoke approach by the Maison that remains a key element for us today.
What are some of the defining characteristics of your handbags that make them different?
All our bags are designed inhouse in the Serapian atelier, with over 700 designs that remain as relevant today as when they were first created.
Serapian is renowned for its Mosaico craft established in 1947, as well as our Bespoke service that allows for an infinite variety of colours, leathers and combinations.
Serapian is famous for the Mosaico that uses Napa leather, which was introduced in 1947. Are you surprised by how relevant it still is even today?
Although introduced in 1947, Serapian’s iconic Mosaico weaving process is a distinctive symbol of our artisanal craftsmanship. There are only five artisans that are able to create with this craft, so each bag takes hours of work, patience, and dedication that are unique to each piece, and people that know us appreciate it highly. The Mosaico technique cannot be automated and we have to use the same tools as when it was first introduced because the modern ones were not able to get the desired results reflective of the Maison. There is a craftsman behind the creation of each bag and each one includes their signature inside it.
Tell us about your latest capsule collection created specifically for the Middle East with Emirati designer Sara Altamimi?
Comprising four designs from Serapian’s iconic Secret bag collection, this capsule collection was created by Sara using our Bespoke services that allowed her to take inspiration from her own sketches. The collection is exclusive to the Middle East on Ounass.com and is limited to only ten pieces.
What’s next for Serapian in the Middle East?
The Middle East is certainly an important market for us, and exciting too for a number of reasons. The design codes and values of Serapian fit perfectly with the region - there is immediate recognition of luxury, and distinctive creations found in our designs. There is also appreciation for bespoke craftsmanship, and having the choice to create something that is uniquely theirs. We are currently developing our digital bespoke showroom, which will be available starting mid-December and will allow clients to connect virtually with our designers and artisans in our Milan showroom, to create their desired products as if they were physically present in Villa Mozart. Customers will be able to receive their designs after four months.
We are currently present in Qatar in Printemps, Doha, and open a boutique in Abu Dhabi and another one in Dubai in the first half of 2023.
Where can our readers find your bags?
In the region, our bags are available on Ounass.com and Net-a-Porter.com.
The Serapian x Sara Altamimi capsule collection is available exclusively on Ounass.com.