Broochella. Make it memorable.
How did you come up with the brand name?
I’ve been fascinated with brooches since my younger years travelling Europe and would wear a sequin fabric flower brooch that I bought in a flea market in London on my old denim jacket that I took everywhere with me. I wanted to create a brand that is worldly and memorable like the memories I created travelling, I liked the sound of Broochella.
How would you define the brand?
I won’t design anything in my brooches that I wouldn’t wear myself. I am Italian and lived in Siena, Italy for over 12 years, I have always stayed true to my heritage, quality is important to me. Broochella creates bespoke, bejewelled, luxe brooches that are unique. Each brooch is designed in Australia and created by artisans locally and all over the world using European fabrics and the highest craftsmanship in order to offer a superior product, respecting the traditions of Italian design and quality.
But why brooches? As a personal stylist, I have worked with all types of clients. I learn all about their body structure, profession, lifestyle, colour palette and style personality and I help them to love their bodies and be more confident about the clothes they purchase. Every stylist knows that accessories make the outfit and give it personality, and what better way to do this than with a brooch. I know how amazing wearing a brooch makes you feel. You will always receive a compliment when wearing one. It not only adds flair to your outfit but it will leave a lasting impression by keeping people’s attention on your communication centre which in the styling world is the V Vital or around your neckline. A brooch will always make an impression whether you are in a professional environment or a social one. It’s a conversation starter, it makes you become interesting and gives people a reason to come and talk to you. I believe there are psychological benefits to wearing one, you become memorable.
Why would people buy a brooch?
To make their wardrobe more versatile without buying new clothes. In today's climate, we are more conscious of what we buy and how much we buy. People are looking for quality over fast fashion and the phenomenon of slow fashion needs to be a valued and respected movement for the future. Brooches are a timeless contribution playing a part in a sustainable world by using less resources to change up an outfit and make it look different.
What inspires you?
The first person who inspired me to love brooches in my 20s was Carrie Bradshaw in SATC. I would be transfixed on her style and the outfits she wore on the show. I would hunt down fabric flower brooches wherever I was in the world and wear them. Her brooches were the catalyst for my first designs.
From there, I would say it’s my clients who inspire me. I’m fascinated by colour and, sounds cliché, but colour in nature, all the beautiful colours around us. From my experience as a personal stylist, people love colour but most are afraid to wear it in case they stand out or draw attention to themselves. It’s much less daunting for them to wear a coloured brooch rather than a bright top.
Animals also, have also been a recurring theme in my designs from the exotic to the fearless. I think people are naturally attracted to animal brooches.
I have always adored watching foreign and classic films, especially Wes Anderson's, I love the nostalgia, the innocence and of course the colour palette of these old movies. The old world quirkiness is inspo to me.
Who is the Broochella customer?
A contemporary woman or man with an eye for quality and style, she/he/they is happy and loves colour and elegance but is bold and dynamic and has a strong personality. She loves to express her individuality through the clothes she wears and the accessories she adorns. We create brooches for women who want to be different and love beautiful things, collecting quality treasures to add to their curated wardrobes. What touches me deeply and drives my passion is the emotional connection created instantly between their authentic selves and my creations. Brooches hold a special place for people, they are a very personal accessory that gives a sense of your own personality through the brooch you’re wearing. This is what makes me want to continue the journey.
I also design brooches for men. Men have been the catalyst for bringing back the brooch today. Male celebrities wearing brooches have graced the red carpet of high fashion events around the world. Brooches are a new way for men to express themselves.
Who helps you?
I designed the first line of fabric flower brooches and needed someone to sew them so I went on the hunt at local community sewing schools and found a lovely lady called Robyn who was recommended to me. She helped me bring my vision to life. I then needed someone who could carry the vision through and connect me to skilful artisans around the world, that person was renown fashion designer Aurelio Costarella, who is also an old friend. I adored working with him. He became lead consultant to Broochella and drove the logistics of many of the beautiful artisan creations. Today I have a wonderful lady, Tamara who brings to life my designs and inspirations.
What designers do you look up to?
When I first started Broochella, for about 11 months I was working out of the family living/dining room. I had spools of cotton, a multitude of different fabrics, a pile of old vintage magazines, rhinestone jewelled brooches piled up in tubs and 8 big mood boards sprawled all over the dinner table and living room. Each of those mood boards was headlined - Gucci, Chanel, Fendi, Prada, Miu Miu and each was covered with cuttings and images of the brand’s past. I look up to and admire the historical elements of these brands and used their design philosophies together with my own unique vision and representation that I infuse into every piece and create into a unique Brooch. My vision is spun from colour, quality, cultural heritage and a little bit of magic.
What does the future hold?
I want to put myself to good use by creating this sustainable accessory that helps reduce excess fast fashion for our environment and at the same time is a meaningful, unique and timeless treasure in ones wardrobe. Like the hand-made dresses mum used to make, I want Broochella to be a thoughtful brand that contributes as a small link to strengthen the chain to a brighter future. Harmony in fashion, our environment and our future gives me purpose. This is what Broochella aims to do.