Overwhelmed by the success. This also happens in the Italy of the Great Depression. And the fact is even more surprising considering that the news comes from the South, to be precise from Lecce province. But it is proof that if you work well and produce beautiful objects, there is no crisis that takes and you can even afford to go against the grain.
This is exactly what Barbara Lisanti is doing, with her bags and other accessories (shoes, wallets, bracelets, necklaces, jewelry) hand-painted, reproducing, with the same care as a painting on canvas, the masterpieces of art history masters (such as Klimt, Monet, Vermeer, Renoir, Dali, Picasso, Van Gogh, Botticelli), a modern twist with bright colors and absolutely glamorous, as befits a fashion brand. But there are also landscapes and abstract designs, fruit of the skill of the artists involved in the process: «We thought that the famous paintings were selling it better, this is why we started with those. But then we realized that people like very much our original subjects».
It is “put on art”, indeed, «the hand-painted to wear» (as brand slogan says), a formula for «women who do not want to approve the mass, dynamic and imaginative, expressing their femininity by choosing, for their fashion accessories, real and unique Artistic Creations». At prices, it must be said, quite affordable.
And apparently the message has been heard. «We are receiving an unexpected consensus – says Barbara Lisanti, a thirty-seven Ligurian transplanted in Puglia – so much so that we must necessarily regroup». Only three years ago, Barbara, restorer and painter, worked in a call center, while the laboratory of false copyright was a hobby, not an activity from which gain an income. Then things, in the call center, have gone wrong and waiting to find another job, all energies went back in the lab. From which, just for fun, the first bag handpainted came out. Then it was a crescendo, so that «when they called for a new job in the call center, I had to say no». And now they call her “designer” («I am not used to» she says).
It is especially in the last year and a half that the creations under the trademark “Arte Lisanti” («Please do not call them products or articles …») have begun to attract the attention of the public, first among the friends, then with the social networks precious help (14 thousand followers on Twitter, 12 thousand on Instagram, 1700 on Google+, 17 thousand “likes” on Facebook, 2000 on Pinterest), because there is not yet a real distribution network: there is only one small number of retailers (five or six stores throughout Italy and three abroad). There is not even an e-commerce (although contacting the site “artelisanti.com” you can choose the object which will be sent home at no additional costs: just long enough to realize the creation).
The a bit tumultuous activity rise imposes a restructuring, a new organization, trying to maintain a balance between new business requirements and the creations quality. Handbags and accessories, in fact, are hand painted one by one by professional artists, depicting in detail the original design (they are also provided of the authenticity certification as for real paintings), with resistant and metallic colors on precious fabrics and, now, all made in Italy: from skins, wood, metals (gold and silver). The bags come from manufacturers all over Italy (the first was in faux leather), which change their own models to fit the design. The same for the shoes: «We want to offer lines with tidy basic product»
Now that demand is growing, «we are reflecting. There are those who want to throw himself headlong – confides Barbara Lisanti – and who, like me, holds in; rather I even try to stop the sales a little! I want to maintain the care of the product and from this it follows the type of organization: for example, if make an e-commerce or turn to a network of dealers. I want to be sure what to put on the market».
It is a revolution, for Barbara and his colleagues (including his mother, brothers and fellow…). And the beauty is that «not even we officially proposed in the specialized press yet. We will do this with the new organization, probably early next year». Soon will come a new website and there will still be a renewal; the logo has already changed from the first: it is now a stylized flower from which comes out the letters “BL” with which Barbara Lisanti has always signed her works. But the name will remain the same, “Arte Lisanti”: «The name by which we are now known. And that is what keeps alive the name of my family who has always supported me».