We meet Silvia Paulon, Founder and Creative Director at Dellaluna Venezia as the Italian brand launches in the Middle East.
Luxury Venetian handbag brand Dellaluna Venezia recently made its debut in the Middle East. The historic Maison which calls Venice its home pays homage to the traditions of centuries gone by, inspired by the beauty and history of the historic city of Venice. At the heart of the house are the traditional Italian craft techniques that are still used to this day, with every piece being made entirely by hand by skilled artisans in Venice. Founder and Creative Director Silvia Paulon is constantly inspired by the endless beauty and architecture in the floating city and it is this combined with the Italian craftsmanship that makes this brand unique and truly special.
Dellaluna Venezia recently launched in the UAE for the first time, with its designs now available exclusively at Tryano in Abu Dhabi. To celebrate the launch the brand also presented a Middle East exclusive handbag. Named Dogaressa, after the Queen of Venice, the bag is a celebration of the harmonious collision of the Arab and Venetian worlds and their royal aesthetics. We discover more about the brand and its plans for the region.
Tell us a little about the world of Dellaluna Venezia?
Dellaluna Venezia is an Italian luxury label that’s inspired by Venetian architecture and its aesthetics. The exclusivity of the brand, combined with its fine craftsmanship, ensures Dellaluna’s quality remains unmatchable. Through the handbags I design, I aim to create timeless pieces that replicate the city’s old-school charm and translate its iconic history as well as its culture.
You recently launched in the Middle East – what does this market mean to you and what do you hope for by making your products available here?
The Middle East is a very important region for Dellaluna. Venetian art and architecture are strongly influenced by the Arab world, replications of which can be found in our designs. From the shapes to the patterns on my bags, each showcases an amalgamation of Venetian and Arabesque architecture that has intrinsically tied the two regions together since the bygone Byzantine era. Inspired by the sharp lines, soft silhouettes and geometrical structures seen in Byzantine architecture, our handbags are an example of the wonderful fusion of the Arab and Venetian world. This helps enhance the beauty of the bags whilst also allowing Arab women to resonate with their style. After Europe, the Middle East is a key market for Dellaluna Venezia as the audience here recognises the true value of art and they have an incredible appreciation for luxury and couture. With our Middle East launch, I hope to further diversify the brand’s reach as well as make my products more accessible to the women of this region.
We saw the Middle East exclusive handbag; can you share a little with us about this piece and what makes it so special?
It’s the most precious handbag we’ve ever made! It’s a passion project that was purely inspired by my visit to the UAE and my interactions with people in the region. Covered in 24kt gold leaf, the limited-edition Dogaressa, was crafted especially for the Middle East. Named Dogaressa, after the Queen of Venice, the bag is a celebration of the harmonious collision of the Arab and Venetian worlds and their royal aesthetics.
The leather clutch exhibits intricate designs that are inspired by a fusion of arabesque patterns and Venetian palazzo ceilings, honouring two diverse worlds that for centuries have been interconnected through art and architecture. The limited-edition Middle East exclusive bag is crafted as a piece of high jewellery, rather than a handbag. The piece also flaunts three sleek chains made using hand-moulded, 18-carat plated gold that allows the bag to be worn as an elegant bracelet, or over the shoulder – a feature that is unique to the Dogaressa.
How do Dellaluna Venezia’s designs capture the spirit of Venice?
In my opinion, Venice is a beautiful, glamorous and elegant woman that has an air of mystique around her. Despite being centuries old, she never ceases to charm people from across the world. That’s also the spirit of Dellaluna – a timeless elegance and charm that remains with you forever. Every Dellaluna bag I’ve ever made and will ever make is a love letter to Venice. This city is the primary and endless inspiration for all my artistic creations. What’s most inspiring about this city is its rich history and its vibrant as well as multicultural environment. Much like the UAE, it’s a melting pot of cultures and every corner you turn to will surprise you with its unique architectural designs. No two corners in the city are similar and yet, all of them come together so beautifully to co-exist and form Venice as we know it today.
How important is it to you to preserve traditional Italian craftsmanship and tell us about some of the techniques used by the house?
The highest quality of craftsmanship is Dellaluna’s greatest motto. We are very proud of our heritage and what we create in our atelier, and the Venetian secular knowhows, are a reflection of our pride and ancient wisdom. Every handbag is entirely handmade and is created by one artisan that has years of experience, from start to finish. The details are the most important aspect of our process, for instance, every metal part of the handbag is made by a goldsmith and is hand-moulded in ateliers. Venice has been home to so many hidden ateliers where artisans continue to carry forward centuries of Italian heritage and craftsmanship. Dellaluna is a celebration of these hidden gems paying homage to the traditions of yesterday whilst designing contemporary styles to suit the timeless elegance of a woman.
How do you ensure that the designs honour the heritage of the brand but continue to remain contemporary?
Venice is one of the most international cities in the world and is home to historical Palazzos and museums that host the most glamorous events from film festivals to the Art Biennale. These events are a way to uphold the traditions whilst also accepting and looking forward to newer ones. Dellaluna believes in striking the same balance, while our craft is rooted in tradition, our designs are versatile and ever-adapting! Our bags are made in Venice with secular craftsmanship but can be seen on the streets of New York, Paris and Dubai in the hands of stylish fashionistas.
If we were to invest in one piece from the collection, what should it be?
The Affresco Oro – it’s our most loved handbag and is also popular amongst celebrities. Expertly crafted from hand-sculpted leather that is inspired by the Venetian Palazzo ceilings, its available in five distinct shades from monochrome to timeless neutrals and features the precious touch of the Oro Dellaluna jewellery chain, as well as the signature ”Leone e Stella” lock. The ”Zampe del Leone” a goldsmith’s masterpiece in 18-carat plated gold sits below the lock and helps accentuate the look of this bag. The bag also easily doubles as the perfect statement accessory as well as functional carry-all. Versatile and chic, the bag is ideal for a gala night or a daytime outing with your friends. The Affresco Oro adds a unique charm to every outfit it’s paired with.
How has this past year been for you and have you made any changes moving forward after the pandemic?
Just as it has been for everyone across the globe, the impact of the pandemic has been multifold on Dellaluna. Especially since Venice depends so heavily on tourism and last year, with the lockdown in place for months, completely changed the dynamics of our city and its economy. The recovery has been slow since we re-opened, but I see some level of normalcy returning now, especially with the ease in movement restrictions. People are returning, clients that have donned a Dellaluna bag before are coming back to stores or placing orders online and slowly, we’re seeing a turnover of the situation. I believe that after a whole year of living indoors and through very difficult times, people in the city, as well as those on the outskirts, want a change in atmosphere and mood and so, they want to dress up and go outdoors. More and more people want to celebrate the reopening of cities and the freedom to move about town. They’ve learnt that life is so fragile, that they would rather spend a little and live all the experiences while they can! On another front though, it has also been an exciting year for Dellaluna as it led to the process of its launch in the Middle East at Tryano, Abu Dhabi as well as personally, I’ve been a lot more motivated to create and experiment on the design front.
Who or what inspires you?
The city of Venice and the Dellaluna woman – she is confident, versatile, elegant and loves to explore the world.
What is the biggest challenge you face as a brand today?
The biggest challenge today for a brand such as Dellaluna is to stay true to its roots and remain loyal to the craftsmanship in a world where everything is moving at a much faster pace, especially with the rise of the fast-fashion world. As I mentioned earlier, our pieces are and will always be created in the Ateliers in Venice, which is a time-consuming process that takes patience and cannot be mass-produced. This is also why there is often a waiting list for some of our handbags.
How do you appeal to a younger generation of customers?
It’s an attitude game, the young generation loves to mix and match casual looks with over-the-top accessories. I believe, they are a lot more experimental in their style and also, very open to trying out different looks. For the younger generation more is more, just as Dellaluna! Having said that, we also try and remain contemporary by creating niche designs such as the Stella or Wings collection that combines modern-day class with our long-held traditions.
What is the motto you live by?
If you believe, great things will come to you!
How would you describe the brand in one word?
What is a message you would send to our readers to tell them all they need to know about the brand?
Owning a Dellaluna piece is like owning high jewellery. It can be passed on from one generation to the next and is timeless in its charms. With just a touch, a Dellaluna woman will understand the true essence of craftsmanship. She doesn’t need to be serenaded by compliments to boost her confidence but possesses confidence from within. I’ve seen so many women come to my store and pick a handbag without ever asking me for an explanation – one-touch and they know exactly what sets the bag apart, its quality and the efforts that went into creating that piece of art. They’re also aware of the best way to style it and can carry it off in a pair of ruffed jeans and a plain tee as well as whilst donning an evening gown. To put it in one sentence, it’s a bag for all seasons!
Shop Dellaluna Venezia at Tryano, YAS Mall, Abu Dhabi.