Manfredilab - five designers under one roof
What is Manfredilab?
Manfredilab in the Parioli neighborhood of Rome is where five Italian designer women collaborate together in a shared venue to showcase their various Italian designs. They’ve put their know-how and brands together under one roof because they feel that collaboration is the future of the Italian design business.
Manfredilab offers a very private shopping experience with the chance to shop from the five very different Italian designers. Shopping is by appointment only and when you're at Manfredilab you experience a private, personal shopping experience with the a chance to chat and work with each of the designers.
Although each woman offers prêt-à-porter or ready-made designer items there's also the possibility to order something bespoke and custom-made to suit your own need and vision.
All five women have extensive mailing lists and a base of regular long time clients. New clients come their way by word of mouth, at pop-ups and through the Manfredilab
Instagram account. You can reach Manfredilab to schedule an appointment via DM on the Manfredilab Instagram account or by phone.
The Manfredilab Italian designers
Giochidacqua (Giovanna and Chicca) have been designing successful swimwear for many years. After a few years these two Italian designers realized that their younger clients were always looking for affordable and unique evening wear and decided to develop their own collection of evening gowns. Their swimwear continues to grow but they are also now known as the go-to place in Rome for all parties and events that require an appropriate evening gown.
Emanuela Sauve has been an Italian designer and decorator for years together with her partner Cristina Simen based in Milan making wallpaper and embellishing apartments and houses all over Italy. Sauvesimen also make beautiful one of a kind hand painted tables, trays and place mats in iron. Everything can also be made to order. To this Emanuela has added a new collection inspired by her passion for African wax fabrics and at Manfredilab you can also find a colorful collection of wax fabric covered shopping bags and carts and t-shirts embellished with wax fabric pockets or napkins and more.
Raffaella Papi and Simona Regard studied and learned to work with leather. They began producing a collection of beautiful handmade belts with a technique they mastered of applying velvets and fabrics to leather backings. They soon turned those belts into beautiful straps that you can clip onto your old vintage bag to give it a newer look. They also pair them with the “tolfa” bag from the town of Tolfa now very fashionable in Italy. Simona and Raffaella have a big following of faithful clients who come back time after time for more straps they can't seem to do without. They also craft beautiful handmade bags.
Carla Vallotto is an Italian interior designer and architect from Verona. She has always been attracted to textiles and their colors and textures. At home she has wardrobes full of Indian silks, rich furniture fabrics and velvets that she uses to refurbish chairs and sofas. When she discovered Uzbek Ikat she fell in love with it immediately and started mixing this technique to velvets and silks. That is where I Cuscini di Carla started. Carla now also makes lampshades, bags and slippers with the same technique.
Claire Crowley Portable
Claire Crowley has been designing high quality handmade garments for many years. Starting with limited edition coats that were sold in boutiques worldwide, she soon
decided to create capsule collections that were both "portable" and "collectable": high quality garments that could be worn anywhere, taken everywhere, and that would last a lifetime. A carefully curated wardrobe for every woman to collect according to her personal style.
Claire's unmistakable style mixes British eclectics and Italian sartorialism. Her collections focus on timeless, feel-good pieces crafted for the modern woman. Her pieces are Made in Italy in small batches to avoid waste, using the best, responsibly sourced fabrics.
Find Claire Crowley Portable on her website and on Instagram.
Alma Sandali has now joined Claire in her designer room at Manfredilab.
Manfredilab Italian designers - a focus on sustainability and slow motion fashion
Claire Crowley and the partners at Manfredilab try to be sustainable in production in several ways. For example Claire buys already made and unused fabric that will possibly end up in landfill from stockists. Claire also tries to produce fabric sustainably by not using fabric dyes that pollute. She is also sourcing plant-based materials made from nettle and hemp, and eco-leather made with pineapple and leaves.
Only Carla sources material overseas: Irkat fabric from Turkey that she brings back to Italy and uses to create her gorgeous cushions. Although Carla sources her fabric outside of Italy her creative style is very much Italian.
Claire says she creates slow motion fashion.
Claire and her partners no longer feel governed and controlled by the fast pace of fashion. So instead of preparing a season of designerwear almost a year in advance they make things just as the season is approaching or during the season. Since these five women designers produce everything in small batches it gives them the flexibility to produce right into the season.
At Manfredilab the designers work with some small artisans so it's possible to produce bespoke fashion items on short notice. Visitors to Rome can order a bespoke fashion item and have it ready to take home on very short notice. The designers at Manfredilab also ship bespoke items upon request.
Pop-ups in other Italian cities
Pop-ups are a great way for the Manfredilab women Italian designers to share their creations in other cities (Milan, Naples, Florence, Bologna) and throughout Italy. They rent a shop in another city for a week and invite clients from their mailing lists to the shop. This is a great way to build up their clientele and interact with customers on a personalized basis.
Here are a few more fascinating Italian designers, inventors, artisans and creators:
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