Maria Lamanna erwartet gerade ihr zweites Kind und hat ihre neue Taschenkollektion unter gleichem Namen gelauncht. Der sieht man sofort an, dass der Designerin italienisches Blut in den Adern fließt, so ‘wow’ ist sie. Wir hätten am liebsten jeder mindestens zwei Stück und sind auch sonst sehr interessiert an der Work-Life-Balance einer echten italienischen Mamma. Ein kleiner Tipp von ihr schon einmal vorweg: “… another secret of mine is that work “saves” me from motherhood issues and motherhood “saves” me from business ones..”. Und vielleicht ist das ja auch unser Trick.
Die Taschen von Maria Lamanna sind alle kleine Perfektionisten. Zumindest in meinen Augen. Meine Liebe zu edlen Gürteltaschen ist groß und gerechtfertigt finde ich, denn ich habe ja schließlich drei Kinder (manchmal braucht man einfach einen Grund für Neuerwerbungen). Aber auch unter anderen Aspekten gefallen mir die Taschen gut. Zum Beispiel würde ich gerne mal mit der schwarzen Flamingo ausgehen:
Maria Lamanna selbst kann sich nicht entscheiden und wechselt ihren Favoriten wöchentlich, wie sie u.a. im Interview erklärt. Wir haben sie gefragt, wie sie Kinder und Karriere verbindet und wie das in Italien so üblich ist…
Dear Maria, You are 34, Italian, a soon-to-be mother of two children and founder and designer of your own handbag label that carries your name, how do you feel?
I feel just like a normal woman, as I am. Perhaps a little busier than someone on maternity leave but that was part of the choice.
In 2007, you went to South Africa for five years and once back in Italy you have founded your own label. How did it happen?
I had to balance being a mom and work and the best way to handle everything was to be an independent worker. It was also a personal challenge with everyone telling me it was not the right economic time to start my own business. I think in a way I had been a little reckless but it is paying off.
What is so special about the beautiful bags of Maria Lamanna?
It is very difficult for me to say what’s special about something I have created. One thing I pride myself for is quality and that’s definitely a strength.
Do you have a favourite model?
I do, but it changes every month or so. Right now I’m wearing the backpack but few weeks ago I was all about the Così bag. What attracted you to fashion? What does fashion mean to you?
I think I was not really attracted to fashion but I do am attracted to beauty, craftsmanship, uniqueness, sense of style and fashion can be all of this, not always but some labels are really inspiring. Fashion is an expression of one’s own personality whilst makes you feel part of a social evolution. Fashion means constant changes and that is what keeps my own sparkle alive.
Has motherhood changed your point of view on the fashion industry?
I don’t think motherhood really did change my point of view of the fashion industry; rather it changed my mind business-wise. Right now I just want my kids to see that we are happy with the choices we have made, that the legacy is not the brand itself but the way we are building it, this doesn’t mean they will have to be involved with the business, it will be up to them.
How do you judge the consistently high prices in designer bags segment. Is a “Fendi” really an investment?
What most people don’t understand in regards with the price points is that not only you buy a bag in itself, you but intellectual work, you buy what the brand invests into as marketing and pr, to pass through a message to you. Whatever the message would be. When you go above the contemporary segment you can find really good quality items and it’s the same as going to a restaurant: you don’t only “judge” the courses but the service, the atmosphere. The same should be for luxury items: we should judge the whole experience of buying it (on and off line).
As a mother of three children I really liked the “Fanny Pack” trend and I did love the ones in your collection are truly indescribably beautiful. In your opinion which is the bag that any woman or mother should have in her closet?
The fanny pack is a good piece to have when you are a mother (especially of three, you need free hands!) but the backpack it sort of an essential too. Indeed any cross body is also a good choice.
What does your daily life look like and how do you work? – From home and your child will be taken cared of in a nursery?
Not every day is the same, actually every day is different. My husband (he’s also my business partner) and I start working very early, while our boy is still sleeping. He then goes to pre-school, where he can spend time with his peers, learn and play. We do spend a lot of time with him and if necessary we take him with us to the manufacturers or tanneries, he really likes that. Most of the times we have to work after dinner when he’s asleep but it’s a good way to balance everything.
Will you take a maternity leave after baby number two?
I am not sure if it’s granted a real maternity leave to me, I will definitely need to slow down a little but another secret of mine is that work “saves” me from motherhood issues and motherhood “saves” me from business ones. And I am not ready to give in any of them.
What is common in Italy? When do women go back to work after childbirth. And is this a topic that makes for a conversation (medial)?
It definitely makes a conversation. Motherhood in Italy is difficult but it is supported. I think you have 6 months maternity leave granted with 100% or 80% of your salary, then you have extra 3 months with a lower % on your salary. The problem is that there are not a lot of structures that can accommodate 6-month-old babies, even for few hours. If you are suppose to go back to work where are you suppose to leave your baby? But luckily being an independent worker is easier for me.
Thank you for the nice interview and all the best for you and your family.