Merge the symmetric and impalpable beauty of geometric shapes with the materiality of fabrics from distant cultures, into a woven cloth entirely made by hand and without seams. It was from this amalgamation that CLEMSA was born, brand of the young Roman designer, Sabrina Clementi. For her thesis project in Product Design, she set as her goal, the creation of wearable upholstery. Strictly made in Italy, accessories with harmonious forms and delicate colors are generated, expressing the whispered elegance, simple and refined, of a chic and metropolitan woman.
Giada: What is the inspiration that gave life to your brand?
Sabrina: The initial inspiration came from my research in textile artifacts from nomadic communities from different continents: Mexico, Central Asia, North Africa and Italy. In particular, the decorative and symbolic motifs on these fabrics inspired me, especially the lozenge – the geometric diamond shape – which is a common, unifying element between various cultures.
Giada: What products have you made and what technique did you use?
Sabrina: Given my architectonic training, the first products that I made were elements from interior design. But the ones that most characterize the CLEMSA brand are the accessories and, in particular, the clutch.
For my thesis project in Product Design, I devised a weaving technique done by hand with different cloths and without the use of stitching. Then I decided to patent it and apply it to various fabrics and leathers.
Giada: What is “No.Made”?
Sabrina: “No.Made” is a collection that has an affinity with textile, from the communities I mentioned before, used in everyday life, both for interior design as well as clothing. Following patterns that are linked to craftsmanship from the past but with a very contemporary workmanship and soul, it is characterized by the cherished elegance of the forms, the high-quality leather and the careful selection of colors.
Giada: What turns on your creativity?
Sabrina: I’m a dreamer, so everything starts from there. It’s a journey that can take off from any starting point.
Giada: How much does your passion for architecture influence you in the creation of fashion accessories?
Sabrina: A lot. My work is the result of my academic preparation. The weaving itself starts from geometric patterns that interlock with each other, creating a design that many people have defined as architectural. If I had not done that experience of study and research, acquiring the various skills and passion for this field, I would never have come to design the fabric that I now use for accessories.
Giada: What are some surprises that have given you the most satisfaction?
Sabrina: Without a doubt it was in January 2014 when I took part in Room Service, a project inside AltaRoma. Conceived and curated by Simonetta Gianfelici, it fosters the development of a select group of young Italian and foreign designers whose production is proudly made in Italy. It is in this context that I presented my first collection and launched my brand, CLEMSA.
I achieved another important objective thanks to Bagheera Boutique, which was the first store to believe in me as an emerging brand and which has greatly promoted my product. The partnership, which was born immediately after the presentation of the collection at AltaRoma in February 2014, has helped me grow a lot, and I’m so grateful for the trust they immediately showed me and for their constant encouragement.
Giada: What’s it like living in the world of fashion?
Sabrina: I live with curiosity and the freshness and spontaneity of someone who comes from another sector, but without the need to chase after and conform myself to those styles and that kind of pace and seasonality. Coming from the field of architecture and design, I used to design and create “products” that were not seasonal, which arose from a project or from a fairly long process, the result of which did not have a “shelf life”. Also due to its purely artisanal nature, I conceived of my product by basically following my way of “creating”, which I consider an advantage. Up to now the only “seasonality” conveyed has been to use different types of leather and new colors. Obviously, like this no two products will ever be the same.
Giada: In a society where large industrial groups and mass production often get the best of the market, how is your artisanal craftsmanship interpreted by consumers?
Sabrina: given the characteristics of my product, artisanal and innovative, my work is considered to have its niche. There is an acknowledgement and appreciation for the research and experimentation with the materials that have guided my path and inspired my design. These features have also allowed me to create “tailored” products so I’m able to follow the specific requests of clients. It’s also thanks to this that it has had such positive feedback from the market.
Giada: Future goals?
Sabrina: My first goal is to consolidate the initial project and expand distribution into other markets. Using the same weaving technique, which is the soul of Clemsa, I have a new collection in mind but I’m going to experiment and play with shapes and new materials that are alternatives to leather. For now they’re just prototypes, but the weaving will be applied to create other types of accessories and apparel products.