I first met Simona at the White Show in Milan in 2019. Although I do not usually “go to market” to source for Lesetta, I wanted to see what this experience was like. We spent a couple of hours together and agreed to a visit in her atelier the following Summer when I returned to Italy.
On a bright June morning, I ventured, in my rental car, from Bologna to San Marino (the fifth smallest country in the world) where Simona lives. Alice, Simona’s wonderful assistant met me at the door dressed in all black, just as I remembered her with gorgeous bobbed blond hair, oversized black framed glasses and deep red lipstick. She welcomed me with warmth and grace. Soon Simona emerged from an earlier meeting with her pixie cut and soft spoken demeanor. We all “took a coffee” and then spent the entire day trying on Simona’s designs and discussing her life, her inspiration and her beautiful work.
Born and raised in Tuscany, Simona trained as a jewelry designer when she started her career. Over lunch, she shared how she spent her apprenticeship working all week and coming in on Saturday mornings, her day off, to watch themaestro work. Impressed by her work ethic and skill, he took her under his wing and trained her to become one of the most sought after jewelry designers in Italy. Simona has designed for Tiffany’s and Pomellato and she continues to consult with many Italian fashion brands.
Simona has had a clothing line for years, but had launched her own jewelry line just two years earlier. On my first visit with Simona, I fell in love with her chunky rings and delicate necklaces. I love a good statement ring and Simona makes the best! From her mirror collection of smaller profile to oversized she incorporates rose gold, yellow gold, silver and many precious stones.
She also does a series of hand painted rings from her signature “Eden Collection”. These are full of bright colors and erotic designs. The intricate detail and meticulous use of color is breathtaking. This year, she released her fantastic snake midi rings and pendants. The texturizing technique along with the precious stones that are incorporated into each piece gives the sense of the serpent skin and catches the light in many different ways.
Simona is a true innovator, she is constantly challenging herself to create new and interesting pieces using experimental techniques. Her signature, sculptural handbag is created using her proprietary design known as “Anima”. Simona takes the highest quality Italian leather and imported python and lines them with a metal mesh on the inside of the bag. This allows her to create “memory” bags. They retain their shape however the user prefers. They can be collapsed or wrinkled or perfectly geometric. They are lightweight and sturdy, and always of the most beautiful colors.
In typical Simona fashion, she is constantly experimenting with gilding techniques and texturizing processes. From her oversized bags to her small python clutches, she thinks of every detail - the perfect shoulder strap, the jewelry inspired closures, her signature double zipper and her silver 925 pulls shaped like the foot of a wolf.
I feel truly humbled to have Simona’s work in the Lesetta Collection. When I set out to establish a brand of curated high quality, high fashion, small production accessories from skilled designers around the world, I had no idea the artisans and works that I would come across. Simona epitomizes the high Italian standard of material and design and the Lesetta brand values. As is the tradition among the best Italian designers - training in the oldest skills and access to the best raw materials allows for both innovation and beauty in all of the final works. Simona’s work is no exception and she is truly a Maestraof Italian fashion.