Gabriella Verdi, 53, was born in Dalarna, Sweden to a Swedish mother and Italian father. Founder of Atelier Verdi. An experienced creative director, she has lived and worked across Europe and Asia. She currently spends her time between Stockholm and London with her partner.
What is your brand philosophy?
I want each piece we create to look just as good to the next generation as it does to today’s. That means our styling and design choices are crucial, and it means we don’t compromise on quality of materials or workmanship. Together with our made-to-order philosophy, we can offer exclusive, sustainable luxury.
What do you do and where do you go to seek artistic inspiration?
Travel is a lifelong passion and I’ve always done what I can to create opportunities that enable me to see as much of the world as possible. It’s through this foreign travel and living that I find my inspiration, soaking up different cultures and traditions and styles. It doesn’t have to be anywhere exotic, you can find inspiration wherever you are. But if I had to pick one place that never fails to trigger that spark it would have to be Italy. From the big cities of Rome and Milan, to the small, hidden coastal towns, they all have stunning architecture and scenery and people that always inspire. Our latest collection was inspired by the beautiful Ligurian coastline.
How do you want women to feel when wearing your leather bags?
Chic, confident and proud. The beauty of fashion is that it offers everyone a chance to express how they feel.
How would you describe the Atelier Verdi woman?
Our designs are for every woman and I hope our bags allow them to show us who they are, whether it be feminine or empowered or creative, or something else entirely.
What was your biggest fear when going out and starting your own line?
I’ve helped start brands and develop collections for other labels before so I’ve come across a lot of the problems and worries that come with it. But starting my own line, with a completely clean slate and no stipulations from the outside, added a new dimension. I had a very clear idea of what I wanted to achieve, but my biggest concern was being able to convert my design thoughts into a product, without compromising. It took over a year (and a lot of patience from the guys in the workshop!) to get the perfect vanity case with all the necessary features; lightweight, elegant and a design with purpose.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced since starting out?
There have been many! We’re only a small team so working through the administrative and legal necessities have taken much longer to put in place than we expected. We launched just as the pandemic took hold too, which like everyone else created all sorts of logistical problems. And then Brexit came along and it’s been really hard work to understand and implement all the new rules.
Where would you go to chill out after work in Stockholm?
Banks Hotel. It’s in the heart of Stockholm and the rooftop bar has great drinks and wonderful panoramic views over the rooftops of Stockholm and over the busy harbour. The building itself has gorgeous interiors and there’s always a nice mix of people.
Which city is your favourite place of all time?
Tokyo. I loved my time living in Japan more than anywhere else and I hope to be there again very soon. It’s such a huge city that offers everything from the grandest hotels, cosy boutiques, stunning architecture, beautiful parks, and despite millions of people the city is so clean and functional. I used to love riding my bike through the city just to breathe the atmosphere. I never got tired of it. I lived in the heart of Tokyo and the real beauty of the city for me was the silence of my street with the constant hustle and bustle just a stone’s throw away. They take food to another level, everything is made with passion and an artistic eye, they are such creators of beauty. And nature in Japan is really special, it’s loved and respected by everyone.
We’re working on something in Japan that I hope to share very soon, so stay tuned!