The Milanese fashion entrepreneur and founder of Fregoli, Francesca Spaggiari, whose handbags adorn the arms of Catherine Deneuve, Olivia Palermo and Veronica Bocelli, believes in high-impact glamour for the modern woman.
Spaggiari is known for dramatic, colourful and extravagant handbags, which offer opulent customisation and interchangeable elements in several styles. Spaggiari, who founded the Fregoli brand in 2016, says her bags impart the sense of fantasy that women are yearning for after a year of lockdowns and sweatpants.
Who are your style heroes?
I love following fashion icons and staying updated on trends and trendsetters, but I don’t have specific names in mind. I travel a lot for work and I find inspirations in what I see around the world. The secret is keeping my eyes open and soaking up all the beauty that surrounds me. It could be a visit to a museum, a dreamy landscape or the observation of Nature’s incredible colours and shapes. Style is everywhere. I just capture it and channel it towards the creation of my handbags.
When did you become interested in making bags and accessories a business?
I’ve been interested in fashion since I was a little girl. My dream was to create my own fashion house, a very elite, unique and haute couture atelier where every woman’s dream could come true. So as soon as I graduated, I decided to start Fregoli to pursue my own idea of glamour – and
to express my creativity and idea of style and elegance
Italian craftsmanship is a big sell. Tell us what you think makes Made in Italy so special and how it applies to your brand. In Italy we have the good fortune of being surrounded by art, architecture and history. My country is like a museum en plein air. Being exposed to all that beauty affects you and drives everyone to achieve excellence and perfection in whatever we do. This is how Fregoli handbags are born: combining the virtuosity of Italian craftmanship with the best materials and the upmost care for details. The result is a harmony of forms, textures and colours, that catches the eyes and the heart of the beholder.
The pandemic has changed fashion and we’ve all been embracing loungewear. Do you think that after Covid there’ll be a hunger for glamour and fantasy in fashion again?
We’ve spent a year dealing with lockdowns, restrictions and social distancing. Our wardrobes and accessories have been neglected for
so long … this was definitely unprecedented, and I’m sure there’ll be a rebound effect – many women can’t wait to get the chance to dress up and be glamorous or extravagant again. As an answer to these times, I chose to see a future filled with colours, feathers and stones, and to create handbags that will bring back joy, playfulness and – why not? – a touch of luxury to our live
Your bags are jewel-like artful pieces that are designed to make an entrance. What’s the ethos of your aesthetic and label?
We live in a globalised world dominated by “massification”. The risk
is to lose your identity and give in to homogenisation. My bags offer women the opportunity to state their own idea of elegance and sophistication, their unique personality. Society is in constant evolution, transforming its habits and traditions at an increasingly fast pace. With that in mind, we designed handbags with interchangeable covers and handles and innovative metal frames and reliable hardware to create fascinating metamorphoses that allow our customers to choose the best combination that suits their needs and taste of the moment.
How would you describe your personal style?
A perfect balance between simplicity, elegance, uniqueness and sophistication. A Fregoli bag is the final touch that you need to complete every look, a faithful companion that will always give you the opportunity to add a touch of glamour to whatever you’re wearing. Own a Fregoli and I guarantee you’ll never go unnoticed!
You’re a big fan of feathers, embellishment, colour and bejewelled items. Does this reflect your personality?
Yes, totally, I love making an entrance! I believe Fregoli bags are something that projects that “wow” effect, which makes everyone remember you. I personally love the soft finish of the feathers and the movement they create when you walk or move. But I have to say that some sparks and blings don’t harm … so why not add both?
Which of your bags is the most meaningful or precious to you and why?
I love them all, but the Metamorfosi handbag is the model that better embodies the concept of transformism that’s at the essence of my brand. It’s a handbag with one soul and many personalities, which you can create by clipping different and unique interchangeable covers and handles. The limit is only your imagination.
If the story of your life had a theme tune, what song would it be?
There are a lot of songs that I could point out for many different reasons, but if I had to pick one I’d go with “What A Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong. There’s something magical about the tune – and the lyrics resonate with me every time I hear it.
Do your parents come from a fashion or style background?
My parents aren’t in the fashion business, but they’re both entrepreneurs, so they’ve been great role models and invaluable mentors along my journey. I wouldn’t have been able to be where
I am today without their help and support, and I can only thank them for everything they taught me about creating and running a company.
What items in your wardrobe can you never live without?
My black sartorial blazer. It’s a timeless classic, and wearing it gives me confidence as a woman. It allows you to look elegant on the spot and it matches every outfit.
What’s the best piece of advice anyone has given to you?
Stay humble and be true to your roots. It came from my dad and it’s the advice that keeps me grounded and reminds me who I am and
of the reasons I decided to start my own company.
Tell us a secret.
I’m working on a pretty wild new handbag concept and I just received the prototype. Even if I can’t say too much, it’s something never seen before that will redefine how and why we carry a handbag.
Which designers do you admire the most and why?
Roberto Capucci – his standout creations were sculptures made out of fabrics. He created a wide range of forms inspired by art, architecture and nature. He was also a true genius in combining colours. I aspire
to do with handbags what he did to clothes.
Once we’re dancing at galas and filling cocktail bars again, what would be your ideal night-out outfit?
You’ll never go wrong with a little black dress. If you complement it with a Fregoli bag you’ll never go unnoticed. I’d either pick the N18 minaudière encrusted with a kaleidoscope of Swarovski crystal or the Veronica crocodile clutch with an embroidered cover clipped on it.
This story first appeared on PrestigeOnline Hong Kong