Spring Summer 2018 Inspiration

 
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For Spring Summer 2018, we drew upon Georgia O'Keeffe's paintings of the New Mexico landscapes from the mid-20th century.  Looking to her play of contrast with the rich desert earth tones of the Abiquiú mesas and mountain range, the collection introduces a color palette of natural sand, agave green, and indigo blues. 

Further inspired by the desert landscape, this season introduces the signature Safari bag in both matte and patent colored snakeskin – accented with straps of silk braided cording that end in lush tassels, softly hanging from either side. The Buckle Tote is also reimagined for this season, most strikingly in a deep copper tone reminiscent of O’Keeffe’s red hills series from the early 1930s – capturing the dry red earth of New Mexico summers. 

 

ODP part of "La Famiglia" at Le Bon Marche Paris

 
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Italian style is now taking over Paris with a special pop-up shop entitled "La Famiglia" inside the historic and chicer-than-chic Le Bon Marche department store located on the Rive Gauche. Teams from the department store and food emporium traveled deep into Italian regions from north to south to unearth unique, little-known products and discover the passionate people and stories behind them. The result is a selection of the purest essence of contemporary Italy in all its amazing ebullience.   

Officina del Poggio is proud to be part of this special exhibition, in a selection curated by the Milanese concept store Wait And See, running from September 6 until October 20.  Umberta Zambeletti, style icon and founder of Wait and See, has hand-selected avant-garde brands to showcase in the space, including Francesca Mo, Two 4 Fashion, l’Atelier 7/12, Grevi, Sartoria Vico and Mi Amor, and of course Officina del Poggio, all united under her now-famous motto "La Vita è Bella".   

 

ODP Adventures - Bologna, Italy

 
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I have called Bologna home now for the past 16 years.  When I arrived for an internship back in 2001, the city was hardly a tourist spot and most international visitors only passed through by train, as it is conveniently located right on the main train line in the heart of Northern Italy connecting Milan, Venice, and Florence.  

In Italy, Bologna is known as "La Dotta, La Grassa, e La Rossa", which translates to "the Scholar", as home to the oldest university in the world founded in 1088, "the Fat", as it is also the food capital of Italy, with many dishes such as tortellini and lasagna originating in the region, and "the Red" as it has traditionally been the seat of socialist and left-wing politics, but this also refers to the typical russet-colored roofs and facades in the historic city center.  In the past years tourism has picked up, particularly due to the food culture, yet it still keeps its charm and gives a true experience of a prospering Italian city.  I am happy to share some of my local favorites:

Grab a bite...

Grassilli is my favorite for Italian comfort food (homemade tortellini or passatelli and cotoletta bolognese). The owner Jacques is French-Swiss, although an adopted “Bolognese” like me, and the menu reflects a slight French twist on the classic bolognese dishes.  He was the head chef from 1979-1996, and then he took over the ownership of the restaurant and is now passing the tradition on to his son, Jean-David.  I love the intimate setting that feels like you've stepped into another era.  It was one of the first restaurants I went to when I moved to Bologna and have been returning ever since!

A new discovery is Antica Osteria Le Mura, located on the south side of the city near Porta San Mamolo, which has recently re-opened under new management and offers traditional dishes yet also a few experimental renditions of the local cuisine.  

For more casual quick bites, Osteria dell'Orsa in the University area offers family-style seating and homemade pasta from their pasta-making laboratory next door,  and Zerocinquantino  right off of Piazza Maggiore serves up traditional "tigelle" flatbread discs stuffed with cold-cuts and local cheeses.  

Grab a drink...

The ambiance at Camera Con Vista is very opulent, and in the summer you can also sit outside and enjoy the view of Piazza Santo Stefano - a beautiful square known for the seven medieval churches surrounding it, the oldest of which dates back to the 5th century. My go-to cocktail is the Americano (of course).  

Ruggine is also a hot-spot nestled in a tiny side-street near Piazza Santo Stefano. The location was originally a bicycle repair shop, and it has maintained its industrial-chic vibe, always buzzing with a young hip crowd.

Where to shop...

Mari Carraro offers a unique contemporary selection of European brands.  It is easy to see how the selection reflects the exquisite personal taste of chic owners Marisa and her daughter Alice, ranging from classic staples of fine cashmere sweaters to feminine pieces with a slight boho flair.

La Ferramenta is a unique concept store located in a renovated historic hardware shop, where the original wooden casings and store fixtures are still preserved.  With a slight street vibe, here you can find a curated selection of gifts, clothing, and cutting-edge eyewear.   

The Italian multi-brand chain Folli Follie has just joined forces with the historic Ratti boutique and opened two locations in the heart of the Quadrilatero of Bologna:  FR Boutique.  The women's shop boasts top brands such as Dior, Ferragamo, and Roger Vivier, as well as a curated selection of new international brands in a beautiful art-deco-inspired atmosphere.  The men's shop is located just around the corner under the dramatic glassed-in archways of Palazzo Ratti, which dates back to the 1400's.

Take home ...

The best souvenir would be handmade tortellini or local mortadella: it's truly what the Bolognese do best. Majani chocolates are also a very special local treasure, a family owned chocolatier that has been passed down through generations since the late 1700s - actually their store in the center of Bologna has been around since 1796, so definitely worth a visit and getting yourself a chocolate box to take back home! 

Don't miss ... 

Although the city alone has so much to offer, the countryside surrounding the city is breathtaking and offers another depth of appreciation to Bologna. Although a self-proclaimed city-girl, a few years ago I moved to the "country" (although just a short eight-minute drive outside the city... my husband had to time it to convince me to make the move!). I discovered a whole new world there with views that rival Tuscany, and much less touristy.  On a clear day in the winter I can see the snow-capped Apennine mountains, and in the Fall when the fog floats into the city, it settles into the rolling hills, which peek out like tiny little islands.  It is truly magical, and has now converted me into a bona fide country-gal.  A taste of this scenery can also be seen by walking up to the Sanctuary of the Madonna of San Luca, a church sitting above the city.  The walk is about a 4km hike from the center of the city, most of which is under the famous covered arcade with 666 arches.

After that long trek you definitely deserve a gelato at Bologna's best gelateria:  Cremeria Funivia. From the long lines outside you will think that they are giving it away, yet people queue up at all times of the day for their traditional and unique custom flavors.  Take my advice:  it is worth the wait!

Photos (clockwise from left):  Piazza Santo Stefano, Jean-David preparing the homemade pasta at Grassilli, the ODP MIni Safari at cocktail hour, Allison with the Lucy and Cesare at home, and the interior decor at Camera con Vista.

 

Photos by Paolo Panzera of OFV Studio.

 

Parli Italiano? - Part II

 

Sometimes words just aren’t enough. This is particularly true when it comes to the Italian language. As well as having a very rich language full of wonderful descriptive expressions and idioms (as you can see here), Italians also have countless hand gestures to reinforce what they are saying. In fact, Bruno Munari wrote a book in 1958 entitled ‘Supplemento al dizionario italiano,’ or ‘Supplement to the Italian dictionary’, which can further your knowledge of the Italian language. We have also teamed up with our favorite illustrator Rob Wilson to explain a few of our favorites and get you started. After all, actions speak louder than words.

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"What do you want?"

The tips of the fingers are brought sharply together to form an upward-shaping cone.  The hand can either be motionless or can be shaken up and down violently, depending on the degree of impatience. Seen often in Naples or in bumper-to-bumper traffic.

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Anger

Italians often feign anger with this gesture of biting down on a fist.  You don’t have to bite hard, the mere gesture is sufficient.

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"Please"

Italians use this gesture in the hope of attaining the unattainable. Typically seen used by soccer players, with the added drama of dropping to their knees.


Illustrations by Rob Wilson

 

ODP Trunkshow at Stanley Korshak

 
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A huge Texas-size thank you to Stanley Korshak in Dallas for hosting two beautiful events last week!

Having lived in Dallas for two years while completing the MBA / MA program at Southern Methodist University, the Big D always holds a special place in my heart.   I was thrilled when Stanley Korshak selected the ODP FW17 collection for their store.

Stanley Korshak,  an institution for Dallas shoppers with its highest level of customer service, is Dallas's premier shopping destination located in the courtyard of shops at the Crescent Hotel in Uptown.  Dallas oil heiress Caroline Rose Hunt opened Stanley Korshak as a designer clothing store in 1986, and the store has been managed by Crawford Brock since 1987.

Tanya Foster, a native Texan, actress, and lifestyle blogger, hosted a beautiful luncheon with some of Dallas's leading ladies, including Courtney Kerr of Kerrently and Lynsey Eaton of Tomboy KC.  The luncheon was held in the dining room of Stanley Korshak, which owner Crawford Brock admitted to creating after appreciating vendors in Italy who always treated customers to food and wine in their presentations.  The lunch also had an Italian flair, as we discovered the catering chef was from Italy (Tuscany, to be exact.. not far from where our bags are made).  I spent the afternoon in the store, as customers shopped the collection, and he day closed with a cocktail event with many friends, former classmates from SMU, and local businessmen and women from the area.  I even was asked to sign my first bag, by an enthusiastic shopper who came armed with a Sharpie (next time I will come prepared!).

Thanks again to the team at Stanley Korshak and those who came to the events.... There is nothing like that Texas Hospitality and we are so proud to be in your store!

 

ODP Adventures - Marfa, Texas

 
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As a native Texan, I was intrigued by all of the recent buzz about Marfa, Texas. So what better time than to spend my mid-August Italian holiday and head west into the scorching-hot desert? ;)

Despite all of the recent press as a new hotspot, upon first glance Marfa still seems to be a typical Texan small town: gas-stations and churches on every corner, shops with odd-hours and “We'll be back” signs posted randomly throughout the day (with exception of the local barber who is always on duty), and the Dairy Queen is the most-referenced landmark when asking for directions (“go down two blocks past the Dairy Queen...”). 

Yet now the gas stations and old warehouses have been transformed into contemporary art galleries, yoga studios and artisan coffee shops have popped up around town, and tourists are rolling into Hotel Saint George with their sleek Rimowa trunks. Hey Toto, are we in Texas anymore?

It is a town that offers a little bit of everything, from world-class art to small-town hospitality and charm. I recommend planning enough time to also visit nearby Alpine and the Big Bend National Park for a true feel of West Texas.

Where to stay:

Hotel Saint George is a modern hotel that will keep you from missing big-city conveniences, complete with Aesop toiletries in the bathrooms and to-go coffee (because surprisingly, there ISN'T a Starbucks here... yet).

Thunderbird Marfa  offers a modern “motel” experience.

Hotel Paisano is the best choice for cinema fans: the cast of "Giant" stayed here while filming, and the entire hotel is filled with photos and memorabilia.

For a real West Texas experience, venture out to El Cosmico where you can sleep in a tee-pee or deluxe camper (complete with outdoor shower and private sun deck).

Grab a bite:

Stellina - Mediterranean with a local twist and great atmosphere.  

Capri:  Small plates with a Mexican flair, perfect for a quick bite and with a beautiful outdoor seating area. 

Jett's Grill: Classic American fare, located conveniently in the Hotel Paisano.

Grab a drink:

The bar at Hotel Saint George is the hip place to be for happy hour, or you can also cool off at the bar near the pool (the hotel sells day passes to the pool, but after 6 it is open entry, coinciding nicely with happy hour).  Also the Capri serves up great cocktails.

Take home:

Woven textiles from from Garza Marfa (make an appointment beforehand to visit the showroom)

Felt and palm-leaf cowboy hats from Communitie

Anything from Freda, a tiny little boutique packed with the most beautiful clothing and accessories from indie designers.

Cobra Rock boots:  modern cowboy boots made with exquisite traditional craftsmanship - what's not to love? 

Don't miss:

The Marfa Lights. You can google it... but you really have to see for yourself. The best area to view is the observing station east of town on Highway 90, and go well after dark. Also, a picture next to the Prada, Marfa installation west of town towards Valentine is mandatory.

What bag?

The ODP Micro Safari, because less is more in Marfa. Everything is casual, and you don't need more than your room-key and credit card. Leave your phone in the hotel... here it is more about striking up conversations with the “locals” (who are mostly transplants from other cities, but are eager to chat).

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Clockwise from left:  The interior of the Paisano hotel; the main street and view of the Courthouse; Marfa Public Radio housed in a renovated filling station; Historic storefronts under renovation;  Prada Marfa sculpture by Elmgreen and Dragset near Valentine, Texas.

 

Parli Italiano?

Living in Italy has shown me how creative Italians are in all aspects of life. Apart from the fashion and food, the Italian language itself is full of colourful, flamboyant, descriptive and detailed expressions.

We have teamed up with our favorite illustrator, Rob Wilson, to help in sharing some of our favorites:  

 

"In bocca lupo..."

The common Italian expression to wish a person good luck is to wish them ‘In bocca al lupo’, which literally translates to “in the mouth of the wolf”. For most foreigners the automatic reply would be “thanks!”. However, Italians are extremely superstitious, so certain sayings have specific responses that must be used or else you’ll send a cold shiver down an Italian’s spine, as an incorrect response could bring bad luck.  Therefore your reply must be  ‘crepi il lupo” (or just “crepi”), which literally means ‘may the wolf die.”

Here are a few other expressions related to wolves:

 

Il lupo perde il pelo ma non il vizio”   

translation: The wolf can loose its fur but it can't change its bad habits.  For when you know something is bad for you, but you still continue to do it.

 

Fame da lupi”

translation: To be as hungry as a wolf,  Famished!

 

“Un tempo da lupi”

translation: The weather of the wolf.   Really bad stormy weather, where only the strongest survive.

 

Illustrations by Rob Wilson

Fall/Winter 2017 Inspiration

 
   

Looking to the depth of color and fluid form in George Barbier illustrations of the 1920s, we have created a collection of vibrant handbags for Fall/Winter 2017.

The collection is a play on both texture and color, with the introduction of luxe velvet and patterned silk in a rich palette of jewel tones. The classic shape of the Mini Safari is reimagined in both a mini and enlarged style, thoughtfully extending the signature collection and evolving the refined interpretation of the vintage binocular case.

The new polka dot "Pois" patterns of the Mini Safari bags, reminiscent of the series of pochoirs that Barbier dedicated to Tamara Karsavina of the Ballets Russes, bring an understated element of femininity and playfulness to the vintage inspired shape.

The Tamburo and Buckle Tote are also reintroduced, this season in a soft Cipria powder pink and deep Vino red, masterfully crafted in our signature Italian vacchetta leather.

The Italian Summer

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There is always something so nostalgic about summers in Italy.  Perhaps it is because I first arrived to Bologna in late May, so my first cultural lessons in Italy centred on understanding the summer behaviours.  

Arriving from Texas, where everyone tries to spend as much time indoors to escape the heat, it is exactly the opposite in Italy where people use every excuse to be outdoors, with sidewalk cafes spilling over into the streets, the piazzas filled until all hours of the night, and even the main Piazza Maggiore of Bologna transforms into an open-air cinema.  

It is not uncommon to find stores and offices closing for "summer hours", which vary from closing early on a Saturday afternoon, to closing for the entire month of August (rarely is this seen anymore, but sometimes you can find that brazen shopkeeper who hangs the "chiuso for ferie" sign even in late July).  *note that whilst this may make Italians seem like they don't work as much, this is hardly the case as during the rest of the year, the Italian workday hours are rather long.

The cities empty out starting in July, becoming almost deserted in August, except for the tourists.  The population migrates to the coastal towns, where the seaside is packed with the beach-club "bagni", a concept completely foreign to me, having grown up near the Texas coast where the beaches are open and free.  The beach clubs, as seen in the photo above, first struck me as money-making eyesores, forcing you to pay for a bed and umbrella and packing people in like sardines, leaving hardly a square meter of free sand.  It took me a while to embrace them, but now I appreciate the convenience of the services they offer:  changing rooms, spritzes and snacks served beachside, and especially great people-watching :)

The season also presents a whole new menu, with items reserved almost exclusively for the summer months:  

- Caffe "shakerato":  a hand-shaken iced-coffee, typically served in all of its frothy goodness in a martini glass

- Piadine:  a flatbread originating on the Adriatic coast, served stuffed with cold cuts, cheeses, or even with Nutella

- Granita:  a semi-frozen Sicilian speciality made in flavours such as coffee, almond, pistacchio, or various fruits 

The Italian summer evokes a feeling of almost being a child again, where the summer means things slowing down a little and a break in the yearly routines, allowing for a re-charge and giving a little excitement to the "rientro" (return) in the fall, when you can reunite with friends and chat about their summer vacations.  With spritzes, of course. 

ODP Trunkshow at You're So Baby

Thank you to You're So Baby Los Angeles for hosting ODP for a very fun evening. We presented some of our special pieces from the SS17 Collection, and a preview of our FW17 Collection, together with J.Hannah Nail Polish and free manicures from TenOverTen.  

You're So Baby is a unique concept store founded by interior designer Tatum Kendrick, whose skills have been entrusted to some of Los Angeles's elite, including Moby's Little Pine vegan bistro. The store opened its doors in December, along a gritty stretch in Echo Park between downtown and Silver Lake, next door to Kendrick's design studio Studio Hus.  It is like stepping into that enviable cool-girl's apartment, yet everything is shopable.  Behind the black iron door shaped like a woman’s hourglass silhouette you can find a curated mix of vintage, lingerie, jewelry, and clothing.  Kendrick calls her collection “the edgy, sexy, feminine point of view, rather than California cool,” artfully mixing blush pink floors with a leopard print couch.   

Definitely make this your shopping destination when in LA!  Tell Tatum we sent you :)

Georgia O'Keefe, Living Modern

I was fortunate to be in New York and visit the Georgia O'Keefe, Living Modern exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum.  I have always been a fan of her work, ever since we studied her Pansy painting during my 4th grade Art History classes (thank you Windsor Park Elementary for offering art history at such a young age... this should be mandatory in all elementary schools!).  

I was thrilled to finally see the "Pansies" work in person, and I was completely inspired by the entire exhibition, specifically the striking photography of Ms. O'Keefe and the items of clothing from her personal collection.

Ms. O'Keefe had a personal style which was so unique and avant-garde at the time, and many of her looks are quite contemporary and resonate loudly with my own personal style credo, such as:

  • The importance of a uniform:  It is no secret that some of the most successful creatives have their own uniform (Giorgio Armani, yes I am nodding towards you).  For Ms. O'Keefe, her uniform was wrap dresses. They were chic, comfortable, flattering, and easy to accessorise.  
  • Neutral color palette with a few accent colours:  Although she mainly wore black and white, these colours created the perfect base to accent with prints, colours, and also classic indigo Levi's jeans in men's cuts.
  • Attention to details:  most of her clothing featured mother-of-pearl buttons and items without zippers (two things I have been increasingly attentive of myself... thank you Levi's for continuing to make button-fly jeans!)
  • Accessories are key: she commonly transformed mundane looks with the addition of a coloured headscarf, the drama of a Vaquero black hat, or her favorite silver conch belt.
  • Quality over quantity:  A self-trained seamstress, Ms. O'Keefe made her own clothing which was quite exquisite, with fine details such as embroidery-work and pleats or pin-tucks.  Her hand-made dresses were feminine, yet she also experimented with gender-bending clothing, to challenge and confuse society’s conventional sartorial codes for men and women.  Many of her suits were tailor-made for her by Knize, the same tailor who made many of Marlene Dietrich's suits.  She wore the same suits throughout her lifetime, often adding feminine details such as her Calder pin or Ferragamo flats.

The exhibit, running now through July 23, houses 50 works of art,  50 garments and accessories, as well as nearly 100 photographs of the artist taken by 23 photographers, from Ansel Adams and Cecil Beaton to Andy Warhol and Bruce Weber. I definitely recommend a visit if in New York!

Clockwise from left:  One of the artist's handmade shirts, showing the meticulous craftsmanship of the handmade pin-tucks;  Part of her shoe collection (she preferred flats, although still kept the look very feminine);  Another handmade shirt from the designer, note the fine patchwork repair at the collar;  Wrap dresses, which were actually dressing gowns from Neiman Marcus, yet the artist was so fond of them that she ordered them in several colours to wear during the day.

Spring/Summer 2017 Inspiration

For Spring Summer 2017, Officina del Poggio seeks adventure filled with exotic beaches, wildlife, and nature. The collection bags are both functional and unique, taking inspiration from safari bags and round shapes of straw bags from the 70s.

The classic colors of terra, marine, black and white in the tumbled grain leather are matched with the soft tones of smooth vacchetta, as well as exotic floral tones and metallic leathers in irridescent shades of abalone shells. Soft geometric shapes, in resistant leathers and unlined constructions, with pops of color in the lining and handpainted edges, represent the DNA of ODP, for an elegant and relaxed lifestyle.

In this very same vein, the iconic elements evolve into styles based on rigid structures. Using a special artisan technique, the same way that rigid luggage was once crafted, ODP creates wooden structures which are covered in leather, with special linings and magnetic and snap closures: The Mini Safari, a new style inspired by vintage binocular cases and military bags, is the season's must-have.

The Buckle Tote takes on a new vertical shape with the unique asymmetric adjustable buckle shoulder strap, allowing it to be worn over the shoulder or by hand, presented in both the tumbled grain leather and also smooth vacchetta. The new Tamburo bags, premiering in two sizes, are inspired by 1970's shapes where exotic meets urban style, with removable straps and the classic details of the ODP buckles and contrast leathers.

 

ODP capsule collection with LaDoubleJ

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We have teamed up with the American-turned-Milanese print-master herself, JJ Martin, to pack power prints into a very special capsule collection of our Mini Safari Bags for LaDoubleJ Editions.  The historic prints were hand-picked from Mantero Seta, a 114 year old silk manufacturer on Lake Como.  Each piece is made in limited production runs, to mix-and-match with the new LaDoubleJ "Edition 4" pieces. 

The collection debuts tomorrow during Milan Fashion Week, along with a special offering of one-of-a-kind Mid-Century chairs covered in the same vintage prints.  Discover the entire collection on LaDoubleJ.com

Clockwise from left:  ODPxLDJ Editions Mini Safari in Tulipani print, ODPxLDJ Editions Mini Safari Black Vacchetta leather with Pop Tulipani print interior, ODPxLDJ Editions Mini Safari in Uccellini print, ODPxLDJ Editions Mini Safari in POP Tulipani print

ODP Adventures - SS17 Photoshoot in Sicily

What do you do when good friends invite you to their Agriturismo in Sicily but you are waaaay behind schedule in shooting images for the upcoming SS campaign? You book the next flight and combine the two! Who doesn’t like to mix a bit of business and pleasure anyway?

Then you remember your good friend and photographer, Salvatore Sportato, is also in Sicily the same weekend and is able to round up a troupe on the turn of a dime, and you know it’s all part of that fashion-world destiny (like that time when I sat on a plane next to Neal Preston and convinced him to shoot my FW16 photoshoot... but that's another story to read here).

It was a weekend full of all the things I love best: good food, friends, and creativity under the sun!

As a Texas girl, I felt right at home with the abundance of cacti and the sprawling fields and landscapes, but I was awestruck at the majestic beauty of the Baroque architecture at the turn of every corner. We definitely don't have that in Texas!

The majority of the shoot took place near Vendicari, a nature reserve on the southeast coast, yet the area is within day-trip visits to Ortigia, Noto, and Scicli.

Below are a few of my suggestions for a visit to the eastern part of Sicily:

Where to stay:  

Terre di Vendicari : With only 4 double rooms and full staff to cater to your every need, you will really feel like you stepped into paradise. Lose yourself among the lemon and olive groves, take a swim in the pool, or visit the stunning nature reserve of the Vendicari Oasis, where at sunset you can view hundreds of flamingos as they take flight.

Grab a bite:

In Ortigia: Monzu Piazza Minerva 6, just a few steps from the Piazza Duomo.  

In Noto: Manna Via Rocco Pirri 19.  The stunning decor, designed by Gordon Guillaumier, is both modern and nostalgic, which matches nicely with the menu which is a mix of classic Sicilian with a modern twist.  After dinner, a passeggiata through the main street is obligatory, and stop for a granita at the historic Caffe Sicilia (Corso Vittorio Emanuele, 125).

In Scicli: Baqqala, Piazza Ficili. When you just want that raw authentic Italian feel, this is the place to go. This charming little restaurant is brings a little bit of the past into the present. A blackboard outside the restaurant depicts the character of the restaurant:  "don't ask for the wi-fi password, please enjoy the company of others". With this absence of Wi-Fi and focus on good food, it gives you a real sense of Italian life.

Don't miss:

The fishing village of Marzamemi. This picturesque town is a treat to visit all year round, but particularly during the summer when the beautiful Piazza Regina Margherita is turned into the core of an International Film Festival. The films here are projected onto the buildings in the piazza, giving that real authentic al fresco feel. Dine at La Cialoma and enjoy the fresh catch of the day.

Take home:

Ceramic Moro heads, which you will see all over Sicily and have become a traditional symbol of the island. The legend behind these ceramic heads originates back to the Moors' domination of Sicily in the XI century. A Moor merchant fell in love with a young girl who was on her balcony taking care of her flowers and plants. They fell in love but when the girl discovered the merchant had a wife and children back in his own country, the girl was filled with jealously. In a bid the keep him with her forever, one night the girl cut off his head and decided to use it to grow her basil in. The plant flourished, and passers by became jealous of how her plant was growing that they began making their own pots in the shape of a head in the hope of having the same success.

When in Marzamemi, visit Campisi, in Via Marzamemi 12, a family-run company steeped deep in traditional methods of fish processing and history. The Tuna products and tomato sauces are definitely their specialities, but I also highly recommend the ‘carciofini’ (artichokes) which are preserved in oil yet still slightly crunchy and with just enough spice. Don’t worry though, this tasteful experience doesn’t have to end in Marzamemi: they ship internationally so you can always have a piece of delicious Sicily with you.

Clockwise from left:  St. Bartolomeo Church in Scicli;  tomatoes from Pachino;  the view from the Terre di Vendicari agriturismo;  Baroque architecture detail in Noto.

Top photo:  Piazza Duomo in Ortigia

ODP joins Paolo Castelli for Milan Design Week

We were so honored to present our FW17 collection at the Paolo Castelli showroom in Brera during the Fuori Salone of Milan Design Week.  Paolo Castelli S.p.A., also based just outside of Bologna, was founded upon the historic tradition of the Castelli family, whose roots in the field of fine woodworking first and office furniture date back to the beginning of the last century.  

Sharing the ODP story

When you receive an invitation to teach a lesson at the oldest university in the world, it goes without saying that you fit it into your schedule, even during the busy sales season.  I was honoured to be invited by Prof.ssa Mariachiara Colucci, who also happens to be a huge fan of our bags, particularly the ODP Convertible Backpack, to teach a lesson about fashion start-ups in the curriculum for her course "Strategic Management for the Fashion System", part of the graduate-degree in Fashion Culture and Management.  What an amazing opportunity to speak with so many students from all over the world, and a great lesson also for me to hear their perspective on many issues. Grazie mille!!!