Violante Nessi

Violante Nessi, Founder Violante Nessi

Violante Nessi is a young fashion talent, who gave her brand her name and launched her first line of fashion jewelry this year, sending a modern message connected to the past.  Her brand results from passion and creativity, but also sacrifice and determination. Violante is the kind of person who “never takes a no for an answer” and fights to make her dream come true creating her reality founded on the values of handcraft, elegance, and “slow fashion”.

What path led you to create your brand, Violante Nessi?

I have always had a passion for drawing. At first, I enjoyed drawing, especially comics, but then I started to design clothes and realized that it was the path I wished to follow. My father was not immediately keen on supporting my passion; therefore, with the help of my grandmother, during my high school years, I took styling lessons in Bologna to improve my skills and demonstrate my talent to my father.  After high school, I enrolled at Marangoni in Milan. I knew inside of me that the world of fashion was my future, and I was aware that drawing represented only a portion of it. So I had various work experiences to explore different areas of the business: I worked in Marc Jacobs showroom for three years to have a closer look at commercial aspects, I was a theatre costume designer, I worked as an event organizer, and not only… Subsequently, I moved to New York to work for Marc Jacobs, Proenza Schouler, and Altuzarra. My dream was to return to Italy and create a “Made in Italy” brand, inspired by the American designers who produce their products in Italy, which is a country of excellence that perhaps we are not always able to appreciate. After a magical experience at Tom Ford, where I learned a lot professionally, I returned to Italy to create the Violante Nessi brand.

Vera necklace

And, once you returned to Italy, what were your first steps?

 It wasn’t easy to start. I was alone, and the first difficulties arose in finding suppliers and making myself known. I reflected on who was the customer that I wanted to address and the brand identity. Meeting Abelia, owner of a wonderful button factory, was fundamental. Despite not knowing me well, Abelia had faith in me and my vision, and we immediately understood that we shared the same values. Her archive and the button inspired me, a fascinating object, which I decided to include in the Matisse Trousers, which became my best seller. This garment, embellished with button detail, deeply inspired me to launch my brand. I started selling my clothes and, at the same time, was striving to make myself known. I faced difficult times but never lost sight of my dream. I organized trunk shows in London and launched my first pop-up until we opened our London townhouse. With determination, step by step I brought the brand to life.

The button element is a recurring detail in your clothing and jewelry, what does it mean to you?

 The button holds great sentimental value to me as it symbolizes an important part of my history. After the Matisse Trousers, I decided to include the button element on other garments too. So, I came back to look for Mrs. Abelia, only to discover to my dismay that she had passed away and her company had been closed because her family didn’t want to continue her business. I wanted to recreate the button in her memory, which is now part of Violante Nessi’s DNA. Abelia will always hold a place in my heart and my brand, and the button is a vehicle to convey Violante Nessi’s value: communicating a message linked to the past in a contemporary way.

Mabel earrings

In July 2023 you launched the first fashion jewelry line by Violante Nessi. What were your inspirations? 

The button is the focus of my new jewelry collection. During the TEDxTalk I held in Rome at LUISS, when I told my story, I prepared a gift for the audience in the theatre: a button, enclosed in a small envelope. I was fascinated and inspired to see how the girls kept the button and turned it into a necklace. Now that the brand and the team are growing, I can dedicate myself more to creativity, working on projects that I have dreamed of for some time, such as the creation of a jewelry line. I designed my first jewels in Los Angeles, a place where I often gather inspiration and let my imagination run wild.

The link with excellence in Italian craftsmanship is a fundamental aspect of the brand. How does this apply to the product?

 Every garment and jewel of my brand is handmade in Italy. I believe that craftsmanship is a fundamental value. I can say that supporting Italian craftsmanship is the reason that drives me to do this profession, as well as an incredible source of inspiration. The craftsmen I have met on my way are wonderful people, who have always accompanied me with love and dedication in giving life to what I wanted. To me, detail represents the true substance, and luxury is the quality that the craftsmen have allowed us to achieve. All this takes time. This is why I talk about “slow luxury”. Furthermore, all the materials we use are Italian and of high quality, and when possible, we choose to use organic materials. These choices are also reflected in fashion jewelry.

What does the jewel mean to you?

To me, jewelry is light. When I wear jewelry, I feel that I emanate a different light. Even when I’m at home, I never give up my earrings, they make me feel brighter.

 How do you imagine this product category will evolve within the brand?

I have so many ideas. I want to continue to express my creativity and experiment more and more by creating interesting and artistic shapes through jewelry.

Is there a jewel that you are particularly attached to?

I am very fond of the earring, as if through the button it represents a reinterpretation of my origins. I am also very fond of the Cruz necklace, as I think it is a complete piece of jewelry: it has a strong personality and when you wear it, you don’t need anything else to complete the outfit.

Cruz necklace

Who do you imagine who wears Violante Nessi?

The woman who wears Violante Nessi is a woman who creates herself, a woman in progress. A woman “building herself”. This is the beauty of every woman: we are constantly evolving.

 What is your dream for the future? 

My dream is to inspire women to focus on their greatest passion and move forward without fear of difficulties. Furthermore, I wish to recreate in other parts of the world the concept of our London townhouse, the “living room” where we welcome our clients making them feel listened to and at the center of our attention through a one-to-one philosophy in which nothing is left to chance. I would like to create “small worlds” open to everyone, and real communities of women who share our same values ​​and put themselves and their future first. To me Violante Nessi is a star that grows slowly, always maintaining kindness as a distinctive tone of voice.

Amadio earrings