“I am a big fan of putting everything that comes into my mind on to a piece of paper and sticking it to the wall. That way I see it and will remember it, in my creative chaos.” Designer, Riccardo Serravalle of Studio Serravalle on his top organisational tip
With a hugely successful career already behind him (we’re talking everything from working with the likes of Claudia Schiffer on her Project Fashion Hero to designing for the likes of the Justin Alexander Luxury Group and the glittering Pronovias Fashion Group) designer Riccardo Serravalle is quite the force to be reckoned with. And now, with the recent unveiling of Riccardo’s own bridal label, Studio Serravalle (and debut 2023 collection, Metaphysical) in collaboration with his sister, Ida, we can’t wait to see the label grow. Delivering a truly aisle-worthy collection for 2023, Metaphysical brings with it beautiful craftsmanship, a sumptuous material palette and cool contemporary silhouettes (meet my favourites Peyl, Wendy and Milla) – all inspired by the endless beauty and uniqueness of the calla lily. I managed to catch up with designer Riccardo to talk about the duo’s business journey for Studio Serravalle so far and their version of Taking The Plunge, including the highs, the lows, the first jobs, the worst jobs and the tech they can’t live without…
Name: Riccardo Serravalle
Business: Studio Serravalle
Date you took the plunge: October – 08 – 2022
#1 In a nutshell, describe your business/brand – what do you offer?
“We are a premium wedding designer label, with a focus on minimal, innovative designs by incorporating highly sartorial elements coming from menswear and combining them with delicate and gentile feminine detailing. Sharp fashion-forward silhouettes crafted out of sustainable materials, such as silk, viscose or recycled polyester. Studio Serravalle is providing a 360 degree environmental friendly product, from materials to the packaging and labelling – made in Europe and Asia. Our designer label is for all the lovers seeking a sustainable and tailored statement, redefining the premium sector of future weddings, without being confined by concepts of age, gender, body types, and sexuality.”
#2 What’s your career background? Has it always been in the wedding industry?
“Riccardo Serravalle is the creative head behind the label. He is an Italo-German award-winning fashion designer who grew up admiring craftsmanship, architecture and designs in any shape or form. He started designing Occasional Collections in Germany. During his career, he had the opportunity to work with Claudia Schiffer on her Project Fashion Hero. Later on, he was hired by the Justin Alexander Luxury Group, an internationally recognised bridal design and manufacturing group based in NYC. His remarkable work there brought the attention of the Pronovias Fashion Group. As of 2019 Amandine Ohayon named Riccardo, Head of Design for the House of St. Patrick to redefine the Identity of these Collections (St. Patrick Studio, St. Patrick, St. Patrick La Sposa, St. Patrick Occasions) which was an extreme adventure for him working alongside his design colleagues such as Zac Posen, Alessandra Rinaudo, Thomas Vasseur, Erasmo Sanpaolo, and Nicole Cavallo. Riccardo was the youngest Designer and Head to have joined the Artistic Team of the Spanish leading global luxury bridal company, Pronovias Group. Today he is dedicating his entire knowledge to his very own collection, which he has launched together with his younger sister Ida this 2022.”
#3 What planted the seed of your business idea? Did it strike you suddenly?
“Ida says “that the transition from a traditional to unconventional wedding collection was a natural process, as she sees her brother Riccardo being gender-fluid his entire life.” After spending some weeks together during the Pandemic Lockdown, they began putting their ideas together in realising this special project. “The Studio is actually the least put-together space in their family’s home, but it has all the elements, such as design books, paintings, plants, and inspirational objects,“ says Ida. “It’s constantly changing, so it’s sort of our laboratory for ideas.” In order to get their emotions across, they made sure that the brand’s slogan would convey the exact feeling of happiness and passion that they felt. “We wanted to create a slogan that will translate all this,” says Riccardo. “Everyone has a Story 🤍 Love yours with us” – was set on paper and has been used since then.”
#4 Describe how the first day of building your own business felt:
“It was a rollercoaster of emotions, especially because I am still in the very beginning and having two jobs in order to be able to build up my startup brand with my sister together. This means long working hours and hard work, but I am sure this will be blooming one day. Every day is a new day, and no day is the same as the other – very exciting, especially because we can create our own way of doing things.”
#5 The highs – what have they been so far?
“The response of the industry was so positive, that we’ve been able to already show our collection in Trunk Shows/Designer Day in some countries around Europe and have already attended our first European Trade Fair in Berlin in July, not to mention being part of New York Bridal Week! This is just crazy, as we have just launched this year our collection and now showing at this very special event to all the US stockists. Exciting times!”
#6 The lows – how did you move past them? What did you learn?
“As we have both two jobs, we need to manage our time quite well and very often our private life comes too short. So we’ve definitely now learnt how to take some breaks in order to give yourself some space in-between two jobs and still take care of soul, mind & body.”
#7 If you could tell yourself three things when you first started the business – what would they be?
No.1 “Patience: it is not self given that it will work by itself from the first day. It will take some time.”
No.2 “Investment: crazy how much money we have spent so far since we have launched from developing our Debut Collection, to shooting, marketing tools and to participation inn trade shows including trunk shows, everything costs so much money and it’s definitely a big investment.”
No.3 “Passion: never lose the passion and goal having started the business. Very often when you’re in-between the creative process in developing a collection, to the sales period you might tend to lose the passion as you become a business person – but by always keeping the head cool and creative, it will make you even stronger and I would say, still passionate about your designs and in the same time creating something that is selling.”
#8 Your tips for those dreaded lying-awake-at-3am times? (Counting sheep? Glass of water? Get up? Meditate? Rea?)
“Actually the best idea is to make yourself a nice cup of tea, such as lavender or herbals. It calms you down and relaxes your soul. I always light a candle and clean the air with sage or holy wood (palo santo). That way, I am super calm and can support myself to a better and gentle sleep.”
#9 Your top organisational tip?
“Write everything on a Post-it haha! I am a big fan of putting everything that comes into my mind on to a piece of paper and sticking it to the wall. That way I see it and will remember it, in my creative chaos.”
#10 Who inspired you? Or inspires you in business?
“I am a very inspirational person, actually I can get inspired by even an apple. Related to my business and the product I design, I very much like to talk with our stockists and real brides during trunk shows/designer days as they will always tell you what they have in mind and what they are looking for. It is kind of an inspirational cocktail between the feedback of the market and my inspirational instinct from museums, art galleries or vintage archives.”
#11 An app/piece of tech you now couldn’t live without for your business:
“Definitely it would be the ADOBE CREATIVE CLOUD – we work so much with Photoshop, Illustration or Indesign to create our Digital Content, such as on Website, Social Channel, Print that these App / Software is definitely supporting my creative vision for a quick and precise result.”
#12 Your first ever job was…
“Design Intern at a German Design Label, in which I was working for three months only before becoming a Junior Designer. It was a very nice time, as this was straight after graduating my Fashion Design Studies. It was a good balanced job, between the artisanal but as well technical part of my future designer responsibilities.”
#13 Your top social media tip?
“Know your audience and create your content for them. It will take time until you know what area or which age is supporting you on social media – but once you know them, it is easier for you to speak their language. Don’t be shy and create your own style, as the social media apps are evolving daily, there is definitely so much room for new things.”
#14 The brand you’d love to collaborate with and why…
“There is not really a specific brand, but more a specific product such as make-up or fragrances. During the styling of a bride, these two parts are so important in supporting your bridal style. So yeah, I would be very happy if we could collaborate with a beauty brand in creating a magnificent look or creating a stunning, limited nuance. Don’t we all wanna smell fabulous :)”
#15 Name a business/social media account(s) – that have helped/inspired you with your business?
“We monthly get inspired by fashion magazines such as Vogue, Elle, Madame as they are more oriented in editorial imagery rather than bridal. We tend to create an unconventional look, in order not to offer another bridal look, as this is not so important. We think differently and act differently, therefore we source differently :)”
#16 Your fav social media tool: (Pinterest? Instagram? LinkTree? Etc.)
“Obsessed with Pinterest, it is such a big endless loop of creative ideas. Love scrolling through Pinterest for hours haha but very often, you can find similar pics there, so it is very important to sort them out after a long Pinterest session hahaha.”
#17 Your advice to those looking to TAKE THE PLUNGE:
“Be transparent and honest as this will bring you closer to reality. We are all sourcing from the same, just from a different edge :)”
Rapid Fire Questions | Studio Serravalle
#1 Most inspirational book you’ve read:
“Not a big fan of reading, more a watcher of series of documentaries.”
#2 You’re in Starbucks, what do you order?
“Grande Cappuccino with Soy Milk.”
#3 Instagram feed crush:
“Don’t really have a crush, there is too much feed to be crushed, maybe this will change?”
#4 Your worst job was…
“There was no worst job, as every job made me what I am today – you can only learn from it.”
#5 If you didn’t do what you do…what would you do?
“Be a dancer or a hairdresser with my own salon, petite but nice :)”