How do you become a silk scarves artist? In the case of Rossella Ramanzini – she grew up in an Italian family of artists. Spending hours and hours in her uncle’s art studio, as a young girl, Rossella was enchanted while watching him paint geometric and graphic patterns, layers and layers of colour superimposed on one another.
This immersion in art led her to learn by herself how to paint at the age of 16. As her painting style evolved over the years and she exhibited internationally, soon painting on canvas wasn’t enough for her. She wanted to be able to touch and wear her art. Turning her paintings into luxurious silk squares seemed like a natural progression.
Her eye for detail and precision in printing soon garnered requests from other artists and brands to use her knowledge and skill and turn their artworks into products. This is how she turned from an artist to a manufacturer of luxury quality silk scarves.
Today, her silk scarf manufacturing arm of her business – RossellaRama is thriving and producing some of the best designs on the market.
The below interview is part of a conversation we had with the founder and artistic director – Rossella Ramanzini:
You came to be in fashion via art. Do you see yourself as an artist or designer these days?
I am basically an artist who entered the fashion world by designing silk scarves, but I am not a fashion designer.
What made you do the crossover from art to silk scarves and why did you choose this medium?
I chose silk scarves because my designs fit well with the shape of scarves. The crossover for me was absolutely spontaneous and natural. All those who design scarves are basically artists!
Was it a challenge to swap the canvas for silk and make more than one of your art?
Yes, it was! My biggest challenge now is to help other artists and designers to reproduce their art on silk, printing them here in Como with my own company Ramascarves.
I firmly believe that it is not worth saving money to have a poor product.
You manufacture your scarves in Como – famous for printing and silk scarves manufacture. Did you ever consider making your creations elsewhere before settling on Como?
No, I didn’t. Como, Italy is the best and most specialized place in the world for this type of manufacture. Also, I believe in the value of Italian craftsmanship and in preserving a great manufacturing tradition.
Did you ever consider perhaps making your scarves in China – where you would be able to get them made cheaper and perhaps sell larger volume?
Absolutely not. There is no comparison between the Chinese and the Italian manufacturer of silk scarves! Both for the printing and the finishing, together with the hemming, the quality of the hand-rolled finish cannot be compared. Also, I firmly believe that it is not worth saving money to have a poor product.
Most of your scarves are digitally printed – why is that? Do you also use screen printing?
Like most brands creating scarves, we use digital printing. Digital printing has evolved over the years both from the technical and the creative point of view equal and sometimes even exceeding, the definition and the colour rendition of traditional silk screen printing. When you have a complicated design with many colours, it is best to use the available to our technology and reproduce the original design onto other media and materials in the best possible way.
Do you only print on natural materials like silk – or can you also print on silk mixes, cotton, wool…etc
Yes, we can print on different fabrics, such as silk mixes, cotton mixes, wool mixes, cashmere mixes, modal mixes and more.
I never put limits when I am designing.
What inspires you when you design?
I’m inspired by the Op-art movement. I love working and creating colourful geometric and figurative silhouettes and shapes.
Your designs are very colourful and joyful. Is there a limit to the colours that you can design with and print?
No! I never put limits when I am designing.
How many collections do you launch per year or are you not limited to collections?
To tell you the truth, I am currently much more engaged in the production of designs and scarves for other brands rather than for my collection!
Do you work on bespoke designs with clients and if yes – what is the process?
Certainly, I do! The process is very simple, clients send over their digital files containing the design, I prepare them for print and we print them on the fabric chosen by the client.
How easy or hard was it to start your business?
It was very challenging but at the same time very exciting. I work many hours in a day, but I don’t mind. I love my job!
What were your biggest challenges at the beginning?
The biggest challenge was perhaps to find the best suppliers of raw materials, and to guarantee the best quality to my customers. I always try to do the best possible.
What does success mean for you?
Success to me is to be able to do as a profession something that I like and it doesn’t feel like a job.
If you can start all over again – what would you do differently?
I don’t think I will change anything. I would do the same things all over again.
What advise would you give to budding fashion entrepreneurs thinking of launching their own brand?
Believe in your dreams and be responsible and work hard.
Finally – where can we find and buy your scarves from?
You can find me via my own website.
If you are struggling to find a factory for yourself and want someone who understands your vision and shares your passion then you need to ask them a lot of questions to get to the facts. But, don’t just go asking questions that don’t sound professional or put you in a bad light. In our article about 11 questions to ask a fashion factory, we talk about what are the right questions one must ask a factory so that they think you are a friendly professional who is genuinely interested in doing the business. Read along.