Behind-the-scenes with Creative Director Silvia Paulon
*Silvia Paulon in Dubai on a shoot with Vogue Arabia
It's hard to imagine that a glamourous and elite city like Venice, with such a rich and colorful history, didn't see its first very own luxury brand until 2018.
Creative director Silvia Paulon made history when she launched Dellaluna in the heart of Venice in the famous St. Mark's Square.
The brand's unique style and attention to detail immediately piqued the interest of Hollywood A-listers and took off.
What is it about Dellaluna that distinguishes it from the rest?
As Dellaluna's Marketing Director, one thing I can assure you is that while the brands style is elegantly distinct, the quality of the craftsmanship is second-to-none and the future collection is excitingly out of this world; one thing is for sure, Dellaluna's creative director Silvia Paulon is a true avant guarde artist.
Her expression is shown in her designs with extreme attention to detail which also reflect how she manages the Dellaluna brand, and while Paulon can speak non-stop about design, fashion and business - when it comes to herself, the creative director is charmingly modest, always putting the face of the brand first.
The Dellaluna Marketing team sat down with Silvia Paulon to get a behind-the-scenes look at their creative director's life and just how she was able to launch Venice's first luxury brand.
Q&A with Silvia Paulon
Q: Tell us about your childhood?
Silvia: I was born in Medellín, Colombia. My father is Italian and my mother is Colombian. I'm lucky to have had parents who set some amazing examples for me and really supported me in all of my choices. I had a very different upbringing from most people, we moved around often, and all over the world.
Q: Why did you move around so often?
Silvia: My father was, and still is, an engineer for big infrastructure and he brought the family along as much as possible, especially for those lengthy projects. It was important for my parents to keep us all together as much as possible.
Q: Where did you live?
Silvia; It seems like everywhere really. Paraguay, Colombia, Chile, Thailand, Denmark, Italy, Venezuela, UK and the US. I think that was really important for me because it opened my eyes at such a young age. I observed so many different cultures and styles during my impressionable years. It also gave me a different perspective on life and the world around me. It really inspired me and still inspires me today, especially through my work.
Q: What brought you to Italy?
Silvia: Since my father is Italian, Italy has always been an anchor for me and it is the one place that I truly call home. Although we traveled quite often, Italy is the place that I've always called home and where I studied most.
Q: Italy has a very unique and disciplined school system from a very young age. What did you study?
Silvia: In Italy, the first big scholastic decision is made at the end of middle school when choosing a high-school. Unlike many other places in the world, especially when compared with the North American school system, Italian high-schools are very specific and are like stepping stones to your future career. It can often be overwhelming for preteens to make such decisions at a young age. Although I knew I wanted to go into design, I chose to go to a Liceo Scientifico. Many Italians consider this choice as one of the most well-rounded disciplines. The primary focus is on science, mathematics, literature, Latin, English and culture. The Scientifico isn't for everybody, it requires a lot of studying. I chose this specifically to have a strong base and a forma mentis to prepare me for any path. I'm certainly glad I did because it has really helped me in the entrepreneurial aspect of the brand.
Afterwards, I studied at the University of Milan and earned an Arts and Design degree. Fortunately, about a month after I graduated I landed an amazing job right in my field.
Q: Tell us about that job.
Silvia: The position was in New York and for somebody who loves languages, travel and fashion, it was a thrilling offer that I couldn't refuse. A true opportunity for me to grow. There I worked as a high-end jewelry designer. What I didn't realize at the time was how valuable that experience would have been. I was still quite young and so it gave me a practical foundation which I still use today in my design approach - attention to detail. I'm known to be quite meticulous in my work and that's because I look at everything I do as a piece of high-end jewelry. The Dellaluna handbags are just that, crafted as a piece of jewelry rather than a handbag. New York gave me a chance to perfect my craft so to speak.
Q: What brought you back to Italy?
Silvia: I really wanted to bring my craft back home. The "made in Italy" culture has always been about high quality and true craftsmanship, everything that I believe in which is something that has unfortunately been lost over the decades with mass-production and low-cost material that is not durable. Unfortunately, this is also a contributor to the sustainability issue that the fashion world has contributed to. Made in Italy is much more than a geographic production label, it stands for artistic craftsmanship, which is why I chose to have every Dellaluna piece crafted by one craftsman from start to finish. It is a very personal process and artistic expression.
Q: Why did you choose Venice?
Silvia: Venice is truly a reflection of the Dellaluna style and vice-versa. It is elegant, fascinating, glamorous, elite and charming all at once. It is a city unlike any other and that is exactly what the Dellaluna style aims for - uniqueness. Anyone who comes to Venice falls in love with the city, it isn't perfect but it's different. It is a mystical labyrinth and every corner you turn is pleasantly different and intriguing. Getting lost in Venice is thrilling, I would recommend it to anybody. This is why I launched Dellaluna as a love letter to Venice. It captured my heart and inspires me at every turn.
Q: What was your biggest obstacle when you first launched Dellaluna?
Silvia: It was definitely the business aspect. Anybody who has attempted to launch a fashion brand can attest to the fact that we don't get to do enough of what we love, which is designing. Most of the work goes into numbers, meetings and running the business. I've learned a lot, in fact I also treat the business aspect of my work as a piece of jewelry and I quite enjoy it. My perseverance has led to a lot of new and exciting opportunities that I hadn't even considered when first thinking about launching a brand.
Q: What was your most unexpected moment after launching?
Silvia: I think it was how quickly it got attention, especially from Hollywood. I was seeing people like Lady Gaga, Cate Blanchett, Naomi Watts and Rhianna walking into the Dellaluna Maison - complimenting my designs and walking out with a Dellaluna piece. Since then, there have been many others especially during the Venice Film Festival and other key moments during the year when many of the world's elite flock to Venice. These are validating moments in particular because anybody who is in the spotlight is unfortunately constantly being criticized for their fashion choices. Knowing that they love and trust that the Dellaluna brand is certainly an honor.
Q: What is your outlook on collaborations?
Silvia: I'm very particular when it comes to collaborations. I've had several interesting requests from high-profile names and have had to decline some offers. My interest is in protecting the integrity and uniqueness of the Dellaluna brand and catapulting it to the next level. I've collaborated with other luxury brands and I certainly see value and potential, especially when it comes to maximizing creativity.
I'm really excited about a collaboration that I'm currently working on but unfortunately I'm not able to disclose any information. I just know this next collection is very different from anything that we've seen in fashion to date and I'm so proud to be working alongside some highly creative individuals.
Q: What's next for Silvia Paulon?
Silvia: I'm constantly inspired and always looking to the future, both in terms of style and brand positioning. I live and breathe Dellaluna, I've always been ambitious. For me the sky isn't the limit, as of now, we've already expanded into e-commerce and into exclusive retailers in the middle east. Soon, we'll see Dellaluna in luxury retailers worldwide.