Once upon a time, from Brooklyn to Florence...
Christine Tortora is the born and raised Brooklyn-based creator of ViaBuia, a bag and shoe brand that came to life on it's namesake street in Florence, Italy in 2012. The name, fun to pronounce in both cities that underline it, poetically refers to the unique path we each take (logically while coveting your ViaBuia bag along the way)
Each piece is considered “BagArt” and is characterized by its airy weight and eye-catching detail designed to travel better, every day.
Shortly after her first samples were made in Brooklyn, in 2013, ViaBuia made a first appearance in specialty boutiques in the US, Italy, and London, where her iconic Pastina Camera Bag completely sold out.
How did the brand come to be?
Following some years of buying and merchandising for iconic retailers Saks Fifth Avenue and Polo.com, specifically in luxury menswear and made-to-measure, Tortora was accepted into the prestigious Marangoni Instiitute in Milan in pursuit of a masters in Fashion Accessories. A refreshing step away from the minutia of sizing and an exciting step further into her creative left brain- (Tortora graduated from Franklin & Marshall College with a double major in studio art and business)- what was intended as a 9 month program in Milan unfolded into a journey she should have predicted; Tortora moved to Florence and through her initial role as assistant to designer Pauric Sweeney, began her career as a luxury handbag developer and expert.
Tortora held director titles at Be&D and later Elie Tahari in Manhattan's garment district and in 2010 began working as a freelance consultant making Made in Italy handbag collections for Mary Kate and Ashley's The Row and Alexander Wang, (to name just a few).
One day Tortora, forever inspired by the Baroque aesthetic of her grandma Angie's Brooklyn home, set to it and reinterpreted the vibe through her own line of handbags, (and now shoes).
The brand thanks to connections in the industry, quickly appeared in specialty retailers and trunk shows were planned at Fenwick Bond Street in London and in New York City at Henri Bendel. Tortora traveled between Florence and Brooklyn designing mostly on her flights and spent days mixing media hands on at the industry's most innovative suppliers and at her collaborative factory in Tuscany.
While some call it a dream, ViaBuia is a product of extremely hard work, Tortora handling all aspects of the business and always tacking other projects simultaneously to achieve her self funded goals definitely lost touch along the way.
"I am so grateful for the supportive parents, brother, friends, family, and believers in my passion, I can proudly say that each product out there found it's match."
How does bag-making work?
Small production runs are extremely tedious for manufacturers and every bit of material cut away to the floor goes back to the table for reinvention.
ViaBuia speaks to color and is meant to instill a connection with it's owner, touching your soul when it's meant for you. (Bag-Art, so to speak)
Signature materials are damask brocades in light catching hues, complimented by leather, and python in the higher price range.
In 2017 while pregnant with her first child, Tortora opened her freestanding brick and mortar ViaBuia boutique in Florence's historic shopping district. The shop was decorated with furniture from the home of our brand muse Angie, inclusive of the crystal chandelier that hung over the circular area rug in the center of the charming space. While the boutique closed when Tortora and family relocated to Brooklyn in 2019, her brand even in 2020 continues to pump out made in Italy must haves, like the finally back in stock heart purse which makes for the greatest stocking stuffer this holiday season for just $58 (buy 3 for $150)
Be whimsical. Be chic.
Whether in Forte dei Marmi or in the Hamptons...we’ve got you covered.
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