Design can amaze. It can make people talk. Or it can make us unique through the objects we use and the spaces we take up.
Also, it is the spark that ignites change and new awareness. It was the theme of Design, Heritage & Cultural Innovation. Un racconto al femminile (A women’s tale). A meeting-exhibition organized by Ohoskin in collaboration with Terziario Donna Confcommercio Catania; Accademia Abadir; Progetto Donne si fa Storia (the Women make history project); Di Stefano Dolciaria; Industria01 with the support of Serena Wines 1881 and hosted by the Municipality of Catania. An opportunity for women-led businesses in the territory to meet, share stories, and network.
This event crowned 2021, which saw Ohoskin tour Italy to present its material to the designer community.
On December 16th, at Catania’s Culture Palace, we celebrated design, women entrepreneurship, and the ability to network as elements of innovation. For Sicily, but not only. It is, in fact, a matter of method to release creative energies that are still underestimated everywhere; in that afternoon, these energies took the form of stories, materials, and collaborations.
Stories of entrepreneurship
Many stories develop from a common plot: the courage of women entrepreneurs and their desire to grow in Sicily. In this land of contradictions, these brave captains launched laborious, exciting paths and successful entrepreneurial projects:
- Industria01, with founders Sarah Bersani and Bice Guastella;
- DiStefano confectionery, with marketing and sales manager Fabiana Principato;
- Ceramiche De Simone, with Matilde Cifali, who is also president of Terziario Donna Confcommercio Catania;
- Abadir, with the director Lucia Giuliano;
- Donne si fa Storia, with the curator Emanuela Zilio;
- Ohoskin, with our founder Adriana Santanocito.
All highlighted how it is essential to join forces and creativity. In Sicily more than anywhere else. In fact, it is crucial to join forces and form ideas that amaze. And also, to make their contribution to help the planet and the people who live on it.
The Ohoskin presentation
After all, that’s Ohoskin’s mission. To create a sustainable, bio-based alternative material from industrial byproducts for a sustainable luxury that helps build a better world. And that, in turn, becomes the component for elegant and evocative design objects. Like in the Capsule Collections made with our orange and cactus vegan leather alternative, presented by Adriana Santanocito:
But what do the limited editions made with Ohoskin consist of? These are objects that reinterpret the Sicilian artisanal tradition with innovation and design. Through them, Sicily can project its economy and creativity into the future. And it does it with its signature features: color, irony, and a recognizable elegance.
Di Stefano + Sdrina
One example is the limited-edition collector’s plates. The Sicilian artist Sandra Virlinzi, also known as Sdrina, created them with Ohoskin. It was the result of the collaboration with the marketing, communication, and design agency Industria01 for Distefano. The plates “Clementina” (Clementine) and “Frutti di Mare” (seafood, literally “Fruits of the Sea”) depict pinups representing an irreverent Sicily.
With their concept, the plates reinterpret the island’s traditions ironically and imaginatively.
The dishes accompany Di Stefano’s exclusive panettone cakes – which the guests at the event could taste. An opportunity to give Sicily’s best. The craftsmanship engages senses: sight, taste, and the touch of luxury leather provided by Ohoskin.
As Distefano’s marketing and sales director Fabiana Principato says, an all-Sicilian collaboration represents “the desire to share values”.
Ceramiche De Simone
Ceramiche De Simone is a brand that has reimagined Sicily and Sicilianity and made it its distinctive feature. In fact, their signature pottery sports a refined and recognizable design, projecting the island into the future. And when we talk about the future, we must speak about sustainability, which Ceramiche De Simone has decided to embrace. Like Ohoskin, that “embraces” the exclusive bottle holders. Thanks to it, De Simone’s unique pieces evoke the Sicilian sun and the fruits that give life to our alternative material.
A moment of discovery and education for young designers
But the most important thing is that the event was an opportunity to talk about women’s entrepreneurship in Sicily. Also, to reflect upon the collaborations it generates. Finally, it was also a moment of education and dialogue with future designers.
Our Business Development Manager, Alessandro Scuderi, met the students of the Academy of Design and Visual Arts ABADIR. He described how our bio-based, orange and cactus, vegan alternative to leather was created and its potential applications. A moment of exchange, discussion, and discovery that can be fundamental, as the director of the academy, Lucia Giuliano underlines
The history that was, the history that we will make
To sum up, the common thread of the event was the desire to highlight women’s role in the social, human, and economic rebirth of nations and territories.
A role that is often not recognized and that the Donne si fa Storia project aims to bring to light; starting from the contribution made by women to the Italian economy during the Great War. This event is often seen exclusively from the male point of view. That is, of those who left fields and factories to go and fight on the frontlines. And which women had to occupy to continue building the nation while their male counterparts were busy destroying others.
Taking a leap of a century, passing from the tragedy of war to the environmental emergency, women can and must be protagonists again in the global industry and economy.
On that afternoon, with confrontation, discovery, and a toast offered by Serena Wines 1881, the women entrepreneurs proved they knew how to join forces and imagine a better Sicily. And a better world.
A special thanks to Serena Wines and the Municipality of Catania for the support.