What a discovery with this lovely shop Voila le Velo on Etsy, and its designer Francesca, full of happiness and generosity. The panties she creates are just adorable! I’m totally in love with them! Her story is beautiful and she shares it with you from London, answering few questions. The pictures you’ll see between two secrets will give you a sneak peek of her talent, but don’t wait and go to her Etsy shop and website www.voilalevelo.com to admire many more gorgeous creations. For yourself or for a gift, I’m sure you’ll become a fan too of these colorful and sexy little panties!
Hi Francesca! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and what “Voila le Velo” is all about?
Where to start?! Well despite Voila le Velo’s French name, I’m actually Italian, and living in London. I moved here four years ago when I married my husband Matteo. In Italy I was a chemist, but when I married Matteo, a graphic designer, I realised I could be the creative person I probably should always have been; my life and work completely transformed.
Voila le Velo started as a hobby in February this year when I started designing and sewing panties that I wanted to buy but couldn’t find anywhere. They simply didn’t exist! Which is why I call Voila le Velo my very own lingerie laboratory: I mix love, passion and fun to create the lingerie I couldn’t find and couldn’t live without. All of my creations come from my own inner world, from Fairytales, retro fashion inspiration, naïve naughtiness that’s in my mind but that I’ve never seen any designs capture… No wonder I couldn’t find these panties anywhere! They’re essentially a perfect mix of all the things I love and from Voila le Velo’s early life it became clear that other people loved the same things! There were other minds that thought like I did; we were all on the same page when it came to inspirations, passions and wanting to combine those in the lingerie we chose to wear.
So I think the secret of Voila le Velo’s success lies in the fact I simply design what I love, what I want to wear myself. I have no target customer in mind, no specific women who I think a particular design will appeal to. I simply cherry-pick the fabrics, trimmings and ribbons I fancy to create something I’d wear myself. The women who buy my panties must see this – that there’s no “commercial” angle to the knickers, but simply passion and love and fun going into an artistic creation which is something that mass produced fashion products simply can’t do.
When did you first become interested in sewing? Where did your creative journey begin?
It must be in my blood – my grandma was a seamstress. You can’t imagine the wonders she’d get out of her old Singer machine! I remember sitting beside her as a little girl, mesmerised by her hands for hours on end, just sitting, staring. It imprinted something on me, in my mind, that clearly stayed dormant in me through my chemistry years and finally burst out.
Where does your inspiration come from? Can you please describe your creative process?
I don’t think my creative process could be more simple. When I stumble on something I like, I absorb it and then release it in my own, new way. My sources of inspiration are endless; it’s not hard to be constantly inspired in London, a city that is just bursting with creative design and beauty. It just perfectly fulfils my obsession with art and design. Mine and Matteo’s East London mews is a great source of inspiration; most of the pictures you’ll see on the website are taken in our kitchen and living room – the designs photographed in the environment that often inspired them. I also have to mention my dearly beloved bunny Samantha, possibly the coolest, most stylish bunny that has ever hopped the plannet. Style guru and inspirational partner in design crime.
A song that could represent your work?
I could never choose just one! Whenever I work I’ll listen to something that relaxes and cheers me which could range from the piano jaxx of Moose Allison to the cheeky, suggestive songs of Georges Brassens. And anything and everything in between!
Apart from creating things, what do you do? What kind of artist are you?
If you consider cooking an art (which I absolutely do) then that’s another combination of a passion of mine through a creative expression. I’ve been making home-made pasta since I was little, so I guess it was just natural that as I grew up home-made pasta would become home-made panties. But truly, ravioli, tagliatelle, spaghetti, tortellini, I just love it! I love it so much I’ve just become a freelance pasta maker and have collaborated with an awesome pasta shop in central London. As the pictures on Voila le Velo’s website show, there are always food related objects or just food itself. I think we’re all inspired by cooking in some way or another, we all create meals or cocktails, it’s a natural, daily concoction.
If you had to use three words to describe yourself, what would they be?
Playful, passionate and… (A good glass of) wine. Sorry, is that cheating?!
What do you think motivates others to buy hand-made?
Buying hand-made is a lifestyle choice. People who buy hand-made are looking for high-quality items that are made to last. They’re looking for something to treasure, to enjoy indefinitely rather than for a limited amount of time. What motivates people to buy hand-made it totally in contradiction to the motivation behind buying mass produced products, products that will inevitably fall apart in a year or two. Buying hand-made is often an ethical choice; it helps the environment and is an attempt to acknowledge and value the passion behind people’s work. And then of course there is the feeling of being cared for, the feeling that when you’ve bought a handmade product, you’ve been in contact with the person who made the item, created something out of love and passion and that something has translated into a thing they also love. When someone buys home-made they are actually sharing something quite intimate with the maker.
If you could have one super power, what would it be and why?
Without a doubt, to be able to sew while I sleep! There’s not enough time in the day to sew as much as I want to.
The El Dorado for your brand/shop/creations? What do you dream of?
My ideal world would be one where everyone understands and values the effort behind hand-made products and appreciates that value cannot be underestimated.
Do you have any upcoming news to share with readers about your business such as upcoming events, new items, sales, etc?
I’m constantly working on new designs and am currently working on some new projects which unfortunately I can’t reveal so you’ll have to stay tuned!!
One last thing you would like to say to your readers?
Panties aren’t just for Christmas!
Thank you so much Francesca! We all wish you an incredible success!
Links to shop :
♡♡♡♡♡ Voilà le Vélo website with collection shop and blog is now live! Check it out! www.voilalevelo.com ♡♡♡♡♡