An interview with Eva and Massimo Palomba
With a strong background in the fashion industry, partners in life and work Eva and Massimo Palomba create leather accessories of the highest quality. Their numbered, limited edition bags communicate understated elegance in silhouettes, colorways and finishes whose beauty only deepens over time. In anticipation of their latest collection, we sat down with Eva to learn more about the duo’s inspiration, process and specialized techniques.
Where did you get your start in the fashion industry?
After studying Art and Design, Massimo learned the art of leatherworking in a Tuscan atelier and then designed for Prada and Jil Sander. I studied Fashion and Patternmaking before collaborating as a patternmaker at Jil Sander Atelier and Versace. Since 2000, we have created the Massimo Palomba collection together, sharing it with an international audience.
What inspires you and keeps you motivated?
We believe that beautiful things create joy. This is the motor, the passion which propels us everyday. Inspiration comes from life. The observation of the beauty around us, wherever it can be found: nature, art, people in the street.
Can you tell us about your dyeing process?
Vegetable tanning — based on the use of tannin, a natural substance extracted from different plants — is the most traditional tanning method; it is both natural and environmentally friendly. Vegetable tanned leather absorbs the traces of our lives and ages naturally, becoming softer and richer in color, adding value to our pieces over time.
How do you create your custom casted hardware?
We design each buckle which is then cast, polished and refined by hand in sterling silver, bronze or silver plated brass. Massimo prepares the prototype of each buckle in sculptural wax or in metal. Everything is done by hand; piece by piece.
What is one thing people might not know about your production process?
Environment and social sustainability with respect to the Planet is of great importance to us. Our accessories are sustainable in nature and meant to be enjoyed for a lifetime.
What is the most satisfying part of this work?
We’re convinced that creating objects fulfills an innate need. Knowing that the things we make are destined to belong to other people adds a sense of responsibility to our efforts. We hope that the passion with which we create will translate to the people who will own our pieces.