Apr 1st, 2018, 08:04 PM

Three Unconventional Florentine Designers

By Ophélie Couëlle
Cristiana, Cecilia and Luciana (Image Credit: Stefano Bidini)
Three strong personalities fight to preserve their cultural heritage.

Throughout the past few decades, fashion megastores have been increasingly taking over the gorgeous city of Tuscany, causing determined artisan designers to fight for their craft. Wandering through the city-- which has witnessed the birth of Italian Renaissance-- is a dive into the heart of Italian culture. At each street corner, frescoes, sculptures, churches, and palaces catch your mesmerized eye. While meandering through cobbled streets, you soak in the smells of old stones, leather, panini and coffee accompanied by the sounds of loud Italian chatter and Vespas buzzing. 

Image Credit: Marco Triarico ( image to the left) and sketch drawings from Cecilia , Luciana and Cristiana

Quelle Tre is a store located in Florence’s historical center, just a stone's throw away from the Pitti Palace and the Ponte Vecchio, on the charming Via Santo Spirito. Artisans, writers, and artists meet here to sip their traditional morning cappuccinos. As you pass through the door of Quelle Tre’s boutique, Cristiana, Cecilia, and Luciana Scardigli welcome you warmly and with a striking natural grace.

To quote Giovani (Cristiana’s husband),

"each of the three sisters has her own strong personality, and at the same time are very complementary, forming an ideal relationship that explains the success of their team."

Cecilia, Luciana, and Christiana grew up in their parents' fascinating and delightful tailor’s atelier, where they learned to touch, smell, and play with velvet, silk, wool, linen, and all sorts of wonderful fabrics with various textures.

Image Credit: Marco Triarico; sketches by Cecilia, Luciana and Cristiana

Their work has been rooted in Florentine artisanal tradition for three generations. The Scardigli Sartoria was founded in 1930 by the three sisters’ grandparents. In 1950, Luciano Scardigli (the father of the three sisters) took the helm of the business imposing his style. Luciano and his wife Maria worked hand-in-hand in this professional and artistic journey, and made it grow into a flourishing business. Soon, they were recognized for their hard work by winning the ‘Forbici d’Oro’ award. 

Image Credit: Stefano Bidini and Marco Triarico

When they first opened their store, customers were very surprised by the unconventionality of the garments, but it didn’t discourage the three independent sisters from continuing their fight for non-conformism. Setting foot in Quelle Tre’s boutique is similar to entering a cozy nook where your curiosity draws you to happily meander through their creations. Their work doesn’t follow any stereotypes, but rather displays their own designs in shapes and colors. The three sisters' philosophy upholds femininity, comfort, and respect for ecologically-sustainable fabrics.

Image credit: Cristiana, Cecilia and Luciana

When plunged into the creative process, the sisters voluntarily play with rich fabrics and transform them to suit their own universe. The sisters enjoy accommodating different elegant textures, often drawing soft lines-- and sometimes asymmetrical designs-- with an overall touch of sophistication. These three charismatic sisters fight with passion in order to capture the subtle, sincere, and profound essence of fashion in vivid opposition from any banality and platitude emanating from the fashion world. These luminous women believe that fashion is a playground to express your personality, and more importantly: your true inner feelings.

Cristiana’s own words to describe her work mirrors her fervor.

"Creating is an act of wonder. To create is to listen to one’s aesthetic voice, to follow one’s own way, and always offer something different from the collective will".

All of the women who have adopted Quelle Tre’s creations wear them proudly. These creative souls constantly experiment new techniques and fabrics in order to design a new collection bi-annually. Each piece of the collection can be cut-to-measure without altering the harmony of the piece. The three sisters have this rare and precious capability of designing and conceiving clothes that flatter and fit every woman, regardless of their physical frame. Quelle Tre celebrates the female body in its plurality and entirety, which is a refreshing note in this world where body image is increasingly standardized.