Ahead of the official relaunch later today in New York, Bespoke Dandy publishes an exclusive interview with Timothy de Rosen, Chairman of Bianca Mosca who explains how and why he decided to revive a 70 year old fashion icon…
Tell us a bit about the history of Bianca Mosca for those that don’t know.
Bianca Mosca is a storied brand. It was founded by the eponymous designer, a cousin of the legendary Italian born and Paris-based couturier Elsa Schiarparelli. Madame Mosca worked with her cousin at Schiarparelli’s Paris salon and was a well-known “vendeuse” there (a sort of sales assistant on steroids!). In those days the sales people occupied an elevated position and had their own distinct coterie of clients and were in many cases well-known members of fashionable society themselves. It also helped that Mosca was noted for her elegance, beauty, poise and grace. By the late 1930’s, Mosca decided she wished to develop her career further and so decided to move to London. Initially, she was appointed as Director of the London branch of Paquin, a famous fashion house founded in 1869. After the close of WW2, Mosca’s English husband Claude Crawford introduced his wife to his friend the 9th Earl of Jersey who agreed to back her in her own fashion venture. The House of Bianca Mosca was established in 1946 in the fashionable Mayfair district of central London. Her house rapidly acquired an elite clientele including members of the British Royal family most notably the beautiful Marina, Duchess of Kent. The house continued to expand and Madame Mosca also helped to cofound the Incorporated Society of London Fashion Designers alongside Hardy Amies, Digby Morton and Victor Steibel. As well as her couture work Madame Mosca was also known as a leading costume designer for the British film industry, for which she won many awards including dressing the ballet legend, Margot Fonteyn. Sadly Madame Mosca fell ill during a business trip to Paris and died there in 1950 at a relatively young age. Deprived of her considerable talents the house of Bianca Mosca was not sustainable and closed its doors shortly after her untimely demise.
What inspired you to continue her memory with the launch of these new alligator leather fashion products?
I have always been a huge fan of couture fashion and female designers in particular. Their stories are so intriguing from Coco Chanel, Madeleine Vionnet to Jeanne Lanvin and so many others. It has always amazed me how these women overcame huge odds to survive in what was then a male dominated environment. When the story of Bianca Mosca was retailed to me it struck a particular chord. I researched everything I could find about her. Her photographic image left an indelible image in my mind. I felt motivated to do something to keep her spirit alive. That is what inspired me to re-launch the brand. After a long period of research gathering information and jumping through certain legal hoops we were finally in a position to realize our dream and revive the legend of the Bianca Mosca name and brand.
Since you can’t just buy Bianca Mosca products in a shop yet, tell us a bit about your bespoke acquisition process.
Custom, bespoke, made to order has always fascinated me as a business process. In the old days nearly everything in the luxury field was made to order. Over time and with the advent of machines that largely replaced human labor the concept of bespoke started to fade and became the preserve of only the very wealthy-what today we call the “Super Rich”. I envisioned a new way of working that would marry traditional artisanal tradition with the technologies available with today’s web. Working closely with leading software developers we have evolved highly realistic simulators that allow customers to obtain a clear picture of how their customized product will appear. This allows our incredibly busy customers to save time in selecting exactly the product they want at a reasonable price without having to set foot in a physical store.
How Are The Materials Sourced?
It was an essential requirement that our materials sourcing would have to adhere to the highest ethical standards. I am very much against seizing wild animals from their natural environment. So farmed Louisiana alligator was an obvious choice to obtain a highly luxurious material that is also available in abundance with little or no environmental impact.
Let’s talk options. Just how much customization can a customer get with your products?
If we are talking full bespoke anything is possible. We can literally design any leather object that can be conceived and construct it according to our customers’ whims. For our custom made to order (MTO) program there are currently over a thousand choices of skin color, stitching, lining and personalization. This will continue to grow as we add more product lines and colors.
What’s coming in the future for the Bianca Mosca brand?
We would certainly like to broaden our product offer into bags and technology products: footwear, belts and watch-straps for example. We are also interested in creating partnership opportunities with complementary brands that share our vision of ultra luxury and delivering the very best product and customer experience.
Where can we find you online and off?
Currently we are online only but in the future we will be visiting cities in North America to show off our products in person and meet up with customers. In the not too distant future we may set up our own standalone stores.
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