Downtown Dandies: VITA E LIBERTA Bracelets


Courtesy of VITA E LIBERTA

The fashion community is always looking for the next best thing — the new black, the hot jacket, the piece that makes you do a double take. And while we were browsing through the vast accessories market, we noticed an alternative brand that was presenting some truly unique pieces.

VITA E LIBERTA (Italian for “Life and Liberty”) is not your typical accessories line. The brand offers a range of bracelets and other accessories that give you a sense of the edgy and cool spirit of downtown NYC. What started out as just fabric wraps inspired by men’s haberdashery and linings of suit, developed into a full line of arm candy made from countless fabrics and charms.

We sat down with the owner/designer/publicist/social media coordinator/how does he have time to breath (you get it, he does everything) Frankie Venezia to see what his brand really was about, how it started and what the future may hold.


Wingtip Jungle: How did the brand start out?

Frankie Venezia: Three years ago, my best friend Fabrizio and I were at a party and he was wearing a vintage bow tie that had come undone and started to unravel. He didn’t want to loose it so he wrapped it around his wrist and people started asking where it was from — so that was kind of our lightbulb moment.


WTJ: How would you say your accessories embody the “carefree spirit of downtown?”

FV: I think that just looking at it, you can see the edgy features and fun fabrics. I think with downtown people, they’re always looking for the next best thing and something easy to wear that’s different. They aren’t label whores — they like to find something that’s more underground and not well known. So I think I fall into that place in which not many people know about me, but I still have a good following.


WJT: Do you have a criteria when you’re searching for fabrics or materials?

FV: I think things that are bright and vivid really catch my eye. Anything really different and something that my customers want — because they’re really my inspiration. Sometimes I’ll even create my own prints to make something that really catches your eye.


Courtesy of VITA E LIBERTA

WTJ: Do you see your line expanding past bracelets?

FV: I actually just started making earrings and have gotten a lot of positive feedback through those. Also, a lot of my double wrap bracelets can be worn as necklaces or you can combine two shorter ones with the magnetic clasps to make a choker. I want to branch out into handbags in the future — but that’s still in the concept stages.


WTJ: Who came up with your logo?

FV: I drew it. It’s a peace sign but is also “V” in sign language so that incorporates the ‘VITA E LIBERTA’ and then I always wanted to have the logo to have the origin of the product so that’s why there is the tie at the bottom of the hand.


WTJ: Do you think the accessories market is harder or easier to break into than RTW?

FV: I think it’s hard because there is so much out there — that’s why I try to reinvent themes that are already out there. I want to be sure that I’m producing quality material that people haven’t seen before.


WTJ: Would you eventually like to see your brand migrate to a mass retailer?

FV: Yeah, definitely. I think the road block for me right now is the financial aspect. Even though a big store may be interested, all the vendor and licensing agreements cost a lot of money. Right now I’m focusing on small boutiques — I’m currently working with Patricia Fields.


Courtesy of VITA E LIBERTA

WTJ: What celebrities would you like to see wearing your brand?

FV: I think it would be cool for someone like ASAP Rocky or some of the edgy top models in the industry.


WTJ: Have you done any collaborations?

FV: I collaborated with David Hart for one of his Spring collection in 2013. I had met him while working at Ralph Lauren so I made a bunch of pieces for his Hawaiian-themed runway show — everyone loved it and it was a great opportunity.


WTJ: How important is social media to your brand?

FV: It’s the only thing that I think gets a brand going. We’re in this generation now where everyone’s face deep in their phones and barely come up for air. So I have a heavy presence on Facebook and Instagram — I feel like those are the two big drivers for my business.

Do you think VITA E LIBERTA is the next big thing? Would you wear some of the pieces? Let us know in the comments below!

–John Soper


Courtesy of VITA E LIBERTA

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