Meet the Designer...Cinzia Moniaci
From journalist to songwriter and performer, Moni Moni designer Cinzia Moniaci has a rich creative background that ultimately culminated in the creation of Moni Moni handbags in 2005. Born and raised in Italy, Cinzia moved to Southern California in 1997 and draws inspiration from these two fashion meccas to create a collection of bags that embodies effortless style. Exclusively made in Italy, Moni Moni bags
go through an avant-garde process of washing, dying and drying to give the leathers a supple, vintage-inspired and unstructured look. Learn more about Cinzia's personal style, design essentials and the fascinating process that gives each Moni Moni bag the "Tinto In Capo" look that has made them a favorite among celebrities like Halle Berry, Kristen Bell, Ashlee Simpson and Emmy Rossum.
WHAT IS YOUR DESIGN BACKGROUND?
I wore a uniform to school so accessorizing was one of the only ways I could express my style. Growing up in Italy I was always the one people looked to for fashion inspiration and I wasn't afraid to try new things. I moved to Paris during my university days and worked in upscale boutiques to help pay the rent of my fancy apartment,
it helped me broaden my perspective and learn the ropes of the business early. I studied communications and became a correspondent for several fashion magazines. In 2002, I won a scholarship to FIDM funded by the Italian Government and opened a showroom with a friend in the Fashion District's California Mart. We imported high-end European designer accessories and sold them around the world. I knew what the buyers wanted and identified my niche, soon after Moni Moni was born.
WHERE DOES THE NAME MONI MONI COME FROM?
It was my high school nickname
A MONI MONI GIRL IS...
Someone who doesn't follow trends, she sets them and knows how to have fun with it
WHAT ARE THREE DESIGN ESSENTIALS EVERY GREAT BAG SHOULD HAVE?
It comes down to the 3 Cs "capacity, comfort, chic factor"
WHAT CITIES INSPIRE YOU AND YOUR DESIGNS?
Turin, Italy, where I was born and raised, Paris, where I studied and worked and Los Angeles with its relaxed California surfer chic, where I live with my husband and daughter.
I DEFINE MY PERSONAL STYLE AS...
Creative yet effortless.
IF I WEREN'T A DESIGNER I WOULD BE...
A songwriter, my favorite hobby! My husband and I write songs and have a band. Our songs have been featured on such shows as Dawson's Creek. Our most recent project, "The Perfect Nines" (www.perfectnines.com) perform regularly around Los Angeles and internationally.
HOW DO YOU MAKE EACH BAG LOOK SO PERFECTLY UNSTRUCTURED AND WORN?
It's an elaborate project - we put each bag through a rigorous process of washing, dying and drying until it is perfectly imperfect, just as we like it!