Elisabetta Bucci of Founder of SABAL speaks to ESK about how her upbringing influenced her brand vision, her inspirations and what makes SABAL truly unique
ESK Meets Sabal
Where did the concept of Sabal originate from?
My wardrobe is made up of fashion basics and colourful, precious unique accessories. I wanted to marry the two concepts in the fast fashion sphere.
Could you tell me a bit about your upbringing and childhood memories?
I grew up in Italy and spent part of my summers in the US. My father is Italian and my mother American. I loved the contrast between old world Florence and fast paced New York . As a kid I was intrigued by how my peers dressed up so differently in Italy and America …. It was the mid 80’s. Globalization hadn’t taken over yet. The first year my sister and I went to camp in Connecticut the other kids thought we were aliens, with our Superga’s and fitted shorts …
How would you describe the Sabal woman?
She is multidimensional, interested, and doesn’t take herself too seriously. She mixes high and low fashion. She is also generous, most of my clients order SABAL pieces not only for themselves, but as a gift for their friends, sisters, partners and kids.
Your Personalisation Service is a key part of your brand, why did you decide to offer this and what does personalisation mean to you?
Personalisation is an avenue to make anything unique. As a child I felt so special having pencils and stationary with my name on them. There is intention behind the act of personalising. There is something very intimate about it.
What’s your creative process?
I am inspired by colours, stripes and shapes. Fabric and notions shops.
When designing new products on one side I look at it very analytical, studying the sell throughs , engaged price points and etc … on the other , my mind just wonders , and I ask myself “ what would I want to wear today that would make me feel happy” .
What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced with your brand to date, and how did you meet that challenge(s)? What did it teach you?
Micromanaging and micro-obsessing are challenges that I face everyday. Not sure I have overcome these challenges yet.
"As a child I felt so special having pencils and stationary with my name on them. There is intention behind the act of personalising. There is something very intimate about it."
— Elisabetta Bucci
Who or what would you say most inspires you in your life and work?
Resilient people with ethics, a strong sense of identity and confidence inspire me. I recognize these qualities in “happy” people.
What’s your proudest moment to date (work related or not)?
Work wise, seeing a company develop from an idea: a monogrammed camouflage jacket. This was Sabal’s first design. We have sold so many ever since and it is still our #1 best seller.
Do you have a favourite quote or phrase or belief that serves as a personal motto?
“If you can fix it, why worry, if you can’t fix, why worry”.
"Resilient people with ethics, a strong sense of identity and confidence inspire me."
— Elisabetta Bucci
What influences your designs?
I ask myself; would this jacket/cardigan/coat make the person that wears it feel special? Happy? And colour. I love colour. Sabal has to be colourful.
Can you describe Sabal in three words?
Personal, colourful, confident.
How would you describe your personal style?
Laidback with intent.
Quick Fire Questions:
How do you start your day?
Tito (our family dog) comes to scratch my side of the bed to signal he is ready to go out. Tito starts my day.
What’s your coffee (or tea) order?
Peach Ice tea.
If we have a look in your bag, what would we find?
“Les Anis de Flavigny” Rose candy, sunglasses, and a super long CVS receipt (if you live in US you know).
What’s your favourite hobby?
Cooking. My kids would tell you I make the best meatballs.
Your style icon?
I don’t have one. I am inspired by colour. My colour icons are Matisse and Rothco .
What’s the last book you read?
The Enigma of Room 622, Joel Dicker.
If you didn’t live in New York, where would you live?
I lived in NY up until 5 years go , now I live in Miami. I don’t regret it.
What is the best memento you own from your travels?
I love discovering local artisans and buying local. Ceramics for Puglia, embroidery from Mexico, textiles from Morocco …
The most unforgettable place you have travelled to is?