Monica Tarca created Australian label Vestirsi after becoming frustrated by the inability to find a well made, minimal leather work handbag for under $300. Setting out to create her own, Monica made these bags for her friends; smart, successful women who appreciate style and expect quality, but know they shouldn't have the pay the world for it! I spoke to Monica all about Vestirsi and quickly realised why the range is selling out and that giving back was a non-negotiable when creating the brand.
Tell us about Vestirsi and how your brand came to life?
It all began with a personal frustration. Not being able to find a bag for Uni or for my first full time job that was quality, timeless, chic and minimal (essentially that looked designer and looked high fashion) that was made from quality leather, for a relatively affordable price.
My grandparents are Italian and I knew the best leather in the word and the most skilled leather artisans are from Italy, so off to Italy I went. I just took a punt that if I wanted these bags, other women might want them too.
What were the 3 non-negotiables when creating Vestirsi?
- Black with minimal branding (so each bag will go with every outfit)
- Italian Leather (not PU)
- Under $300
- That gives back
(Sorry I know that’s 4!)
What can we expect from the range and how is it different and disrupting the market, fast becoming the go to for the ultimate in leather bags?
In terms of what to expect from the range, with VESTIRSI you know you will always get a quality, well-made leather accessory, that is chic, minimal, practical, fairly priced and that gives back to help other women.
In terms of why we’re different, I think it comes down to those same 3 (or 4!) non-negotiables. No other leather bag brand (that I’m aware of) is meeting these 4 criteria and I think that’s what makes us stand out.
- Our Minimal branding – we try not to plaster our name all over our bags. The modern shopper sometimes like to remain a little mysterious. She doesn’t necessarily want everyone to know where she bought every single item she’s wearing.
- The fact that each bag is handmade in Italy (most bag brands manufacture in China.) and made from Authentic Italian Leather. No PU or cheap low-grade leather here.
- That each style is under $300 AUD. We’ve gone straight to the source to create these bags and sell them direct to the smart aussie woman, so there are no excessive and unfair mark-ups.
- That 10% net profit from every sale is donated to women’s mental health charities.
Monica, your background is in PR, previously with Mecca. How has your industry experience and knowledge helped to shape and create Vestirsi?
It was helpful knowing how to write a press release and how to talk to media. But beyond that, I knew that editors (and the average Australian woman) were interested in unique brands. I thought careful about what made our business different and ensured these points were communicated in our marketing. I knew editors (and the smart, modern woman) wanted an interesting story and it would be very difficult to gain cut through and gain attention for the brand without a compelling brand story and proposition. So I kept all this in mind when crafting the brand and our marketing messages.
We love that you donate 10 percent of profits to mental health charities, tell us more about this any why it is part of your brand mission
I lost someone I loved to suicide, and I struggle with anxiety myself. It was always inbuilt in the DNA of the brand. There was no way I was going to create a business and NOT have it give back to help women struggling with their mental health. I’ve seen friends, family members, so many people around me (and myself included) struggle and I am thrilled that VESTIRSI can do its bit (even if it’s just a small amount) to help women who are really battling these demons.
When selecting a bag, what should we consider across functionality and style to find out perfect match?
The 3 main questions I ask women are:
- What do you need it to carry? For big bags - do you need it to carry a laptop? For smaller bags – do you need it to fit a full-sized wallet?
- Do you want a cross body strap and do you need to be handsfree?
- Do you prefer smooth or pebbled leather?
These three questions help narrow down which bag in the VESTIRSI range will be right for her.
What's in store for Vestirsi in 2020?
We’ve just launched in USA and are working with some exciting influencers and charities in the States which is a very fun (but full on!) next chapter for VESTIRSI.
Product wise; New styles and new colours – so watch this space. We’re only just getting started!
Where can we shop the range/socials?
Thank you Monica for sharing your brand story with us! Ladies, if you are after the perfect handbag to take you from desk to dinner and everything in between while giving back to women's mental health charities, Vestirsi has got you covered. I absolutely love everything Vestirsi is about, and as someone who understands the value of a chic, functional work bag that is long wearing and goes with everything, I will definitly be checking out the range for my next investment piece!