Maissa, a finalist brand of Who is on Next? 2018, creates accessories whilst thinking and looking at the tomorrow, at tradition, technology, sustainability and loads of style. Giulia Ber Tacchini, the founder and designer, told us how she was able to bring together the best hand-production techniques with the innovation of the future. Maissa is an entirely made-in-Italy brand that dares to come out of familiar schemes and strike us with new combinations and the avant-garde. Her unique, exclusive bags and jewellery combine 3D-printing technology with the heritage and savour-faire of hand production. Hi Giulia, your accessories are true sculptures. Great work! Would you like to tell us how you got into the world of fashion? "It’s a world that has fascinated me since I was little. As a child I was attracted to the dressing of the body, spending hours and hours looking at books of the history of costume. Following this I decided to apply to an Architecture course at university, then later attended a school of Fashion Design. One week after I finished, I had an interview for a post as Assistant Designer for Dior accessories and was accepted! It was from there that it all started; I went on to work for other brands such as Prada and Chloe. I love this work and the Italian heritage in the styles and the design. “The magic is in the making.”What brought you to create your own brand? "I have always been in love with the savour-faire of Italian craftspeople, spending a lot of time together with them in the making process of the accessories, bags and jewellery. Three years ago I began to advance towards 3D-printing technology, which struck me in two ways, in its ethics and its aesthetics. First of all its sustainability because it’s based on “on-demand” production, which eliminates industrial mass-production and the consequential accumulation of unsold, wasted products, and therefore doesn’t have a significant contribution to global waste disposal. In addition to that, with regard to the production process, the energy involved is much lesser than typical industrial production, and materials are also saved in the recycling and reuse of the powder from the 3D printer. From a creative point of view on the other hand, 3D-printing is extremely stimulating because it enables the production of objects with new aesthetic characteristics that are impossible to realise with traditional technologies. Furthermore this technology opens up the possibilities to customise products in their decorative aspect. These are the key points of the Maissa project."Your bags and jewellery are really spectacular, an amalgamation of handcraft and innovation. What distinguishes your creations? "I really think that it’s the union between traditional high-end hand-production, and the innovation of 3D-printing technology, with a focus on sustainable fashion. Revolutionary technology combines with precious handwork, creating the products with respect to our planet."How would you define your style? "Definitely original, apart from the notion of beautiful or ugly. It’s also contemporary, in form as well as function: the mini bags from my latest collection can be transformed from handbag to shoulder bag to pouch, to emulate the diverse existence of the dynamic woman of today!"What are your inspirations from which you start to realise your collections? Influential icons? "All my collections be it of bags or jewellery, draw from different sources of inspiration: primitive art, emoticon language, pop icons and elements of nature. A new aesthetic vision is born from the combination of these many codes, and it also gets expressed through the language of the parametric design."Can you tell us about your latest collection? "My latest collection presents mini bags and multi-functional jewellery, the bags usable as either handbags, shoulder bags or pouches. It has a more sporty attitude compared to my previous collections; it draws near the world of Street Style, and also includes some special handpainted pieces. The jewellery as well as the metallic decorations of the bags are all 3D-printed. Part of the bag collection is made from vegetable-tanned leather...the green “heart” of the line!"Does the concept of luxury still make sense today? How can it be defined now, in your opinion? "Today I believe in a unique, sustainable luxury." For info & contact