Imagination is not a common thing. Knowing how to see beyond, building with the mind and seeing with the eyes something that is not actually in front of us is not something for everyone. But of some, some yes. Like Silvia Lanfranco who with her intuitions managed to imagine, design and create jewelry by finding her treasure in unexpected materials. In an exclusive interview the Peekaboo! fouder & designer she tells us how her creations are born through upcycling…
Peekaboo! is an eco-sustainable brand but at the same time represents the jewel that has always been an evocative symbol of a precious world. A beautiful creative challenge that you have surely won: how did you manage to reach this synthesis?
“I got there over time, studying and doing research with the tireless desire to continually want to improve my product with a view to trends and innovation. Certainly, the many years in which I worked in the world of fashion in the clothing sector contributed to forging this “modus operandi”, where the search for “beauty” and inspiration from the luxury sector were in order of the day. What I have always been convinced of since the beginning was that I did not want to fall into the banal concept of “creative recycling” but to eradicate these materials from their somewhat “freak” cliché to make them truly contemporary and trendy.”
Where does the brand’s inspiration come from?
“The process that led me to what is now a sustainable brand with its own identity stems from my natural attraction, which I had since I was a child, to the theme of sustainability: I didn’t like to throw anything away, I kept and recycled anything because I saw it a potential outside of its primary purpose. So it was with the “tin tab”, I liked its shape, small, light, malleable but resistant, of the silver color, it does not rust, it does not corrode, it is recoverable in large quantities and above all it is recyclable to the Infinity. Peekaboo! was born from the need to create a product with a high ethical and aesthetic value by using the least possible amount of new resources following the concept of “zero waste” and thus promoting noble gesture recycling: even if it starts from a material considered “poor”, the continuous research, the revisiting and the manual work are able to transform the waste into a real jewel.”
What techniques do you use most in creation?
“The first and inevitable technique that together with aluminum make up the “core” of my brand is crochet: I owe the passion for crochet to the patient teachings of my aunt, with whom I spent a lot of time as a child and with whom from the age of 8 I began to knit miles of chain. I apply this technique to the most disparate materials: cotton, wool, eco-leather, fabric.. thus joining each component without the aid of glues or supports but with the simple creation of always different knotted textures. The other fundamental technique that helped me make Peekaboo! jewels unique in their kind is the powder coating that I apply to aluminum, thanks to which I can create infinite color combinations and customize each piece to measure. This phase is one of the longest in the whole creative process and has cost me years of research and experimentation. In the end, however, it gave me one of the greatest satisfactions because it is extremely resistant, qualitative, washable with water but above all sustainable, because it is totally free of solvents and products harmful to the skin and the environment.”
Peekaboo!: a name, a meaning. Which?
“PEEKABOO!” PEEKABOO!” is an English word that means “CUCU ‘!”, just that exclamation that children make when they come out of the closet after they have hidden themselves for fun. First of all, I was attracted to the sound of this word, which already as a voice expresses joy and amazement. The expression that is created is funny if you say it with your hands that suddenly discover your face! Secondly, I liked the meaning, which reflects how the project was born just for fun, discovering and learning, as a step-by-step and inexperienced child does, to build, disassemble, modify, redo, between free associations and explosions of color.”
Why the jewel?
“In the first place, it was a spontaneous consequence with the choice of the material: nothing suited more to a small light and metallic object. Furthermore, after years of designing clothes in a large clothing company, I was saturated with those disproportionate numbers of approved productions that contrasted the real needs of people. The jewel is less invasive but has the ability to complete your simpler outfit with determination; it is always a unique piece in my case, versatile, timeless and without seasonality.”
Colors, craftsmanship, recycled materials: what are the essential characteristics of your creations?
“Surely upcycling is the common denominator: first of all aluminum is recycled and not bought and more generally jewelry is embellished also using other disused materials such as remnants of leather coming from industrial processes (which become beautiful fringes or modern tassels) or crystal drops of old chandeliers that can be glazed and become very elegant pendants; the buttons, which are used to close necklaces and bracelets, are all vintage, always different from one piece to another and I choose them carefully as if it were my signature; every Peekaboo! it is marked by its laser-engraved logo on a medal that is made from old vinyls; the packaging is cut and sewn by the same hands of mine that crochet, with recycled paper manually printed by screen printing. And then they are unique: first of all because every single step, starting from the recovery of the material and its cleaning, passing through the painting and ending with the crochet, is handmade, studied and tested to be resistant, with attention to style and details and long lasting; the wide possible coloring of the materials allows you to create ad hoc jewelry suited to your needs and to express your style without limitations; each piece is assigned a number, handwritten on each package, to underline its uniqueness and progression over time.”
“My plans are to continue experimenting, new models, new colors, new techniques (perhaps implementing with the men’s line) and broadening my horizons by bringing them to sector fairs, hoping that they will start again soon … And I promise myself as always to continue to seek beauty in order to be able to see it worn on someone else!” Discover the Peekaboo! jewels