The Bagella family has been working in Sardinia since 1932 at the historic shop first opened by its founder, Nino Bagella, and currently managed by his family’s third generation: Rinaldo, Michelina and their daughter Francesca.
Nowadays, the promotion and re-interpretation of traditional clothing is the core of the Bagella 1932 brand.
But, what’s the story behind the brand?
The inspiration to create a brand connected to traditional clothing came during a three-year stay in the United States in the mid-80s, when Rinaldo and his wife Michelina decided to go back to Sardinia and innovate their family business.
Their intuition turned out to be successful. However, we have all witnessed the advance of large-scale distribution that has relentlessly devoured “neighborhood shops”.
Rinaldo’s and Michelina’s American dream was the creation of a collection that could offer a re-interpretation of traditional garments, thinking “out of the box”. Accessories and clothing had to be clearly inspired by tradition, but also showcase a new approach to design and contextualization.
The creation of an e-commerce website, the search for qualified craftsmen, the attention to packaging, and the modernization of traditional models led to the creation of the first Sardinian concept store
In addition to its sales activity, Bagella 1932 periodically organizes events to promote the cultural and ethnographic facets of the island tradition, in the charming Art Deco setting of its historical shop.
What clothing and accessories does Bagella 1932 offer to its customers?
Each Bagella 1932 piece of garment is fully made in Sardinia by the best tailors, and so are the accessories, ethically supporting local excellences, creating unique tailored clothing and “limited editions”.
The fabrics used are velvet and orbace, linen and cotton woven on the loom. The dyes are very often natural, being extracted from plants.
The velvet used by Bagella 1932 is an exclusive fabric manufactured specifically by Italian flagship company Duca Visconti di Modrone with specific characteristics and weight made for Sardinia only. Its texture and short pile give this type of velvet an opaque appearance more similar to moleskin, a greater durability and a strength that is typical of a fabric designed for everyday use and work, rather than for “gala events”, as it is usually considered.
Orbace is a woollen fabric made following an ancient process. It comes from the Sardinian term orbaci (Arabic origin: al-bazz, fabric, cloth). Its “armor” is the fabric and its typically dark colour comes from a dye. Interestingly, orbace is made selecting the longest fibers during the carding phase, which are weaved and then fulled into a matted robust and water-proof cloth. Orbace is usually produced in dark colours, mostly black or grey.
Fulling is done by exerting strong pressure on the fabric soaked in hot soapy water, so that fibers can intertwine and a compact fabric may be obtained. In ancient times, this was done by trampling over fabrics barefoot or mechanically operating hammers (mills), set in motion by wheels that exploited the current of rivers or other waterways.
Several villages in Sardinia throve on the production of orbace, the most common fabric for the traditional male attire: the pants, the sack-shaped cap (Sa Berritta), the bodice, is ragas, the skirt were made of this fabric.
Many of the fabrics used on the Bagella garments for inserts, applications and finishes are made in Sardinia where the weaving tradition is still deeply-rooted, using different processing techniques and types of looms.
The colours of some of the fabrics used for Bagella 1932 clothing, such as the orbace used for coats or the silk for accessories, such as scarves, are extracted from dyeing herbs. This dyeing method, used in ancient times to dye carpets and attires, is complex and expensive, but it produces colour nuances which may not be obtained using synthetic dyes.
The use of traditional fabrics, the development of local activities and the ancient natural fabric dyeing techniques complete the Bagella 1932 production chain, thus supporting local professionals and protecting the environment.
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