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MILAN — Maria Silvia Pazzi’s disdain for waste is inversely proportional to her love of beauty, fashion and design. Hence, she combined the various elements in Regenesi, a reclaimed specialist in high-end accessories and home design that Pazzi believes paves the way for a new path toward a “green” life.
“We transform waste into beauty because there is no antithesis between functionality, eco-compatibility and something beautiful,” contended Pazzi, Regenesi’s cofounder and chief executive officer. “We want to create luxurious, well-made pieces that are also eco-friendly, which for us is the added value.”
A highlight for the Salone del Mobile furniture fair last week was the new collaboration with Dainese, a worldwide leader in the production of protective motorcycling gear that led to a range of colorful accessories, from key rings to tablet cases, crafted with recycled suits worn by world-famous international drivers.
The collection, designed by Marco Ferreri, was first put on display last week in Regenesi’s concept store in Milan, alongside an exclusive showcase of the original racing gear worn by riders in the MotoGP and Superbike competitions, courtesy of Dainese’s chief Lino Dainese.
Claiming that 2013 sales, which Pazzi wouldn’t disclose, tripled compared with the previous year, the entrepreneur believes that after the start-up stage, Regenesi is now consolidating its reputation and is ready to forge ahead bullishly. “We worked hard to build the brand, and now the results are starting to show,” said Pazzi, adding that she would team with an investor to spur growth, expand retail operations and heighten brand awareness.
Founded in 2009 when Pazzi decided to apply her economic studies to a new business model, Regenesi researches innovative recycling techniques that treat waste materials such as matte aluminum, glass, and leather, plastic, mother-of-pearl and cardboard as traceable raw materials. Ultimately, they are transformed into bags and homewares with labor-intensive craftsmanship and the creative wit of international designers, both established and emerging. The most devoted are Matali Crasset, Marco Ferreri, Denis Santachiara, Giulio Iacchetti and Setsu and Shinobu Ito.
“With all our designers, we hit it off immediately, also because they identified Regenesi’s ethical side and understood the value of the project,” said Pazzi.
For the most part characterized by streamlined shapes and muted colors, Regenesi’s most distinctive accessory style is the fruit Bag designed by Setsu and Shinobu Ito, a shopper made from reclaimed leather that recalls a traditional paper bag down to the zigzagged edge. Also popular is the origami paper basket and lamp in dove, red or beige by Matali Crasset that is crafted without glue using the origami technique.
Regenesi is particularly successful in Northern Europe, France and Japan, as well as in the U.S., which is the focus this year in terms of expansion, followed by Brazil and the Middle East. The line is available online on Regenesi.com and on Yoox.com, as well as in select points of sale that include Eco Age in London, Lieu Commun in Paris and Hemisphere in Bologna, Italy.
Regenesi recently opened a pop-up store in the heart of the hip Brera district here that besides driving traffic and displaying the edgy products also houses the cultural and arty events that Pazzi loves to organize. “The store in Milan served as a bridge with the world as the city is full of foreigners and tourists, but we would like to extend the format abroad as well,” said Pazzi, adding, “Regenesi has an Italian culture but an international mind.”