Changing course. That’s the idea behind the brand Anna Cloud, created in 2019 in San Miniato. A project that “aims at revolutionizing, together with its clients, the manufacturing and consumption of leather goods”. The revolution is summarized by the slogan “buy less, buy better”. Anna Cloud’s handbags, made in leather, are made on-demand and modular. They are unique pieces made on request and only purchasable online (to lower selling costs). A “young project with a green soul”, as it was defined by the entrepreneurs that launched it: Luca Cerbai, 3rd generation Tuscan leather goods’ maker; Francesco Nenna, designer and artisan; Andrea Puccini, project manager. We interviewed them.
How was this project created?
(Cerbai) The brand Anna Cloud was created within Cerbai, a leather goods’ manufacturer with over 30 years of history. My father began working in this industry 50 years ago and I first worked alongside him, and then opened by own business. After many years manufacturing handbags, our company has expanded in apparel accessories, both in leather and other materials.
Organizations often go from own brands to third-party manufacturing: you did the opposite
(Cerbai) I wanted to change course. It was an idea perfected over time, as for a while it remained just an idea. Then it blossomed when designer Francesco Nenna arrived. It was initially an experiment, as we wanted to create customizable handbags that were crafted in line with the tradition of Tuscan leather. And with leather as a material, we make a medium-high quality product that customers can make their own.
Buy less, buy better
What’s the unique characteristic of Anna Cloud?
(Nenna) It’s a product that goes directly from the producer to the client. The handbag is modular and can be taken apart. 8 colors are available for each of the 5/6 components- The customer can choose the shape and color of all components, taking the handbag apart whenever she/he desires. Customers can also purchase a single component in different colors.
One handbag with multiple functions?
(Nenna) Yes: that’s the idea. It’s possible to mix colors and shape by playing on the outfit of the day, all by buying just one handbag. This way, a customer buys less, but better. Waste is avoided by buying a green product.
(Nenna) We started by wanting to use quality and durable leather. That’s the first characteristic that counters fast fashion. But we went beyond that, looking for particularly virtuous leather with certifications, so as to tie our project to the theme of sustainability.
What leather did you choose?
(Cerbai) We chose Conceria Montebello, in Vicenza, as it obtained high traceability standards according to LWG rating. Together with Montebello, Anna Cloud adheres to the Leath3r project, thanks to which trees will be planted to compensate for the production of the materials. To share this initiative with our customers, every product contains an informational pamphlet with QR code that shows the trees that were planted to compensate for the product purchased. The carboard can also be planted, as it contains seeds.
Who does your product target?
(Nenna) Italians between 18 and 45 years of age. Mostly women, but not only them.
Why just Italy?
(Puccini) We first want to establish ourselves as an Italian brand, looking towards customers that care about sustainability. Our production process must be optimized, and before going abroad, we want to test our business in Italy.
How do you promote your brand?
(Nenna) We launched some social media campaigns and created collaborations with your people. For example, an initiative with a dancing school near our company, or events that require a physical presence. A way to get consumers to get to know our handbags.
Have you thought about influencer marketing?
(Nenna) Yes, but we would like to collaborate with people that have their own personalities, to join the uniqueness of our products with that of our handbags. They don’t necessarily have to be fashion influencers, but even artists, singers or dancers.
How were you impacted by the pandemic?
(Cerbai) It gave us more time to develop our project. We had already decided to only sell online, even before the world turned to the online channel. We were prepared. It was a way to optimize our processes, as well as the online platform that the customer needs to configure the handbag. Official website launched about one month ago. The company did suffer the effects of the pandemic, but it had the liquidity to maintain the project. The moment was ideal to promote craftmanship with innovation and sustainability.