Cinzia Moniaci is a designer’s designer. From the sound of her voice (tinted with passion and conviction), it’s clear that it’s the process she enjoys most. Traveling to factories and handpicking the most subtle calfskin leather is what Moniaci would consider the perks of the job.
Raised in Italy’s former automotive capital Turin, she translates her culture’s allegiance to quality into her namesake line Moni Moni. “I could easily manufacture a few pieces in Italy and stamp it “Made in Italy,” but it’s more than a marketing tool, I want to help my country preserve their art.”
The burgeoning line Cinzia is a testament to her fashion genes. A career in fashion journalism, corresponding for Italian magazines and interviewing the likes of Gwen Stefani, left Moniaci with one aching question…What do I wear?
Her aim was to create wearable bags that were functional, well-made and covetable for more than one season. “I got tired of wearing the same Gucci and Prada bags; I wanted to create my own.”
Moni Moni merges a classic quality with a rock-and-roll aesthetic. The distinctive system of processing is a feat many would shy away from. Yet, the spirited Italian handbag designer is giddy describing the painstakingly detailed “tinto-in-capo,” a method of distressing the bags once completed, hardware and all, producing a perfectly worn-in look. “I’m not a splurge person but I like things that are classic and versatile,” says Moniaci who is clearly in touch with her consumer.
Now dwelling in the epi-centre of celebrity habitation, she has made L.A. her home for the past ten years. Cinzia, who carries an MBA in business, once again followed her heart alongside her now husband of over a decade. “We merged the two “Fs,” finance and fashion,” she adds, noting her husband as a great source of suggestion and knowledge.
This partnership proves to be fruitful for her ever growing brand, with stars such as Halle Berry toting her line’s Dolce Vita bag. “Halle is every bit the Moni Moni woman,” says Moniaci who depicts her clientele as a “as a self-assured, unique trend setter.”
Cinzia Monaici will be the designer’s next foray into development, a designer collection that will keep the element of fun that embodies so much of the Moni Moni spirit, while reaching a broader demographic. In addition, Moni Moni will introduce a Tie Dye series of bags that delve into the designer’s love for achieving a unique finish. While most have trouble juggling a check book, this wonder woman runs an ever-expanding business while being a full-time wife and mom. Her spirit and drive are inspiring, her power humble but present. She possesses a vocal smile that is as infectious as it is genuine. Our chat drifts off into other topics as most conversations among creative minds do and as she assures me watching the Social Network will “definitely leave me inspired.” She has no idea I already have been.