Italian for "beautiful thing" Cosabella has been designing timeless lingerie pieces for the modern woman since 1983. We are so excited to have Cosabella join Souszy and to have sat down with founder Valeria Campello to learn about how she started the global brand Cosabella, the importance of having each piece 'Made In Italy', inspiration behind each design and so much more.
We have loved your brand since we started buying beautiful lace intimates! Could you please share with us how the Cosabella brand was born?
When my husband, Ugo and I arrived in Miami in 1980, we were only supposed to stay for a few months. He was to complete a job assignment from the company he was working then as an engineer. I fell in love with Miami immediately. Its tropical climate and Latin atmosphere made me quickly forget the cold and fog of my North Italian town winters. However, I was always at home with the children while my husband traveled for work and I began to grow anxious and weary because I’m not one to sit still for long.
One of my husband’s colleagues suggested that I import clothing and accessories from my hometown of Carpi, a famous center of fashion production in Italy. I quickly followed his suggestion. My first stock of “Made in Italy” products included embroidered tops, linen sets and Egyptian cotton t-shirts. I soon realized I was able to sell more than just to friends and neighbours but also to boutiques.
The thought of heading my own company was far from my mind, but business grew so rapidly that we accepted the opportunity offered by Ugo’s employer to stay another year and apply for the green card. For me, it was an opportunity to further explore the market and enjoy my own new adventure. It was the best decision ever because it was during these first months that we realized the void in the American market of nice affordable cotton lingerie like the one I used to wear. We knew that a modest investment in bottoms could ensure us enough stock variety of styles and colours to offer “Made in Italy” quality production on immediate delivery. In those days, “Made in Italy” apparel available on immediate delivery was unthinkable. With a few boutiques orders in our hands we took the risk to commit to a larger stock and in a short time we succeeded with getting bigger orders from chain stores and even a department store in New York.
We never anticipated that the decision to temporarily relocate to Miami would have become the decision of a lifetime. Ugo, who had already been helping each night with the accounting of our company, decided to make the jump, leaving his employer to follow the adventure full-time with me. With his design skills we started soon to create our own collections specifically designed for the American market but keeping the production in Italy. And, we are still going strong 38 years later with no regrets.
It's amazing to see that to this day, your lingerie is still Italian-made. Why was this so important for you to ensure that manufacturing stayed in-house in Italy?
Since the very beginning I realized that American women were taking “Made in Italy” quality seriously and to this day, nothing makes me more proud than the “Made in Italy” label on our product. It was at that time that I first recognized how much the quality and workmanship of Italian products that I was taking for granted, was appreciated outside Italy and reconfirmed when our own brand started being recognized and appreciated worldwide.
Through the years this perception has remained untouched except for very few exceptions like our Bella PJ collection that is produced in Peru because of the exceptional quality of Peruvian Pima cotton not equal to any other Pima in the world. We are always exploring to ensure production is at top-notch quality with all we produce.
Cosabella is Italian for "beautiful thing", and everything in each Cosabella collection is just that... beautiful! Where do you draw inspiration from for each collection?
Italy with its colours, landscapes and lifestyle has always been the major source of inspiration for us followed by the Miami tropical atmosphere and multicultural influence. Also the intensive travelling and a passion for photography of each member of our family has helped to build a particular appreciation for everything that is colorful both in nature, in art form or in cultural diversity. I think this is what transpires all Cosabella collections through the years.
How has the 'Never Say Never' collection been perceived amongst customers?
The Never Say Never Collection is a favourite! It is our #1 selling collection that is made in the most comfortable Italian lace. It is available in an array of nudes, light and bright/bold colours with over 40 styles available within the collection. If customers have something in one colour they will want it in every colour! Overall, it is considered fun, flirty and a staple for all dressers. It is a basic without being so basic. Sizing for every woman’s figure, starting at Petite and going up to a 3x in some styles.
There are over 100 shades of colours to choose from throughout the Cosabella ranges. Could you please share with us the importance of empowering women through colour?
There are entire studies dedicated to the psychology of colours. There is something about colours that goes much deeper than the simple action of choosing what to wear that day. By the colour we choose to wear we unconsciously or consciously communicate the way we feel inside and the way we want to be perceived. Colours can even change your mood. Think about opening the lingerie drawer in a foggy, cold winter day and see a rainbow of undies and bra instead of a bunch of black and nude. Wouldn’t you feel happier immediately? I always love to remember a letter we received years ago from a US military stationed in Iraq to thank us for the way she felt wearing her new orange bra under her sad and masculine uniform. Colours can give you happiness, but can also give you real or perceived strength, courage, confidence, inclusivity.