I met Flavio Olivera the second time I came to New York City. He was looking for someone to help him create a presentation of his designs and as luck would have it, I was in town! It was a pleasure to meet him.
Flavio has been creating handbag designs for almost a decade now and sells his line at some very famous and prestigious stores.
Part of the reason for his success is his experience and connection to the fashion industry both in New York and Brazil. But mostly I think it is that type of charm unique to creative entrepreneurs. He is down-to-earth and very collaborative in how he works, and he is very curious and always asking questions and taking classes. This openness reflects a kind character and a quest for new inspirations.
The project I did for him was some of the most detailed vector technical illustrations I have ever done. It was a challenge on a tight deadline but it came together beautifully and I am very proud of it.
I asked Flavio a few questions about his career.
Why did you become a handbag designer?
I was in Brazil for vacation and my sister who used to be a shoe designer, out of nowhere came to me and said “Why don’t you design a handbag line?” After too much thinking and being tired of working for other people, I decided to follow her advice and made few samples. I showed them to some friends in the fashion industry and they all liked what I did. I came back to LA found a sales rep and got an order from Fred Segal right away, so I thought to myself that was a sign, that I was meant to do this.
What are the most valuable lessons you have learned over the years?
Stay true to yourself and never give up, even in hard times.
What has been the proudest moment in your career?
When I was nominated for Fresh Faces of Fashion in the accessory category by GenArt after only being in business for 2 seasons.
What is the greatest misconception about your work? The greatest challenge? The greatest reward?
I thing the greatest misconception about this business is that most of people think that you can become rich overnight after having a line and certainly it does not work that way.
The greatest challenge is to constantly be creative and make sure that your ideas can be translated into not only beautiful products but also products that will sell.
The greatest reward is getting compliments for your work and see the excitement of people when they look at your line.