What a bike courier and a sailing ship have to do with Rossis' vegan handbags.
From master tailor to resourceful developer
The year is 1993. The first bike couriers cycle through Zurich. But the bags in which they carry their shipments are not at all suitable for the fast and sporty couriers. They are heavy and impractical. In desperation, one of the couriers asks his tailor for help. "Couldn't you make me a light and practical crossbody bag?"
The tailor doesn't think twice and agrees. But he soon realizes that it's not that simple: the light fabrics are not durable and vice versa. - A few days later he strolls along Lake Zurich and watches the sailing ships. And what can I tell you, a walk by the lake works wonders. Suddenly the tailor knew how to make light and durable bags: with boat tarpaulins!
Just a few weeks later, the first bike couriers were cycling through Zurich with bags from Francesco Rossi.
First ROSSIS bag for flash Kurier Zurich (after more than 30 years of use)
Leather alternatives, faux leather and vegan handbags
Since the first bag in 1993, Francesco Rossi has continued to tinker with a wide variety of materials. Leather was tough and durable. That's why there were ROSSIS bags made of animal leather for a few years. "In the past, the leather alternatives were often not very stron or did not meet my requirements for beautiful and high-quality materials," says the Zurich designer. “But I just couldn't understand why you should breed animals for an accessory and then kill them. In addition, the production of leather consumes a lot of resources. There just had to be a more sensible and sustainable solution.”
“Wherever I could I looked for vegan alternatives to leather. I spoke to producers all over the world until I found what I was looking for. When we got the new material, I knew right away, this is it. And so since 2008 we only sell vegan handbags .”
Vegan handbag "Sandra 2" from the summer collection 2008
Francesco Rossi was ahead of his time even then. Five years later, in 2013, all the newspapers would have written about the innovative designer who only sells vegan handbags .
Unfortunately, in 2008 the term vegan had not yet arrived in the fashion world. ROSSIS used the term leather alternatives in order to stand out from the negatively associated term artificial leather. However, this did not attract any new customers to the stores. Fortunately, the elegant bags with the orange inner lining and the practical inner compartments also appealed to so many customers.
In 2018, ten years after ROSSIS went full vegan, the term finally hit the fashion world. ROSSIS introduced the term vegan handbags in August 2018
30 years of vegan handbags 30% discount on a vegan handbag
"How is ROSSIS celebrating this anniversary?" I asked Francesco. “With our customers. Until 30.5. there is a 30% discount on the Loredana Sand Storm shopper ”. “That is a very nice gift! And how do you celebrate the anniversary in the ROSSIS team?” Francesco laughs: “by developing even more innovative and sustainable vegan handbags .”
Now I had to laugh too. "That's a great closing remark."