By ATFDC Contributor Dorie Hightower
DC designer and entrepreneur Claudia Diamante didn’t set out to run an artisan handbag company. Raised in Argentina, Claudia came to Washington to work on a Master’s in Business Administration from American University. After receiving her degree in 2004, she was offered a position from the satellite company Intelsat, but because of immigration issues, was forced to return to Argentina. Claudia went to visit relatives in Italy for several months, and used her savings money to travel throughout Europe, finally returning to Buenos Aires to figure out what to do next. Claudia had always been artistic, so she took a photography class where she met a woman named Luciana who had a background in leather manufacturing, and who encouraged Claudia to try her hand at designing leather bags. Luciana connected her with a workshop of skilled craftsmen who were able to execute Claudia’s sketches into bags made of high grade leather.
The good news—Claudia was able to move back to the DC area in 2005 and went to work full time for Intelsat, where she uses her education and experience in finance and economics. While spending her days in the corporate world, she has developed the DIAMANTINA line of leather goods in her free time, and returns to Argentina twice a year to meet with the artisans and oversee production.
Claudia’s philosophy is that women should be able to incorporate a bag into their own unique style. Her bags are created to be fashion-forward, functional, and long-lasting. From the careful sewing of fine leather materials, to the subtle use of hardware, pockets and compartments, her bags are meant for the on-the-go woman who appreciates avant-garde designs and quality workmanship. DIAMANTINA offers a select range of sizes, leather types, textures and colors, and her twice-yearly collections include a wide variety of exclusive handbags, hobos, clutches and belts designed to harmonize with the changing seasons.
Claudia continues to develop her vision and strategy to grow her company and take it to the next level—currently DIAMANTINA bags are available through her website www.diamantina.net, as well as through http://flechada.com, a web platform for Latin American designers, and most recently through http://tweli.com, a new online platform using interactive videos and social media as a way to enhance consumers’ shopping experience. Diamantina is also available at selected DC-area boutique and trunk shows.
Dorie Hightower is a marketing and design consultant whose interest in fashion started at a young age–creating outfits for her dolls and progressing to making costumes for her high school’s theater productions. Dorie is also an expert knitter and has taught knitting and crochet classes at yarn shops throughout the DC area. She loves to explore craft shows, flea markets and vintage stores for unique wearables and when she’s not thinking about fashion, also enjoys cycling, singing, reading, cooking, and travel. Dorie is a partner in Weekend Boutique www.weekendboutique.org), a showcase for independent local designers. You can follow her on Twitter @Cabaretgirl.
Saturday Dec 15th, 2012: Don’t miss out a great day of shopping with Diamantina and other vendors at P. Brennan’s Irish Pub. - 2910 Columbia Pike, Arlington, VA
This is a fundraiser event and part of the proceeds will go to support AFAC – Arlington Food Assistance Program.
This promises to be a great event where you will be able to shop the designs of nine contributing artists, enjoy live/DJ music and taste great complimentary hors d’oeuvres!
Hope to see you at the event and please feel free to spread the word!
Starting Monday Nov 26th, 2012, Diamantina is launching a new online distribution method with a new platform called Tweli.
Tweli means “Things We Like” and its main focus is to create a higher interaction with consumers by focusing on exhibiting brands’ features and special uniqueness through the addition of videos.
Even though Tweli is still in Beta release, we wanted to update you on our latest venture and invite you to visit the website and share your feedback so we can continue to improve and build features that help create a better consumer experience.
To navigate the site simply go to http://www.tweli.com/diamantina
Hope you enjoy the site and the videos and special thanks to the Tweli team for making us part of their selection of designers!&
This coming Friday November 9th, 2012 Diamantina will be participating at a runway show in American University.
The event is open to the general public and Diamantina will be featuring its upcoming Fall/Winter Collection 2012/2013.
Come on by, mingle with fellow fashionistas and enjoy the work of great local designers.
Nov 9, 2012 - 7-9pm
American University (Tavern), Washington DC
This past weekend Diamantina made its debut at Weekend Boutique, a curated trunk show featuring handmade clothing and accessories. The show marked its second year anniversary in Silver Spring, Maryland.
Here's an extract of our conversation with Carolyn Edlund, who runs a website for emerging artists called The Arts Business Institute:
Handbag Designer Claudia Diamante
Claudia Diamante is a local handbag designer whose products are handcrafted for her in Argentina. She agreed with the consensus of the other designers.
“It’s been pretty successful. People are coming and know what they want,” she said. “If they like something, they’ll buy it. They appreciate local artists and good quality. They like to meet the designers. In my case, it’s a very unique line with one-of-a-kind pieces. It also supports a cause as I work with artisans in Argentina.”
For more information on artists who participated on the event click on the link below....and Enjoy!