Gabriele Corto Moltedo, the founder of Florence-based fashion label [Corto](https://corto.com) aspires to make sense of the world through its edges, outlines, and where it all intersects. Moltedo is constantly inspired by the silhouettes and shapes he sees in the every day to create his artisanal crafted bags. Transcending the legacy that was placed before him, he has departed on his own path of creative autonomy over his ideations.
Honoring the history of artisanal crafting that has flourished in Florence, Moltedo hopes to bring modernity to his creations, while keeping with the traditional quality craftsmanship of luxury bag making. On the basis of the lifestyle he is designing for, Moltedo shares, “It is every day when you get up and go to work, but also the leisure aspect is always in these galleries. It is the thing we do for our enjoyment after.”
_Flaunt_ had the chance to sit down with the designer while he was in Paris to talk about the beginnings of Corto and the inspirations behind his geometric designs.
**I kind of want to start at the beginning with you, and ask how you found your affinity for design?**
I have always wanted to design. My parents had done their stint with Bottega Veneta. They worked their whole life, and once they sold the company, I had the opportunity to start my own company. My parents asked, ‘Do you want to work with us or do your thing?’ I had been working with them but at a certain point, I was put into the position to start my own. I wanted to continue the family tradition but with my own ideas.
I started with bags, clothes, and shoes. I realized it was too much and decided I would stick to what I know best. It funneled down into those two bags. I had always wanted to be in the middle of music and art, and fashion is the center piece in which you can mix and take references, and create a product for everyday use.
**Going back and forth between Paris and Italy, how do the cultures interconnect and inspire your design?**
I fell in love with Paris in college and I decided to stay there. I really had an affinity for the city and I studied French my whole life. When I got here, after three weeks I realized I could speak it. You know when you studied your whole life, but never practiced it. I could get around. I decided that was my place.
At the moment, and for the past 10 years I have been between Florence and Paris, taking from both cultures. They are some of the most beautiful places in the world, and to be surrounded by it constantly, it pushes you to be very specific. Traveling in between those two cities to do better. Florence is a small town with just walking and history. Every time I'm in Florence, I get out of my house and cross the bridge. You feel that there is artisans, and everyone is doing their trade. I could have gone to to Venetian region where my parents had their infrastructure, but I wanted to start fresh and not have that tie in.
**I think I know what you're talking about. I do feel very inspired when I’m walking the streets of Paris or in Italy, where all these amazing artists have come from. Maybe there is just something in the air there.**
I need to get out of there sometimes, because it’s beautiful and maybe too much so. You need a little modern and to break away from that because if not you're more of a conservator than an innovation. In Italy you can’t just build a new house, you have to renovate what you have. Always maintaining it to what the conservationists say and it can be stifling, to not being able to build new things. There is always that dialogue of getting inspiration and bringing it back.
**What does quality craftsmanship mean to you?**
I have a very hands-on approach. I love working with my pattern maker. And that aspect of the job is probably one of the things that I like the most now because that is like the architecture of the product itself. Within my more constructed bags, there are various materials that go into the piece, with the structure. Working alongside her, and always telling her to try to reduce what we put inside to make it the leanest, but also something that can last through time without looking rugged after. Even finding that and industrializing that process, is what is a really fun part for me. There are always material innovations and the bonding of them. Finding the balance is something I really enjoy. On top of that, finding the design with myself and the team. I think that is what the artisan aspect is for me because art has evolved into all these things. The dialogue between me and the pattern maker, and the person who is prototyping is that modern artisanship of coming together.
**How do your design inspirations come to you?**
It comes out of conversation and geometric shapes. Recently, it has come out of design and architecture. I start seeing things not for what they are. Sometimes I see things as vase shapes. I have pieces that come from looking at mineral stones. It comes from everywhere. Recently we have been doing a lot of digital printing, and printing on our basic shapes. The shapes become lesser and then print becomes what you are looking at. It comes from the mood of the day.
**Who is the person you are designing for?**
These days, she's been going to a lot of art exhibits, but she has been going to them her whole life. It is the travel for art situation. Now it is more for when you actually have time to enjoy. It is everyday when you get up and go to work, but also the leisure aspect is always in these galleries. It is the thing we do for our enjoyment after. She is musing herself with what somebody else has done and appreciating somebody else’s art.
**What is next for you?**
Lots of collaborations. That is what we have been doing the last couple of years. These past ones have been very fun.