Arteana: Meet the luxury footwear brand with a focus on sustainability | Luxury Lifestyle Magazine

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Driven by the passion of her dreams, Aquazzura alumni Veselina Chebanova launched her designer footwear brand Arteana in 2019. The timeless, playful shoe designs are skilfully handcrafted, sensibly sourced and responsibly produced by the finest Italian artisans who learned their heritage craft passed down from one generation to the next. The stunning footwear is now collected by celebrities, leading luxury department stores, fashion connoisseurs and royalty.

We sat down with Veselina to find out a little more about her luxury footwear brand.

Tell us about yourself and what inspired you to start Arteana.

I was born into a loving family as the third and youngest of three sisters. My mom is a tailor, and my father is an engineer. I took after my mother’s love for craftsmanship, and after my father’s optimism. I studied math and physics in school, but what I always dreamed of was being in fashion. After devoting eight years to the study of the art and design of the luxury fashion industry at the world’s most prestigious fashion institutions, including Polimoda in Florence, I joined Aquazzura, a luxury footwear brand based in Florence when it was just founded by Edgardo Osorio. It was the greatest experience that allowed me to start Arteana. 

Arteana models
The luxury footwear brand Arteana is the epitome of Italian ‘savoir faire’

Protecting craftsmanship and artisan heritage was one of my main motivators to launch Arteana in 2019. Since then craft has been the beating heart of Arteana and we work closely with artisans every season to represent their craft in our footwear.

Describe to me the typical Arteana consumer.

Most of our customers are successful women who value originality and elegance highly in their wardrobes as they typically dress in a classic, stylish, and sophisticated way. Most of them are conscious of their choices and very supportive of brands that integrate sustainability and ethical production methods in their ethos. I should also mention that most of our clients have a high degree of loyalty and return for their second and third pairs often in the same season. Both as a founder and a designer, this is the most wonderful feeling imaginable and I feel truly blessed to receive that level of trust from our clients. 

Arteana incorporates sensible sourcing, why is this important to you?

I really hope that in a few years sustainable materials and sensible sourcing will be the only way to do fashion. As a premium fashion brand, we have the opportunity to use high-quality, durable materials and a responsibility to educate customers on why the product is priced the way it is and be 100% transparent about the materials we use and the supply chain we work with.

Small adjustments to the mix of materials can significantly change the environmental footprint. Just upgrading from cheaper conventional cotton to premium organic cotton reduces the waste of fresh water by 90% and energy consumption by 62%.

Arteana luxury shoes
A delicious blend of Mediterranean effortlessness combined with ‘la dolce vita’, each shoe is imbued with a zest for life and timeless elegance

Because of this, we’ve diligently spent months searching for materials to ensure high sustainable standards throughout our supply chain and all materials in our collections have been hand-picked from sustainable suppliers in Italy.

What is your favorite part of designing Arteana shoes as well as the most challenging part?

The most exciting and challenging part at the same time is to work with artisans and understand how we can transform their craft into a pair of shoes. All our designs are inspired by antique artisan techniques where a few, such as the ancient technique ‘Merletto di Burano’ which inspired our signature Amalfi 75 mule, are only mastered by 30 remaining artisans in a small town close to Venice, Italy. So, for me, the exciting challenge really becomes; how do you scale handmade production involving antique artisan techniques to satisfy the demand of our end consumers without compromising the quality?

The footwear industry is saturated with luxury brands, what sets Arteana apart? 

Our commitment to craftsmanship and artisanality mixed with timeless design makes Arteana stand out as a luxury brand. We believe in a future with craft, enriched by the creativeness of the art of hand making, and so we strive to support artisans and contribute to a vibrant community of craftsmen by bringing additional demand for their antique artisan techniques.

Arteana designer footwear
Veselina Chebanova’s timeless, playful shoe designs are skilfully handcrafted by the finest Italian artisans who learned their heritage craft passed down from one generation to the next, blending age-old techniques with modern artisanal technology and impeccable Florentine craftsmanship

Who and where do you get your design inspiration from?

I love vintage clothes and old cinematography. I spend a lot of time discovering small vintage shops in Florence and around Italy trying to find little treasures of the past. When I design our collections, I always have a particular woman in my mind. I carefully think about what she is doing during the day, what she will wear next season, and where she’s planning to travel for her vacation. How would she prefer our colours to be next season and would she prefer flats, kitten heels or high heels? At this moment, I’m very excitedly working on an ‘Après-ski’ capsule collection for the upcoming autumn/winter season that, for quite some time now, has been requested by our clients.

If you had to pick one piece from Arteana to wear for the rest of your life, what would you choose?

I’d choose our Roma flats since they are amazingly comfortable and easy to style. I’m already wearing them non-stop all around summer in Tuscany but would probably need to choose our new gorgeous Siena 95 suede bootie to make sure that I stay warm and stylish for winter.

Veselina Chebanova
Driven by the passion of her dreams, Aquazzura alumni Veselina Chebanova launched her designer footwear brand Arteana in 2019. 

What is one goal you have for Arteana?

To make a difference for the artisan community we are working with. Our brand currently touches the lives of more than 30 artisans. A fact that makes us proud and we hope to continue to grow our family of artisans season by season. 

What is next for Arteana and yourself?

The next step for Arteana will be finding a way to bring our luxury footwear to more partners and clients in the United States. We’re working hard on finding the right partners but, being based in Italy, it is challenging to discover the correct match of multi-brand boutiques that share Arteana’s values and aesthetics. The US is our fastest growing direct-to-consumer market and I’d just love to share the opportunity to experience the stunning look and great quality of our shoes in real life. So who knows, maybe I will be so fortunate that my next step will be to spend a lot more time in the United States soon.

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