Getting to Know Luciana Rozenberg, Founder of Naissant NYC Handbag Line

From the clean lines that pay homage to modern architecture to the bold colors, textures, and metallic embellishments that defy societal expectations, Naissant’s handbags for Fall 2020 reflect a brand that is in constant evolution. Take a look at our Q&A session with Luciana Rozenberg to learn more about her life, career, and the badass girls who inspired her collection.

Luciana Rozenberg, Naissant NYC founder

Luciana Rozenberg

Founder Of Naissant NYC + Designer Behind Their Handbags For Fall 2020
Q: When did you realize that you were interested in becoming a designer?
A: I grew up surrounded by architects – my parents, my sister, my aunt – and from a very young age, I was immersed in a very aesthetic world. One day I remember asking my dad why he decided to become an architect, and he said, “The idea of changing the landscape of a city is the greatest gift someone could have”, and I just never forgot that.

Going to construction sites was a common activity after school, and seeing the evolution from the ground up was always so mesmerizing to me. I would particularly enjoy going to the sites when the construction was almost done, and it was time for the paint and furniture to come; enjoying that so much is what made me realize I wanted to become a designer. The idea of imagining something, and then seeing its realization, is still an incredible feeling.
Q: How did those experiences lead you to a career in the fashion industry?
A: When I was fifteen years old I had the urge to be different than everyone else, so I started embroidering and sewing my own clothing. The whole process, from choosing the fabrics to designing the piece and sewing it, was so enjoyable that I decided that I wanted to pursue a career in fashion.
I moved to Buenos Aires to pursue a degree in fashion design, and in my second year at school, I decided to move to England for a few months and work as a design intern at a vintage couture store. London has had such an important role in the history of fashion, and I was more inspired and determined than ever to become a fashion designer. The interesting thing to me is that I never really dreamed about becoming a designer for any of the big fashion houses; I always dreamt about having my own line.
That is when I had my second realization: I was going to move to New York and learn everything about the fashion business.
While in NY, I was an intern at Zac Posen for almost a year and then at Marchesa, where I had the chance to work directly with Keren Craig; she hired me as an embroidery designer eight months after I finished school and completed my internship. I still remember the feeling when I saw two of the dresses I had worked on on the runway of the NY Fashion Week. I remember raising my hands thinking, “Oh my God, I made it!” It was just perfect…
Q: That sounds like an incredible journey! How did you transition from your career at Marchesa to launching your own collection of edgy handbags for Fall 2020?
A: I’ve always been obsessed with handbags; I love them, I own a lot, and I use them all! After years of working in the couture fashion sector, I realized I wanted to create and design products that would allow me to change how women perceive their accessories. Many times, I’ve found that the accessories I wore were very cool, but very uncomfortable. As a designer myself, I didn’t want to compromise style for functionality…but I couldn’t find the right formula anywhere. That’s when I realized I would have to do it myself. 
Q: Describe Naissant’s collection of handbags for Fall 2020 and the women that they were designed for.
A: The Naissant collection is composed of a series of bags that are not just edgy, but functional as well. Our handbags and small accessories were designed to go hand in hand with your daily activities without having to compromise your signature style. We wanted to create that effortless French look, while capturing the empowering personality of women.
I’m very proud to say that I surround myself with women that I deeply admire. All of them are powerful, smart, driven women that are not afraid of taking risks and going for what they want in their personal and professional lives. I’ve designed this collection for the bold women out there who, when they are older, will look back at their lives and think “Wow, what a ride!”
Q: You said that Naissant was also inspired by your family and friends – tell us more about these badass girls.
A: It starts with the person who helped me become who I am today – my mother. She is not only insanely beautiful, but also extremely smart, highly respected in her field, and very successful. I couldn’t be prouder of being her daughter! But I also have to say that she is not the only one in the family; I grew up surrounded by women like my mom.
There’s an ongoing joke in my family that there are too many cooks in the kitchen, because there are so many women, and we all have something to say. So we’re a family of strong-minded and empowered women.
I have to say that my friends are pretty amazing too! I lived in five different cities throughout my life, and I got the chance to meet incredible people in each of those cities. I’ve learned over time that strength doesn’t always look the same for each woman; their career goals and personal interests might be different, but that doesn’t mean that each of them can’t embody different aspects of being strong, badass women.
They all became pieces in a puzzle, and I ended up putting the collection together by thinking of these women. I wanted to honor them since they helped me become who I am today.
Q: One of the key features of this collection is its versatility, the way that your products can be combined to make the best handbag/accessory for each buyer. How did you come up with that idea?
A: The first product I designed was The Mina Tote – in essence, it’s a stylish, high-quality handbag that has the added plus of being absolutely functional. This came from my obsession with organization; I just couldn’t stand not being able to have a good-looking bag that was functional at the same time. And Kelly – my first roommate in NY – was my muse.
While I was designing the collection, I started playing with the idea of taking functional accessories to the next level, and that is when the belt bags and the wallet sets became part of it. I wanted to give women the ability to customize, mix, match, and play according to their own rules. I wanted them to find the formula that worked for their lifestyle, and not become subject to whatever brands tell them.
Q: And what are some of your favorite handbags from the Fall 2020 collection?
A: Difficult question – I honestly use them all! But the ones I find myself using the most are the Celeste Wallet Triad, the Paloma Box Bag, and Ciana Belt Bag Triad. I find all these to be really comfortable, especially because of the hands-free feature.
Q: Naissant has forged some amazing partnerships. Tell us more about these organizations, and why their work is important to you.
Answer: At the moment we have two partnerships. One of them focuses on helping marginalized children get access to quality education, particularly adolescent girls living in fragile and conflict-affected settings, and the other helps businesses achieve carbon neutrality; they support three main types of carbon offset projects: renewable energy, energy efficiency, and forestry.
When I started putting together my business plan, I knew I wanted to give back to people and the planet. Supporting girls’ education is very close to my heart, I strongly believe in giving girls and women the ability to choose. I wish that all women could choose what they want to become, and if I can help even a little bit, I will.
When designing my collection, I chose my materials very carefully to deliver the best quality possible; that is why I chose vegetable-tanned leather, and used hardware that is nickel-free and plated with 12-carat gold. The packaging I chose is made out of recycled materials and it’s also 100% recyclable, so the only part that was missing was the shipping. That is when, after a lot of research, I found an organization that offers an assessment to determine your carbon footprint. According to that number, we will make a donation at the end of the year that will help with reforestation and improving energy efficiency.
Q: You’ve poured so much of yourself into Naissant’s handbags for Fall 2020 – what do you love most about being the designer behind this collection?
A: I love the quote that says “If you can imagine it, you can achieve it. If you can dream it, you can become it”; this is something that I keep in mind every day. Having an idea, putting it on paper, and seeing someone wearing it…it’s such an amazing feeling that still gives me chills. I told you that I asked my father once why he decided to become an architect, and his answer was, “Being able to shape and change the landscape of a city is the greatest gift someone can have.” Even though I’m not changing cities, I’m changing people.
Fashion also has some superficial notions tied to it, but I believe that it is much more than clothing. I see fashion as an expression of who you are, and I love being able to create something new that will allow women to express themselves in a different way.
Q: And how do you want women to feel when they’re wearing your edgy handbags + accessories?
A: I want them to feel like they can become the women they aspire to be, whatever their goals are. If they want it, the world can be theirs!
You deserve a wardrobe that will help you do it all. Take a look at our line of handbags for Fall 2020, from modular totes and wallet sets to crossbody bags for badass.
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