Although she was born in Venice, Giuliana di Camerino lived in Switzerland during the Second World War, and it was here she began her career in fashion, making handbags. After the war, she returned to her home town and set up a company that created highly sought-after velvet satchels and leather bags. She named her company Roberta after her daughter. In the 1950s, Roberta di Camerino leather totes were regularly seen gracing the arms of starlets.
From here, she expanded her range so that it eventually included scarves, belts, gloves, shoes and women’s clothing. Roberta di Camerino items are considered cool and sophisticated, and vintage pieces are coveted pieces.
Mary Lipshut on Giuliana di Camerino
‘I remember the first time I saw Giuliana. I was on a railway station in Milan when I saw this incredibly tall, impeccably dressed woman with long dark hair. I couldn’t take my eyes off her. When I finished my train journey to Venice, I hopped into a water taxi and made my way to di Camerino’s home to buy her collection. She was the woman on the Milan train platform of course, and she was terribly distressed that she hadn’t shared her private water transport with the lady who’d been staring at her! I must admit I wasn’t surprised when I did learn who she was – she looked so fantastic I knew she must have something to do with fashion.
‘What I loved about Giuliana’s clothes was her use of fabric. She was the only one who was printing on velvet and jersey. Her clothes are so special - really unlike anyone else’s.’