Niccolò Biddau tells the story of Pulchra
The first thing that probably strikes you when you meet Niccolò Biddau are his eyes.
Or rather: it is his way of looking. Perhaps being behind a camera for such a long time stimulates the eye to observe, or perhaps, who knows, it was the very need to observe beyond what can be seen that led Niccolò to become a photographer.
He started to take his first photos when he was 9 with a Kodak Instamatic and then, as a young man, after travels with a backpack and a camera in various parts of the world he decided that that would be his profession.
Existential journeys are often fascinating: he started his career in fashion, to then work in design, architecture and industry and now, after 30 years in the profession, he has returned to fashion, but in a very different role.
It is photography, especially analogue photography of the 20th century that has inspired the first collection of Biddau bags.
How did the idea come into being?
Photography today is increasingly relegated to smartphones, but until quite a while ago, the camera and lenses were important objects, protected in cases made from various materials, designed for their maximum functionality. These cases became the basis of the inspiration for the creation of our first bag, which relives the sense of those containers, in a new and contemporary way.
How do these old cases fascinate you?
The experience of a world full of exploration, travel, the desire to capture places, scenery and to create an imagination through photography. And then as an object it is wonderful to think of how many journeys it has made, how many places it has been to, where it was put down, how many people have looked at it.
You are a photographer, you have published many books and had exhibitions. What made you, together with your partner Stefania, set up a new company, which takes so much work and fundamentally in such a different sector from your experience?
We always have to look for new stimuli, this is the starting point.
After all, it is not so far removed from the work of a photographer, because both have their origins in aesthetic research.
Here beauty lies in creating something that does not exist and taking it to completion through a process of creation and production, which I knew about thanks to the many jobs I had done in Italian factories. This is where the passage is: from having photographed all these situations to creating one directly.
Photography and making a bag are both creative actions or not?
Let’s say that they are two passages in sequence with, however, very different implications: making a bag means creating a shape, which did not exist before; taking a photo means reading and interpreting that shape, which effectively already exists.
In the project of a family business, how have you shared the tasks? What value do each of you bring to the project?
Stefania and I started out with very different skills (she comes from the management of international events and I come, as you know, from photography). Here our professional experiences are complementary and can give a unique form and real strength to our work.
Who are you thinking of when you think of your bag being worn?
I think of a woman who in shapes looks for an aesthetic and functional value. She is a woman who in choosing an item of clothing or a bag or an accessory, wants to stand out from the ordinary masses to truly express herself.
If you were to give the first Pulchra as a gift, who would you give it to and with what dedication?
I will certainly give it to my daughter, Beatrice, and inside the bag I will put a note saying: In life, always try to look at the horizon and new things without ever forgetting how many beautiful things have been made in the past.