Tuttigufi’s story is one that originates from a collection of buttons, which evolved into the creation of a range of small pieces of jewellery that people want to own and use as their everyday wardrobe companions. Tuttigufi’s animals, with their strange eyes, round bellies, pointed noses and little legs, are pin brooches, pendants and cufflinks in Bakelite, glass and metal, created by combining designer, vintage, precious and brightly-coloured buttons, which instantly catch your eye and trigger your passion to start collecting. Behind Tuttigufi and these unique, little objects, all with a serial number and warrantee certificate to guarantee product authenticity, lies Francesca Morini’s passion. We met Francesca and interviewed her at the last edition of Pitti Immagine’s Super fair that was set up in conjunction with Milan City Council, devoted to accessories and women’s prêt-à-porter, discovering that Tuttigufi has many fans, also among men!
How did you come up with your own range?
I collect old buttons, I have always loved collecting all kinds of buttons, even when I was a little girl; then I started going to markets, to look for more unusual things, buttons designed by important fashion designers or period pieces, also dating back to the Thirties, when objects truly were precious. Then, one day, I decided to start making things. My first idea was a brooch and the subject I chose was an owl, a symbolic animal. Today the collection also includes other animals, such as cats, dragonflies, penguins and beetles, but the owl remains the collection’s crown jewel.
Distinguishing features of your creations?
Each piece, which is numbered and certified, is unique and handmade exclusively by me. The buttons that make up my brooches range from the end of the Nineteenth Century to the Eighties. Every year, I create new collections to add to the best sellers. Today we have the Fashion range with buttons designed by the big fashion houses, the clock, with working clocks and many more.
The most rewarding moments of your job so far?
When people are thrilled and amused by my brooches and when I manage to make them smile.
Tell us about your spring/summer 2015 collection?
I intend to make the materials lighter, with resin and opal and transparent plastic. A new subject is about to come out and I will take care of the TUTTIGUFI part FOR HER AND FOR HIM, the For Her range includes rings, ear rings and necklaces, again with subjects made using buttons, while For Him I propose small brooches, cufflinks and tiepins.
Where does your inspirational input come from, what are your icons of reference and who do you think of while creating?
My greatest passion is still a time gone-by, when each item of clothing wasn’t complete without a beautiful brooch. I love looking through old magazines and watching old films, when women were so elegant and perfectly dressed, with immaculate hair!
Your ideal customer?
Anyone who appreciates art and is looking for something unique and sophisticated.
How important to you are fairs like the Super?
For me Super was confirmation that my dream was coming true, with countless foreign and Italian customers enthusiastically purchasing and re-stocking my range of jewellery every season and successfully offering it to their end customers!
A particular memory linked to this?
My first fair, my debut in the world of fashion. I’ll never forget that day, the instant acclaim from the buyers and large, international groups like H.P.France for Japan. Even the representatives of groups such as Max Mara and Fratelli Rossetti stopped to listen to my story and complimented me on my creations.