Story and photos by Melinda Marie Smith
One mother’s past inspired the modern-day boutique Spazio.
Located at 50 Via Cagli, in Cagli, Italia, Spazio 50 is a small shop housing the latest in Italian fashion, shoes, and accessories. The boutique’s owner and designer, Beatrice Gramolini, grew up with an artist mother who encouraged her daughter’s delight for fashion.
In keeping with her family’s artistic tradition, curator Beatrice showcases her mother’s abstract painting as a centerpiece among the shop’s haute looks. These haute fashions include an original Beatrice-designed winter coat inspired by the Italian Renaissance. The coat is cape-like in shape, waist-height in length, and adorned with a bella weave of conceptual pink florals amid a rich cioccolato background.
Thirty years ago, Beatrice got her start at Accademia Koefia in Roma, Italia, where she discovered her passion for costume design. What she likes most about fashion, she says, is the creativity. Combining function with fashion poses a challenge, a mission in search of an endless combination of aesthetics that indicate an individual’s personality.
The store’s signature items are the shoes. Designed by Beatrice, these shoes combine a spectacular look with spectator design. The toe box on the canvas spectators is available in blue, orange, or red, and the pop of color provides a year-round reminder of painted toenails peaking out from sandals.
Beatrice’s shoe creations come in many style. One oxford comes with a gold snakeskin toe contrasted with a hot-pink heel. A denim oxford is embellished with butterfly and floral charms. A white leather oxford comes with a hand-painted image of a magenta rose on one shoe and the rolling waves of the deep blue sea on the other. These layers of brilliant color combined with texture, charming baubles, and colorful paint strokes exemplify Beatrice’s artistic expressions.
The chic shop has been open since June 2014. The majority of the shop houses woman’s clothing alongside a small, selection for stylish men. Nearly 100 percent of the retail is handcrafted in Italy.
It took the last 25 years in the design world for Beatrice to assemble the connections to build her business in her hometown. Her goal is to bring unfamiliar designers and new brands onto the local fashion scene. She has fresh styles principled in old-world education.
Beatrice says that her business is “bene” or good. Not only does she have a personal investment in the designs she offers, she also spends time creating a connection with her clients. She works one-on-one to help customers find their exact look.
Beatrice prides herself on going against the flow, or, in her words, “Contro Corrente,”
“Italy,” she says, “should have kept fashion a secret. We should have stayed more proud.”
As for her own success, she offers some simple business advice. “Do not think too much,” she says. “Trust what to do, and have the courage to do it,”