D. For Diana.
Meet Diana. Brazilian born, American raised, currently residing in Italy, Diana considers herself a global citizen, and as such, seeks to celebrate diversity by drawing inspiration from all cultures and incorporating ethnic elements into her designs.
Originally a self-taught artisan, Diana’s journey into the design world has been anything but conventional and definitely not easy. An Economics and International Studies major, once a personal fitness trainer, and an almost CIA agent turned corporate boss babe, Diana’s beginning as a handbag artisan and designer did not start until her mid-twenties when she took on a new hobby of teaching herself to sew. As her interest and skill increased, Diana wanted to keep stretching, so she enrolled in Salt Lake Community College’s Fashion Design program, taking one semester of sewing classes. In what she calls “a little bit of luck and perhaps divine intervention,” she stumbled upon bag making. She could never have expected to feel such joy and fulfillment from this newly found passion, but there she was. This wasn’t just a hobby anymore. She had found her dream job.
Her passion was kindled, and thus began her pursuit to further grow and master her craft in any way she could. After attending a leather working course at the Chicago School of Leather, she made the bone-shaking, life altering decision to quit her 9 to 5 corporate job and D. França Designs was born. Diana was scared, but never surer of her path. She spent the next year working on her craft and trying hard to make the next dream come true: to study leather bag making in the birthplace of it all—Italy. Her hard work paid off and her dream was realized. After attending a month-long intensive leather bag making course at the Accademia Riacci in Florence, Diana knew her new path was changing once again, making the brave choice to follow her call and move to Italy.
The artisan Diana of today is a culmination of her life’s experiences and she believes that her untraditional path has given her a different perspective and molded her into a better designer. Her biggest hope for the future is that as she continues to pursue her dream job, she is able to positively influence her community by using D. França Designs’ success to create fair economic opportunities, and to empower others to chase their own dreams.