Designer Patricia Vincent is another creative spirit I was lucky enough to meet while in Vienna. I felt Patricia's warmth and charm immediately when I met her at her beautiful studio in the suburb of Sievering in Vienna.
Patricia showed me around her lovely studio - well stocked with handmade, unique clothing and accessories for women that she makes individually using natural materials like silk, cotton, and leather. She told me that it is very important to her to use the very best quality materials in all of her designs.
Patricia just moved into her studio about 15 months ago after working for 4 years in a shared studio near the MuseumsQuartier in Vienna. She is very happy to have much more space and natural light now. If you are in Vienna and would like to see her designs, you can visit her at Sieveringer Str. 18/4. Although Patricia is usually there working long hours, it is best to call ahead or email to make an appointment. Contact information is available here on Patricia's portfolio website.
Her bags are all so lovely - how can one choose? I am happy to say that I now own one of Patricia's bags, and I love it. I'm carrying it with me on every trip of my 12 Countries project! Each extremely well made bag is one-of-a-kind and is made using a different combination of materials and colors. You can find a big collection of her bags online in her new Etsy shop here.
Patricia told me that the inspiration for her pieces comes from watching people and films and thinking about what she would like to wear personally. She wants her bags to be "practical, yet eye-catching" and describes her style as "understated and feminine." She makes every piece herself by hand - from the patterns and design to the cutting, sewing, and stitching.
Yet Patricia's path was not always an easy one. Patricia grew up during the Ceausescu dictatorship in Romania. As the daughter of a Ukranian mother and Nigerian father, Patricia and her twin sister suffered extreme discrimination because of their mixed racial background during the regime.
Patricia's mother even lost her job as a teacher and Patricia and her family were victims of violent racially motivated attacks during the dictatorship. However, her mother was very strong and Patricia says. "She was a fighter and this is what I took from her, the spirit of justice."
After the dictatorship, conditions improved dramatically for the family. Patricia's mother regained her teaching position and Patricia went to an prestigious high school and later studied Business Management in Bucharest.
However, a trip to Vienna in 2002 changed everything. Patricia fell in love with the city, and she is now very happy to call Vienna her home. She told me, "Vienna is peaceful, green, the air is fresh, the streets are clean, the architecture is very beautiful and individual, and each district has a special atmosphere." She went on to say that she feels, "Women are very respected here and Vienna gives me the freedom to be creative."
Patricia has started a wonderful new blog called Seams and Chronicles, where she shares more about her fascinating life story as well as her creative work process.
She writes, "My profession is one of the best things in my life and I feel so blessed having the opportunity to discover and start to love it at a relatively early age. My love and passion for it gives me strength, confidence... and nobody can take it away."
Thank you Patricia for sharing with us! I know your new Etsy shop and blog are going to be a success!