Newly launched Italian e-shop Fatto-Bene (literally translated as 'well made') bills itself as ‘a heaven for the object-obsessed’, and is built like an archive of everyday life items that most Italians know and love. The selection includes childhood staples and regional favorites, exemplifying superb craftsmanship, design ingenuity and longstanding traditions.
The venture was launched by journalist Anna Lagorio and photographer Alex Carnevali, who traveled throughout their native country to discover a wealth of traditional objects and products that together make up a visual history of local customs, traditions and gestures. ‘We started collecting everyday items during a holiday in Basilicata and Calabria,’ explain the couple. ‘In Italy we are surrounded by objects with a long history: here, even if you buy a soap, you have the possibility to choose between something ordinary and something special, like an original art deco one.’
Many traditional manufacturers, explain the pair, have hit rough times due to the recent financial crisis, so Fatto-Bene aims at gathering their exceptional products to celebrate them and promote their excellence. ‘We want to create a new awareness of our material culture: these items owe their longevity to their quality, which is outstanding,’ say Lagorio and Carevali. Their packaging is also a work of art, they add, which is an added bonus.
To pay tribute to these objects (which range from soaps and grooming products to games like the legendary Crystal Ball or Modiano playing cards), the duo has enlisted Milan-based studio Actant Visuelle, who through a clean-cut design and stunning imagery has given a contemporary dimension to the ever-growing collection.
Fatto-Bene's online retail space also acts as a kind of micro-encyclopaedia: as well as a detailed description of each piece, the site also suggests further reading that expand on the origins and techniques behind each item. These companies, explain the two founders, ‘were strong enough to survive two world wars, but now they are disappearing. We want to invert this process.’