Jonas Clason and Maj-La Pizzelli first met in the late 80’s at legendary Swedish fashion brand and retail stores Gul & Blå. Each recognizing in the other a passion for style rather than fashion. They went their separate ways, spending the next two decades learning the business and honing their talents before finally bumping into each other at exactly the right time, in exactly the right place.
And then there is Otranto. A small medieval Italian town, clinging precariously to a cliff in the south in Puglia. The countryside is mountainous and fresh. The coast lined with beaches, the water crystal clear. It’s the classic Italian town, with cafés and ice cream bars and restaurants, you know the sort. Elegant in a lived-in, comfortable kind of way with everyday life just going on around you. People going about their businesses, being together. We like that.
There’s a village just south of town, in a small bay. Take the village road and the restaurant is easy to find, right above the beach. Whitewashed with fluorescent lights and a plastic roof. Paper plates with fried squid, sea urchins, tiny sardines and anchovies caught fresh by local fishermen. A crisp white wine to wash it down with. Simple, elegant and delicious.
So what does Otranto have to do with shoes? Everything.
This is where Maj-La and Jonas spent a leisurely month with families and friends, a few years ago. Walking through town they found a small studio making sandals. Everyone got a pair and wore little else for the rest of the summer. And that’s what sparked the idea of ATP ATELIER.