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But just over a decade later, an epiphany would alter her destiny, defining the natural evolution of a niche clothing collection into what would become one of the world's first lifestyle brands.
On a trip to India with her daughter Ida, Lisa rediscovered the rich sensorial colours, fabrics and textures of the markets that had animated her childhood in Eritrea, and returned to Europe with a new passion – the art of block printing. In the mid-1980s, the Home Textile Emporium was established, attracting renowned designers and artists such as Elio Fiorucci and Michelangelo Antonioni, inaugurating a new leg on Lisa's journey
Today, with her home and atelier located in the vibrant, multicultural neighbourhood of Porta Venezia, Lisa divides her time between India and Italy, relentlessly exploring the art and culture of beauty and adding new designs to her unique aesthetic.
Lisa Corti continues to be a family-run company, but above all, Lisa Corti is a modern, transgenerational and distinctly feminine story. Now CEO and artistic director, Lisa's daughter Ida grew up alongside the brand - from that first trip to India to the birth of the first patterns, and writes the present and future chapters of the group.
A cat with many more than nine lives, the cat in the logo really existed: Milla was indeed Lisa's pet Siamese at the time of the company's creation. Painted by her partner, the artist Angelo Barcella - whose works enrich the Emporium and workshop, the cat was instinctively adopted as the company's symbol, happily going against the rules of more corporate images, evolving through the years to reflect the spirit of Lisa Corti: a brand that was born in a home.
As in every family, Lisa Corti's world is characterized by special traditions that over the years have become trademarks of her brand, and there are two in particular: her calendars and postcards. Capturing and celebrating moments in time, memories and journeys through imaginary worlds, these collectible gifts are created to inspire and bring joy to friends of the brand, all year long. Each unique Lisa Corti calendar is hand crafted from upcycled offcuts of blockprinted fabric from the current collection and artisanal flower-petal paper, while the postcards, created by Lisa, sometimes with the contribution of artist friends, reflect little worlds of colour and creativity in a condensed vision of the brand's eclectic harmony.