Batia "Baci" Rutenberg - Meet the Designer
This is the story of the international designer at the heart Baci Fashion. Get to know how she started Baci, what inspires her and why Baci has become the renowned brand that it is today.
"Growing up, I had two extremely talented grandmothers who came to Israel from Europe after WWII. One of them was a remarkable seamstress and embroiderer - she used to sew bedclothes from white cotton and make lace that was completely decorated with handmade embroidery. The other was exceptional at restoring old furniture, knitting, crocheting, sewing and designing clothes. I always looked forward to being around them and studied all of their skills from a very young age. Their creativity made me what I am today.
For my 12th birthday I asked my parents for a sewing machine - a very unusual wish, but I was so happy with my present!! In the 8th grade, my friends told me I would be a jeans designer when I grew up. I used to drag my dad to "Haifa Port" to buy jeans from sailors that brought them back to Israel from abroad. Back then we only had local brands, but I had my sights set on owning a pair of Levi's or Wrangler. One day, I went with my dad and bought a pair of jeans and a denim jacket, but the Levi's "Red label" jeans had no stone wash and the material was very stiff, so when we got back home, I took my brother and neighbors and sat them down with stones to scrub the jeans by hand. From that point on, everyone wanted those "handmade stone wash jeans" I had made because you just couldn't find them anywhere.
Times differed greatly back then. There were no boutiques and very little access to fashion accessories. I managed to produce some unique and outstanding garments for myself and it became very clear that I was drawn to fashion and style. I consider it an integral part of my DNA, a gift I was born with. For 40 years I've been a fashion designer and I am proud to be one of the founders of BACI fashion.
How did Italy come into my life? Italy speaks the ultimate romantic language which includes fashion, design, style, food and wine - it's a lifestyle statement.
I was exposed to Italy when I was a young girl when a new Italian family came to live in our neighborhood. They were a family of 5 that moved from Venice to Israel. Our families became very close and were good friends, we became one big family. They used to speak Italian and I was enchanted by the language - all I wanted was for them to teach me how to speak. Italian cuisine ruled in their house and I was exposed to such amazing, colorful and superbly tasty dishes. The mother and grandmother looked like Sophia Loren and would wear Italian fashion, comb their hair the Italian way... When I was with them I felt like I was in an Italian movie that was directed by Vittorio De Sica or Federico Fellini! Their clothes were so meticulous - the material, sewing and style were so precise! Italy is the birthplace of elegance. It's everywhere you turn. Italians pay a lot of attention to what they wear, how they look, the aesthetics of their food and wine, car design, and of course their architecture and art. The people's precise styling of their clothing on a regular basis is admirable - even the policemen and flight attendants' uniform is impressive! My goal with Baci Fashion is to bring the "Italian Way" to my customers around the world. That "Italian Way" which emphasizes beauty, aesthetics and design - La Dolce Vita.