Maria Sole Cecchi

Creative Director, Les Petits Joueurs. Florence

By: Emily Ramshaw
Styling: Emily Ramshaw
Photography: Renée Rodenkirchen

We met Maria Sole Cecchi for the very first time in the blur of a weekend that was Erica Pelosini's Capri wedding, where, as one of the bridesmaids, she was always in one custom dress or another (Mary Katrantzou and Peter Dundas for Emilio Pucci, natch). So it kind of felt like some version of sartorial serendipity when we booked a trip to her hometown (that would be Florence, Italy) and then ran into her on our very first evening in town. In other words, a full-blown closet shoot couldn’t not go down.

Our commitment to the cause found us squished into the backseat of a tiny Italian car, driving through appropriately tiny and twisting streets, before we found ourselves at the door of Cecchi’s family home, high in the hills around Florence. Following a tour through her thoroughly modern digs (indoor plunge pool, solarium and poker room included), she took us up to her loft of a closet, where she was not only keeping Balmain, Prada and Jimmy Choos by the armful, but an outsized collection of some of the best handbags we’ve ever seen.

Because, don’t forget, on top of being a girl about Florence (and Brazil and Paris—yeah, she’s one of those Europeans-of-the-world types), Cecchi is also the founder and designer of Les Petit Joueurs. You know: those Lego-embellished, exclamatory and emoji laden (WOW, LOVE, YEAH, :sunglasses:, :panda_face:, :heart:) bags toted around the international fashion weeks by the likes of Helena Bordon, Elisa Nalin, Elina Halimi and Pelosini herself. Yeah, we want one—we want all of them. And, as any designer should, Cecchi pretty much has every bag she’s ever made. But when you get your start by pasting your friend’s Lego blocks onto a black clutch, well, hoarding your Tuscan-made collection (now sold at Bergdorfs, Shopbop and Le Bon Marché after just two years in business—NBD) only makes sense.