Authentic, well-travelled and rooted in culture; this is the story of Batia Rutenberg, the designer, creator, and change-maker behind the renowned Baci brand. From humble beginnings and her grandmothers craft, we get to know her journey, inspirations, and the pinnacle moments that lead to her success today.
B:Growing up, I had two incredibly talented grandmothers that travelled from Europe to Israel after WWII. One of them was a remarkable seamstress and embroider. She could sew absolutely anything, from white cotton bedclothes to handmade embroidered lace. My other grandmother was a jack of many handy trades – old furniture restorations, knitting, crocheting, sewing, and clothing design, you name it! I suppose my purpose was born through my curiosity for my grandmothers craft. Through studying and admiring their skills, their passion, and their makings; I discovered a childlike sense of wonder for creativity.
B:For my 12th birthday, I asked my parents for a very unusual gift – a sewing machine. I loved it and started learning how to sew immediately! Jeans were my favorite source of creativity back then. When I was 14 years old, my friends predicted that I would become a jeans designer because I used to drag my dad to Haifa Port to buy jeans from the sailors. Although we only had local denim brands, I always had my sights set on Levi’s and Wrangler, the fancy jeans made of quality. One day, my dad bought a pair of Levi jeans and a denim jacket but although premium quality, the fabric was too stiff without the wonderful worn and washed feeling of handmade. This is when I got to work! Committed to the fashion grind, I invited my brother and neighbors outside to help me scrub the jeans with stones we found in the garden. I will never forget it, from that moment on, everyone in the community wanted handmade stonewash jeans. I guess my friends predicted well, I would indeed become a jeans designer one day.
B:The romantic language of lovers, fashion, design, style, food, and wine – Italy speaks to my soul. I was first exposed to the Italian way when I was a little girl. A new Italian family moved from Venice to our neighborhood in Israel. Our families became neighbors, good friends and eventually one big extended family. I was very lucky back then, I had the privilege of immersing myself in their language, delicious cuisine and of course, their classic style. I was so intrigued by the Italian lifestyle, from the meticulous clothing and cherry-red wine to the earthy architecture and renaissance art, everything radiated with elegance, precision, and cultured beauty. And so, it’s through this experience and deep admiration for Italian living that I decided to infuse the ‘Italian way’ into the lives of my customers through simple, authentic, and meticulous design. Emphasizing beauty, aesthetics, and art, the Baci brand was created to depict a very rich culture of simple living.