Cake Couture is the first Italian brand of cake design. It has been created in 2008 by Donatella Lorato, stylist, events’ organizer, image adviser and AtelierE20 srl’s owner with the main base in Milan and others in Chiasso, Como, Lugano, Roma, Bari and New York.
Interview to Donatella Lorato
I’ve read online that you are a stylist, a wedding designer, an events’ organizer and sometimes also a writer for fashion magazines.. How it’s possible to have a similar career?
“it’s a beautiful question… my suggestion is to study something about organizing at university for the part which concerns the organizational aspect: a course about events’ organizing is surely the best way. Then it’s important to gain experience in this specific field for the scenographic and creative part.”
So do you think that my course at university (Economy and Management for art, culture and communication) could be appropriate for this?
Doing all this things can you find time also for your private life?
“like for all the things that you do with passion the private life becomes well intersected with the professional life”
The cakes’ designer profession is mainly popular in foreign countries but not in Italy: in your opinion why nobody before you had never thought about this?
“First of all the wedding design is already a part of the profession than today concerns the wedding world: we have started to know what is a wedding planner but not what is a wedding designer. The wedding design is a profession with Anglo-Saxon origins: it’s a tradition that they had been since over 30 years. Here it’s not developed because we have a tradition and a culture absolutely Latin in which the presence of the family dominates in the wedding organization. For this reason I’m convinced that here this profession will never be popular like in the USA or in England: we have different traditions. We can only be a “support”, but we’ll never attain their level.”
So why you have decided to start this activity?
“Well.. it’s happened: I work for fashion and I have designed a collection which is became a bridal collection. People started to ask me some advices and I started to give its them. I have ever organized events and this has been a natural process.”
You are also a teacher for a wedding planning course (Certificate in Event Management of the European School of Economics), what do you think about these courses?
“About my course I think very well.. because it’s mine! It’s more serious and it has a duration that today no other courses of this sector have and it is certified by a British authority. It’s serious. I don’t think the same thing about all the others small seminars of Saturday morning.”
The career on this sector can be considered a profitable career or not?
“yes … but today it’s a little bit taken by assault and for this reason there is a big flood of people that think that with some contacts they can become wedding planners”
In your opinion what is the reason of Cake Couture’s success?
“cake couture’s success is due to the matching of a culture and a very fashion conception of the sweet scenography to the job of good confectioners. I’m not a confectioner: I’ve created a brand which has become glamorous simply because it is designed by someone who deals with design. “
So do you think that if you hadn’t been already integrated in this sector cake coture would not have reached as much popularity?
What is exactly the activity of the cake designer?
“The cake designer is internationally a confectioner who delights in realizing complex creations. In Italy it doesn’t exist because confectioners are only confectioners and not designers. I have simply linked the two professions, so I’m able to design decorations but not to make cakes (even I’m not interested in it). I create everything you find on the cake which make it special.”
What are your inspirations?
“I’m inspired by a lot of things: the interpretation of the requests, tendencies, incentives, ideas and most of all fashion”
What are the essential features of your creations?
“Surely a fashion touch, a lot of black and white, an haute couture inspiration: a flower, a feather, a Swarosvki, a ribbon.. However an accessorize not sweet on the cake.”
How much does your designed cake cost compared to a common wedding cake bought in a bakery?
“it depends: there are some confectioners very very good and appreciated that create cakes for the same money of my creations. The confectioner as we know isn’t able to make designed cakes because it isn’t an Italian tradition.”
So is our idea of the designed cake as a luxury product incorrect?
“Mhm.. yes.. also because today unfortunately designed cakes are too imitated and this had made them a mass product. So these aren’t a niche product and my creations too if you consider that they cost around 12 € per head: so if you have 100 guests you pay your wedding cake 1200 €. I don’t know if it seems a lot but people say me not. If you need a cake for your birthday you go into a bakery and you pay it a certain amount per kg, but this isn’t exactly the same thing. “
Do you deal with all the wedding stuff?
“Yes, every detail”
The various tv programs like Real Time show wedding planning as a very expensive product only for rich people. For example Enzo Miccio e Angelo Garini’s consultancy costs around 10.000€. It’s right?
“Not… we don’t’ demand this amount because it doesn’t make sense. After all these aren’t the wedding that normally people do. So it’s a service absolutely affordable by all. “
The last question: it’s possible to find the economical crisis of these ages also in this sector or not?
“Not, crisis doesn’t exist in this sector apart of the fact that a lot of people have decided to deal with this profession and this create an offer’s excess to the detriment of more professionals workers.”