Sorrentino Studios is led by me: Bel Sorrentino! I'm a Melbourne-based designer who was born and raised here. My mother is Chinese and my father Italian, and it was this multicultural background that gave me my interest in the arts, music and design of many different cultures. I was taught how to sew by both my grandmothers, and this quickly grew into a passion for all things fashion, design and garment making - this is what drove my desire to start Sorrentino Studios.
My Po Po (grandmother on my Chinese side) was extremely tactile and very resourceful, making her own clothes, designing her own pieces with whatever fabric she had, and mending garments to preserve them. We didn't speak the same language, but we could always communicate through a love of sewing and creating. This resourcefulness always resonated with me, and the idea of repurposing existing garments and fixing (rather than replacing) has had a profound impact on me and the way I views sustainability in the realm of fashion design.
The studio focuses on ethical and sustainable practices, each design is ethically made in Melbourne by either me or my network of local machinists - I do everything possible to ensure suppliers, manufacturers and collaborators demonstrate ethical practices.
Sorrentino Studios designs are androgynous and multifunctional, with statement garments that can be styled several ways by detaching pieces, rotating, crossing over, layering and using the reversible side.
By designing garments with the intention to be worn a number of ways encourages people to re-wear their garments across multiple occasions and keep them for longer. This is an empowering way of dressing because you have a lot of value out of one piece.
Sorrentino Studios’ garments have drawn the attention of Australia’s entertainment industry, being worn by the likes of Olympia Vallance, Dami Im, Vera Blue, Isabel Durant and DJ Tigerlily. Garments have also featured on Eurovision, Australia’s Got Talent and The Voice.