Lisa Cantalupo comes from a very talented family of a long line of artists and designers. She knew since she was a very young child that someday she would follow in the footsteps of her Mother, a sample maker for a Boston fashion designer, and her Grandmother Rosina, who presented to the Vatican in Rome, Italy the Christening gown she handmade for the baby Jesus. Both women have since passed on but are still a huge inspiration for our designer.
It was at Massachusetts College of Art and Design where Lisa received her formal training and was recognized for her many talents. She was the recipient of numerous awards of distinction such as; the Massachusetts College of Art and Design Award for Excellence in Design, the Lord & Taylor Dress Design Competition Scholarship Award, and an internship with Leslie Fay in New York City.
It was in 1991 when Lisa made her professional debut at The Boston Designers Collaborative Press Expo Fashion Show, showcasing her collection which ranged from swimwear and sportswear, to evening wear and wedding gowns. Boston's leading fashion designer and BDC founder, Geoffrey B. Small reviewed her collection as, "very hip...very original, slick and elegant....tutto Perfetto!" comparing her work to the likes of Romeo Gigli, Blass, and Moschino.
Lisa's passion for leather emerged from her passion for riding when she accomplished a life long dream and received her motorcycle endorsement in 2004. She wanted something to wear to motorcycle events and rallies so she purchased a leather hide or two, designed a few pieces and wore them never anticipating the attention she would receive. Both women and men stopped her to ask where she had purchased what she was wearing. That is where the idea for Sexy Skins Leather was born. Lisa saw a need for sensual leather clothing that was also sophisticated and classy and not the typical biker chick stuff you would see hanging on the racks. She immediately began designing leather apparel and accessories geared toward women in the biker world.
Soon after the birth of Sexy Skins, Lisa encountered one life altering event after another which sent her on a private journey where a deeper spiritual awakening and a total reinvention of self and soul took place. This was a pivotal time in Lisa's life, as a person and an artist - she gave herself and soul permission to explore. This freedom brought to the surface a buried childhood memory of a curiosity she had for the continent of Africa. She began to study Africa's culture eventually focusing on the Nuer tribe after befriending one of its members. This has had an enormous affect in her personal life and her art; the creation of her latest pieces are the result of this exploration and journey into a culture which she is now passionate about.
Some of Lisa's custom work can be seen on stage, television, and on the big screen on clients such as; Magic Dick from the legendary J. Geils Band, celebrity motorcycle and exotic car builder, Alan Lee, and most recently a leather accessory piece she designed and crafted for Pharrell Williams. When Lisa first began her Sexy Skins journey, she would have felt this to be a great accomplishment and in a way it is. However, her values today are different. Her dreams are bigger - they go beyond what one can imagine and are always guided by the light - the "who" is wearing her designs means little compared to how much she enjoys personally connecting with the many who wear her creations.
We hope you stay tune to see how the story unravels as Lisa, and her art, continue to blossom.
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