Italian Leather Handbags made in Tuscany

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Italian leather handbags are well-know worldwide for their quality and the care with which they are made. But 60 years ago it was not this way.

The history of Italian leather manufacturers has very humble origins, as leather products were not considered luxury items, unlike nowadays.

Thanks to the mastery and care that Italian “pellettieri”, or leather smiths, put into their work, Italian leather products arose to the realm of luxury products.

Leather Bag by Gucci

In Florence the artists’ neighborhood of San Frediano is where the first artistic leather factories begun. Fashion designers use leather for their lines since their beginnings. It is in the 1920s  that Guccio Gucci starts its business including leather products in its lines. The Gucci logo stops appearing on leather handbags when during World War II cheaper materials are a necessity in order for businesses to survive. But towards the end of the war and after it Gucci started exporting to the United States and begun to be the stsus symbol of young royal family members and famous actors around the globe.

It is mostly due to this big names in the fashion business that Italian leather and leather handbags have skyrocketed in the popular mindset. And it is for a good reason. Just think of all the hand work that was put to sew the bags and the fine finishings that so much add to the class of a leather bag. Of course nowadays most of the job is done by machines, nevertheless imitating the job made by hand until not long ago. Some parts are still sewn by hand.

I have talked about San Frediano as in the past this was the center of leather works. If today artistic leather works still resides in San Frediano, the most important center for leather works and smiths is the Scuola del Cuoio, or leather school, in Piazza Santa Croce in Florence, where products and producers are precious for privates and world-famous fashion designers. If any this is where to find custom made Italian leather handbags. Mayors of Florence as well as international politicians and VIPs have come to Santa Croce to get their leather items, certified as handcrafted and durable, besides being classy and unique.

But watch out! Not all leather bags and products in Florence are from the “Scuola del Cuoio” or of good quality! In any case, if looking for serious artisans and excellent leather goods, this is the city in Tuscany where you want to be.