Scuola del Cuoio

The area of Santa Croce is historically renowned for its leather making and Scuola del Cuoio is the real prof. Ancient tanneries used to line the streets on Via dei Conciatori and Corso dei Tintori. Florence prides itself on tradition and for those wishing to learn about leather making, or if just after a quality handbag, Scuola Del Cuoio is the ideal place to visit.

One weekend I decided to visit the beautiful church of Santa Croce, with a very unique artistic style, gathering a great number of tombs of the most renowned and famous personalities of the past.

Moving inside the main building, 
I was drawn immediately into this magical 
world with an extraordinary history.

Created 64 years ago by Marcello Gori, Scuola Del Cuoio is still a family affair. Sisters Laura, Francesca and Barbara Gori all play a vital part in continuing the ethos of the school developed by their father. The Gori family have been Florentine leather makers for almost 100 years beginning with a store on via del Corso in 1932. In 1950, Mr Gori with his cousin Silvano Casini were invited by the Franciscan Friars of the Monastery of Santa Croce to teach a practical skill to orphans affected by World War II. Housed in what was once the home of trainee monks, the current workshop and showroom stand under wonderful 15th century arched ceilings complete with Renaissance frescos and the Medici coat of arms.

scuola del cuoio, florence

 

Today the school is still full of students, most travelling from all over the world to train under the Gori family’s guidance learning classic Florentine leather making skills. Everything you see is made by hand using traditional methods and original designs.

The smell of the leather is preciously 
authentic among the shop.

Handbags are central to the collection. Laura designs the classic style while Francesca makes one-of a-kind hand stitched bejewel bags. You can also create your own bespoke bag by working with Francesca on your creative idea. The store also sells tailored jackets, leather-bound notebooks and purses.

bag florence

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The challenge of craftsmanship

Studying and living in Florence, I can breathe a captivating air of beauty, long-standing heritage and tradition everyday.

Florence is a open-air museum, 

towards which you can always turn your 

eyes in order to cheer yourself.

Florence has been the most important and flourishing cradle of Italian Renaissance, hiding artistic treasures, whom particular facets have been estimated as invaluable. It has been and it still is the place where the world of Art meets the skilled hands of artisans, giving birth to masterpieces among their workshops.

For this reason, finding authentic shops with craftsmen buckling down is not difficult in the center of Florence, but this is an excellence that cannot be taken for granted, it must be preserved, treasured and enhanced throughout time.

When I started studying at Polimoda Institute, I had to complete a test in which they asked me: “What is your favorite city? Florence”, I said. “Why? Because it is the perfect bridge between tradition, heritage, know-how and modernity, innovation, freshness.”

Linking these two great fields means connecting past and future among the sturdy walls of Florence.

That is because Florence can be defined

 the essence of craftsmanship,

a vocation that needs traditional knowhow to survive but also fresh innovation in order to continue to be always appealing, following the fast changes of modernity and catching the attention of people which are novelty-hungry.

The tradition of the “handmade” seems to be slightly abandoned by latest generations, who live in their fast and digitalized imaginary, preferring superficial and ephemeral products, almost “already-done” things that don’t have a story behind.

In this precise moment of speed, modernization and improving technology, with the need to re-highlight craftsmanship, we all have to stop for a second and realize what are things with real values and meaning. By doing so, there will be a small part of us that will understand the importance of such treasures and will be able to sensitize also the future generations that seem to loose the point.

CRAFTSMANSHIP 

means effort, a lot of time, learn

 but also self-realization, emotion and uniqueness.


The Box of Crafted Wishes

The Box of Crafted Wishes deals with Fashion, the harmony between products and wishes. We desire wearing objects, accessories, garments that let us express our personality, making us unique.

What if those things, those wishes 
would have made specifically for you?

Imagine craftsmen working hour after hour with passion and savoir-faire, with dirty hands among complex machines. Handling objects of pure beauty, they don’t express the perfection through the logic of the making, but relying on their maniacal dedication to the values , the small details and the quality of the product. That is what makes something extraordinarily unique, something that we are craving for: tiny perfect/imperfect details.

The Box of Crafted Wishes is a gather of those 
little wishes that involve intimate feelings 
and we perceive closer to us.

It offers a new/old vision of Fashion, that soulfully brings us back to the past, to the couturiers and the refined craftsmanship. It let us experience the atmosphere of the period in which Fashion didn’t give in to the rigid rules of economics yet,

unravelling its own roots around 
the timeless world of art.

What we can find inside this box doesn’t include big industries, high prices justified by great logos nor standard methods of production. It reveals how the craftsmanship can survive among the fashion giants of our contemporary society, recovering the pure beauty of the objects.

Craftsmanship has evolved throughout time and this box follows its improvements, enhanced by new techniques and different approaches. Indeed, The Box of Crafted Wishes is trying to keep the ancient essence of craftsmanship, adapting its lifeblood to contemporary fashion products.

Materials and products are handled, modelled, shaped by craftsmanship techniques.

Uniqueness becomes a prestige for few people. Details turn into little treasures. Some craftsmen have such a delicate gesture, so personal, so subtle and perfect that when you observe their creations close up, you are literally witnessing a work of art. They are not only excellent, patient, tenacious workers, they are also enthusiastic, inquisitive lovers of the materials which fascinate them.

They have the souls of explorers,adventurers, discoverers and engineers
which drive them further still into self-questioning and new challenges.

craftsman