Traveling really inspires me. This summer I had the great fortune of visiting Florence, Italy, a place where history, design and leather craftsmanship literally come to life. I love wandering through the piazzas. It's so magical; stopping to watch the local street performers, marveling at the historic churches and cathedrals, popping into unexpected boutiques, watching the light change on the stunning ancient surroundings, smelling the amazing local dishes wafting from the restaurants and of course stopping in the gelaterias!
And then there are the leather goods. The sexy, wonderful leather. Not a place that's too vegan friendly, indeed. Being a leather artisan, I am naturally very particular about leather. There are some vendors that do not sell the real article. Just because they may say it's real leather, the handles might be made of leather or a part of the item may be. It's deceiving, so buyers must be aware. I had the great fortune of having lengthy conversations with a few shop keepers about their process, factories (which a few own themselves), the wholesaling process to American brands, and the great fashion show, Pitti Uomo. A wonderful shopkeeper even opened his boutique for me at midnight and let me browse until 1:30 am! Only in Italy!!
A few pictures from our time in Italy. Florence, Venice, and Cinque Terre.