Gianfranco Lotti: Bags, Salon Privé and the Incredible Story of Gianfranco
One of the things that gives me more satisfaction about my blog, is the opportunity to get in touch with many entities that made the History of fashion. Personalities that are part of the History of Italy that I had the chance to describe from my personal point of view, inside my own space on the web.
Some days ago I attended a special event made by Gianfranco Lotti, a brand that made the history of bags in Florence. My day with Gianfranco Lotti started from his factory in Scandicci, just outside Florence: that is the historical factory where his wonderful bags continue to be made nowadays. Gianfranco Lotti, himself, told us his story, the story of a self-made man, a smart and brilliant man that is also a very approachable person. Gianfranco Lotti is 100% Florentine and is as tied as I am to his city.“Florence inspires beauty and the influence of my city has been fundamental in my professional growth “.
Gianfranco Lotti: Meeting Gianfranco and His Incredible Story
His story began when he was 14 and he quit school. At the time, in Florence, a young boy could choose among 3 jobs: mechanic, goldsmith or leather artisan. After giving a try in a garage, Gianfranco Lotti he started working as leather artisan for Empirio Brilli: at the time leather was not only used for clothing and accessories but also for many other purposes. In 1966 with Florence flood, the company and the economy of the entire city was struggling. Life in Florence and its businesses were crushed. But for Gianfranco Lotti’s career the flood was a turning point because he started his own leather company, opening his studio on the ground floor of the building where he lived at the time.
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At the beginning he specialized in belts (he told us that he didn’t have enough money to buy the machinery to make bags) and became quite popular in the Seventies, in 1974 the first bag collection with the brand Gianfranco Lotti saw the light. So he flew to New York and Japan to present it obtaining a great success. A huge satisfaction! From that moment on it was an escalation of successful collections and experimenting with two fundamental points. The first one is always revisiting classic models, object of perfect handmade quality, timeless, that every woman can wear independently from the age and the trends. The The second stronghold is the closing system that looks like a keyhole and that is the symbol of Gianfranco Lotti bags. Escorted by Gianfranco himself, we had the chance to visit the whole factory: inside every productive area you can breath tradition and artisanry. All parts of the bag (and each bag need more than 100 parts!) are created inside this factory while the assembly is carried out in another facility still in the Florentine area and is supervised day by day by Lotti’s experts. The finished product after a double quality control comes out of the factory absolutely flawless.
Gianfranco Lotti: Salon Prive’
After visiting the factory, it was the time to visit the boutique of Via Tornabuoni, in Florence. Where we attended the opening of Salon Prive’, a private flat of 400 sqm at the third floor of an ancient Florentine palace, exactly next to the boutique. A space for launches and events, but especially a location in which you can create “One piece only”, a unique bag by Gianfranco Lotti, just for you. You can chose the design, the material and the color of the bag of your dreams. In about 4 months, your unique Gianfranco Lotti bag will be ready. During the event I was wearing one of my favorite Gianfranco Lotti, the Diamond S. bag. What do you think about it? :)
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