This week we introduced the latest addition to our lineup of Giudi leather bags. The LUSTRO Leather Toiletry Bag for Men is simple, yet stilish.
At first glance, the LUSTRO toiletry bag strikes you for its appearance. The shape enforced by the hard bottom and the buttons that tie the zipper’s ends to the bag is attractive, the calfskin leather is beautiful, and the zipper with the two distinctive zipper pulls becomes a defining accent.
The bag comes with a detachable strap and the interior is covered by the signature “G” lining by Giudi. There are no pockets, just plenty of space for toiletries. The two zippers enable you to decide where the opening will be so you can hang the bag on a hook and open it to reach its contents without everything spilling out–something that comes in handy when you are in a hotel that doesn’t offer any counter space in the bathroom.
A nice toiletry bag becomes a familiar accessory that adds a touch of luxury to your travels and that makes being away from home more comfortable. The LUSTRO has been designed to be just that and is ready to take off.
Marco Campomaggi’s ambition is to create bags that help you experience the emotion of the passage of time. It is not enough that quality leather bags age so beautifully on their own. He wants you to experience it from the start and his new line of brushed leather bags is another example of bags that embody experience and character.
Part of the inspiration for the new line came from a reflection about the experience of a school boy who gets his first school satchel: “la cartella”. The satchel is one of his first valuable possessions and one that is very personal–not to be shared with anyone. The satchel becomes a companion who will share your fond memories. It’s in the satchel that you can protect some of your things.
My school desk had an opening where I could slide my satchel. Perhaps Marco had the same type of desk where, every day, multiple times a day, he would slide his cartella in and out. I bet that that motion inspired the way in which he now treats his bags to achieve the desired worn effect: the brushing of the leather against the metal in the same spots caused the satchel to age quickly wherever friction occurrred.
Marco sought a type of vegetable tanned leather that was introduced in Florence in the 1950s. This leather is strong and smooth and can definitely take plenty of brushing; its striking characteristic is its smell: it definitely reminds me of the leather products I used to smell as a child–something that most modern leathers only vaguely resemble. This choice of leather seems very fitting for the style.
The new brushed leather bags are starting to trickle in on the Marcopoloni web site. More information coming soon.
On our last day shopping in Milan our list was almost complete. Only one thing still needed crossing off the list: finding a cool t-shirt that said something cool in Italian.
We were shopping in Corso Buenos Aires, the long avenue between Loreto and Porta Venezia that has always been packed with shops. The difference between 20-30 years ago and today is that so many, if not all, the mom and pop shops that sold Made in Italy clothing have been replaced by affordable and somewhat trendy chain stores displaying imported clothes with all prints in English, or French. Nothing wrong with that, except that we were not making any progress on our goal.
Feeling that time was running out, Emi went shopping while Chiara and I naturally gravitated toward the very long line outside of an ice cream shop. When I read that the ice cream was handmade of natuaral, real, what-we-say-it-is-is-actually-what-is-in-it ingredients I was hooked.
Before our turn came I had plenty of time to pull up the Grom web site. Grom has stores worldwide and it seems that its recipe of getting good ingredients from organic farms to make really good gelato can be replicated. The smile on Chiara’s face as she tasted vanilla ice cream (gelato alla vaniglia) that actually tasted like vanilla was priceless. I am a Grom fan now.
The DAVIDE Studded Leather Belt doesn’t match any of the clothes I own. It’s too nice! It is a casual belt, but it can’t be worn with any pair of jeans. It needs a nice pair of jeans of the kind I have seen on well dressed people in Italy.
Luckily, I just happen to be in Italy, in Milan to be exact, my hometown and the hometown of Luca Manzoni, the guy who wears the coolest jeans in the world. So I asked him: “I’m trying to get a pair of really cool jeans. Do you have any suggestions?” Among his many suggestions I tried the last one and I immediately found something that I liked there: at Frav, a small shop near Porta Ticinese.
I got a pair from a French brand that was born in Toulouse and now lives in Paris: Surface to Air Clothing. I found a shirt by the same company that I really liked and, voila`, there is a new me.
Except for the shoes! I can’t wear my old shoes with this outfit!
Daniele and his Campomaggi collection: COLOMBO messenger bag, DANIELE belt loop pouch, and DAVIDE Studded Leather Belt
Last week I received my new Campomaggi belt. It looks amazing and I love it. The problem is that it is going to require, at a minimum, a pair of jeans that I love and looks amazing. Luckily, we are going to Italy next week and I have seen jeans there that definitely can stack up to a Campomaggi belt.
The other problems are: first, that it is not a belt that you wear with the boring shirts that I wear at work; and, second, I don’t want to draw attention to the muffin top that is starting to develop over my jeans.
So my new belt is causing me to pay attention to my figure and my wardrobe. I have been wearing it with the coolest clothes I have and have a few initial impressions to report.
First, it takes a while for the belt loop to loosen up and, at the beginning, it is rather laborious to undo the belt. So plan your rest breaks accordingly.
Second, I am wearing the belt on the tightest hole, which means that the extremity of the belt flaps around a bit and I have to tuck it into my pocket. Make sure to measure the distance from the belt buckle to the hole you use in a belt and let us know. We’ll be able to comment about the fit.
Third (and finally), there is a little patch without studs on the belt. This is designed to help the flap slide over the belt and under the pant’s belt loop. So make sure to position this patch below the pant’s belt loop to help make taking the belt on and off easier.
When I saw Alessandro wear the DAVIDE Studded Leather Belt by Campomaggi I was struck, I have to admit it. Perhaps it was a sign that Marco’s creativity had finally won. To be more precise: I was already won over by the appeal of Campomaggi bags and accessories, but I never in my life said: “I have to get that” when I saw someone else wear something.
I have been saying how I had lost my sense of style when I left Italy more than 20 years ago and I recently started lamenting how it would be nice to get it back. Unfortunately, thanks to Facebook, a few photos surfaced that hint that I might never have had a sense of style. I’m just going to blame those photos on the Eighties and continue my quest to get my groove back–fully pretending that I once had it.
Here is a video of me, five months after having seen the belt, finally opening it up to see it. I will report how I like using it in my next post.
If you can’t view the video above you can see it on YouTube.
Daniele and Anita pose with the actual backpacks that shipped to the set of the new NBC TV series, “Revolution”
Very recently, we received an order for two ZAVATTI leather backpacks from a brand new TV series, Revolution, written by Eric Kripke. For those of you who follow TV shows often, you might have seen his name written all over the credits of the extremely popular TV series Supernatural and the Boogeyman movies! Not only does Revolution have an amazing writer, Giancarlo Esposito is starring in it! Sounds familiar? Well, he plays a crucial role in the TV series, Breaking Bad (it’s such an awesome show if you haven’t seen it)!
We are all absolutely thrilled about this opportunity because this has the potential to give our name a big boost! Here at Marcopoloni, we strive to support the artisans who make all their products by hand. There is no machinery involved; Just humans utilizing their creative skills and talents! Revolution is a TV series about life after electricity no longer exists. Everyone is forced to live as they did before the industrial revolution. This means genuine handmade products (weapons, clothing, backpacks and bags *nudge nudge*, you name it!) all around and no machinery to mass produce anything ever again.
Marcopoloni is definitely the right place to look for a pre-industrial era themed backpack to use in the show. As you all know, Campomaggi’s rugged-chic distressed leather products emanates all that comes with age; Character, memories, and most importantly, the essence of the owner. The backpacks will look amazing when paired with the characters because they have such a rugged, “survivalist” image. However, the Revolution set put in the order for the ZAVATTIs when they have already filmed the trailers, previews and the initial few episodes. Hopefully we’ll get some exposure later on in the season, but who knows! Until we find out for sure, we’ll be kept in suspense about the ZAVATTI’s TV debut.
I am proud to announce that Anita Ly has decided to join our team to help with order fulfillment, customer service… and to wear every hat imaginable.
Anita is such a fast learner and fast typist (she holds the company record in both categories) that she is probably still unaware that we are going to just let her do everything around here. I really look forward to a long vacation.
If you e-mail us or call us, you will likely get an answer from Anita. She is doing a great job already so please give her a really hard time because so far all requests have been handled without a glitch and I am starting to look really bad in comparison. I should not be too surprised, in case I do take that vacation, if when I come back I’m asked to enjoy an early retirement.
Anita is also a great fit for our company: she understands our mission and is behind it 100%. What’s even more important is that she’s also a chef and I got a taste of it. If she keeps that up she will find all sorts of encouragement at Marcopoloni and will have a long and successful career here.
I almost forgot to mention that Anita is fluent in Cantonese. That means that, if you are feeling the urge to console her for having a coworker who writes such a silly blog post, you can do so in Cantonese and I will not have a clue as to what just happened.
Finally Anita is an excellent writer, which means that I might lose my readers to her. We’ll see how it plays out. In the meantime, please join me in welcoming Anita with a thunderous round of applause and a cup of Cappuccino. Read Anita’s profile here.
I listened to this segment on Marketplace and was rather surprised. I did not know that I could be so ignorant about the issue that has inspired my business: preserving the way of the artisan.
Jeff Tyler finds out how even artisans from Zambia suffer from the competition of cheaper products coming out of China and Vietnam. The story is surprising to me because I thought that wages in Zambia were very low, and to think that one can make a basket and ship it to Zambia for less than the local artisan seems hard to believe.
Do China and Vietnam have robotic plants making baskets? As far as I know their factories are very labor intensive. So exactly how much, or how little, do they pay their workers? Is it possible that workers in the world’s second economy earn less than the workers in Zambia?
When our friend Alex invited us to have lunch on the Apple campus, I immediately recognized that this was a perfect opportunity to introduce two great brands to each other. So I packed my FRECCIA iPad bag with the new VALENTINO iPad Case and the new iPhone Case, both by Campomaggi.
After we got our badges and walked into the main hall I was surprised that we didn’t run into any iPhones and iPads running around. Instead we got to admire multiple Grammys and an Oscar.
When we got to the cafeteria we (cases included) got very excited to find many other authentic Italian expatriates proudly displayed. So we ordered a pizza with mozzarella di bufala and loved it.
Before we left we saw the Apple store and decided to go take a look. Wow! iPhones and iPads! We finally got to make an introduction and made sure to stay clear of the isle where all the cases were on display.
As we were driving back to the office everyone was happy, including me, despite the fact that I was not able to get a statement from Tim Cook saying that the new Campomaggi cases are the only cases worthy of the coolness of Apple products. It was enough to know that that was exactly what he would have said.