Our Artisans and Their Products

A Conversation with Marco Campomaggi

One of my goals for this trip to Italy was to meet with Marco Campomaggi. I love his bags so much that I wanted to ask him about how he got his inspiration–something I did not get to do when I visited last year.

I’ve been selling Italian leather bags for a few years now and I had tried unisex bags and briefcases. But I had never fallen in love with one until I tried my Colombo. Because of its shape, the Colombo is extremely comfortable to wear, although it is a bit heavy. But the weight comes from its rugged genuine leather.

On the last day of the fair I saw Marco at the booth and asked him about his line. He told me that when the Emergenti Italiani business started running profitably he was finally able to take a moment and start a project that did not absolutely have to succeed financially.

Mr. Campomaggi told me that this freedom removed any boundaries to his creativity and that is how he came up with the current line of bags which is built around the patented dying process he conceived in which the bags are dyed after they are completed. As to the design of his bags, he looked back at his first days in the business: the days when he was still in school and selling his creations from the sidewalks of the seaside towns of the Riviera Romagnola.

To me, this seems to be one of those cases in which a genius is allowed to express itself fully. Marco’s bags are tremendously successful and even a lot of his competitors saw the bag I was wearing, praised his work and one even wished that he had come up with the concept. At the show, I have already found some imitators. But imitations should be easy to spot: Campomaggi bags are not cheap.

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