That is unless you read this blog post and when the bags arrive you already know what to expect. 🙂
The key is in the new leather that Dionigi is using. After gaining invaluable experience delivering washed and distressed leather bags last year, this year Dionigi has focused on a slightly-distressed, fading-tonality style of leather that continues the tradition of using high quality full grain leather but adds a warmth to the delivered product that is very appealing.
That is not the only change that you will notice in Dionigi. They seem to have answered our questions about their interiors. Now suede leather in a bright orange color makes the interiors really easy to navigate and feel very good. This, in my book, is another big improvement that kicks the entire line up a notch. The other welcome improvement is the use of a wide cotton strap with a padded shoulder pad that feels very good. I prefer this strap to a Campomaggi leather strap for comfort reasons. I have taken one for my Santarelli and love it.
Dionigi Bags have never been cheap, but now the price/quality ratio feels to heavily favor the consumer, something that I hope will spell the success of these products for years and will keep some of my favorite artisans happily busy.
The Dionigi products are now marketed under the Art and Job brand name created by Salvatore. They are a bit more mainstream than Campomaggi bags but have found a niche that stands out from old school leather products.
I am looking forward to announcing the arrival of their new products in our December newsletter. They will not arrive sooner because they are also quite busy: hopefully another sign that something good is happening. Stay tuned and sign up to our newsletter using the form below.
When it comes to Campomaggi crossbody bags, the long straps made for them are, well, extremely long. I mean, don’t get me wrong, the length of the strap makes the bag that much more universal. After all, not everyone is 5’3″ like I am! When I first got my Forlanini (by the way, we finally have this in stock!), I had to punch a few extra holes into the strap just to not have the bag hang below my hips. What can I say, I’m a short person with a short torso, haha. Like on a belt, having the extra holes made the end of the strap longer as well. Although it didn’t get in the way or anything, it was just something I was a tiny bit bothered by. If you are familiar with the Forlanini, there is a side pocket on the left side (if you are looking at the front of the bag), with Campomaggi’s signature fish rivets on it. Even though I use my Forlanini everyday, I never once found a use for that tiny little side pocket! However, I recently discovered that the end of my strap fits RIGHT in that little pocket. It’s almost as if Campomaggi designed the pocket so the strap end will tuck nicely into it. Having that said, I have some photos to show you what I mean.
Handy, isn’t it? I am so glad I finally found a use for that side pocket. I’m sure it has other uses such as temporarily storing your train or bus pass but this is how I’m using the pocket! Anyway, this was just something useful I found out about the Forlanini and I thought I’d share it with you guys! Especially with all the interest surrounding the Forlanini, this will come in handy for everyone else who is around my height! If I find any other nuances of this bag, I won’t hesitate to share it with everyone. Keep an eye out for more posts!
I’m back with a small update! It has been probably 6 months or so since I first got my Forlanini. The biggest thing that caught my attention was how nicely the leather has broken in. I mean, it looks even better than brand new! The leather is much softer, it has slightly darkened in color overall and it fits by my side like a glove. I’ll have to admit that I haven’t treated the Forlanini in the most careful manner but it still feels like it’s indestructible. It has been exposed to a light drizzle once but I was only outside for a few minutes. I definitely don’t recommend letting your leather products get wet as it will damage the leather. Luckily my bag hasn’t been damaged! I need to be more careful about moisture. The usual wear and tear has occurred though but it’s nothing unusual; Places where the bag rubbed against my clothing has darkened more than the rest of the bag and very small minor surface scratches appeared. Little things like this can be easily cleaned off and buffed out with a leather cleaner but frankly, I don’t mind it. Over the duration of owning the Forlanini, I have used a leather conditioner on it once, maybe twice. It wasn’t really necessary but I just thought I’d try it to see if it would make a difference in the way the leather looked. The small surface scratches do go away with the conditioner, but I think the natural oils in the leather do just fine on its own and it shows! I imagine the leather will be even more awesome many years down the road. Let’s see how this one will look in another 6+ months!
I don’t like purses. Why? Well, the word “purse” ALWAYS implies that it is some sort of fashionable handbag that ladies carry. Any sort of bag a lady carries is automatically seen as a “purse”. That makes no sense to me. With that said, I am definitely not the type of person to carry a purse, a handbag, or what have you. All I need are pockets to carry my phone, keys and wallet and I’m ready to go!
My first impression of Marcopoloni was how it is a company that perpetuates passion, hard work and genuineness. That definitely is what Marcopoloni embodies, no doubt. The products being offered here are so full of life and character that you can’t help but get drawn to them. Well, let’s fast forward to when I had access to the Campomaggi catalog. Found my first Campomaggi creation pretty quickly, I’d say. Not only is it my first Campomaggi bag in general, it is a custom order! Named after the inventor of the helicopter, Enrico Forlanini, it is every bit as logical and practical as its namesake.
After carrying the Forlanini with me on my adventures, the bag has become an appendage of me (Notice how I use the word “bag” to keep the ambiguity of what it is alive. It’s a bag. Simple as that). What has changed since I have the Forlanini? Well, I still just carry my essentials, really. The typical phone, keys and wallet with the new addition of a sketchbook, a pencil, and mints (ginger mints, to be specific). The most important aspect of my bag is how it represents me. The ruggedness of Campomaggi’s signature distressed leather coupled with its simplistic, utilitarian design just makes so much sense to me. It symbolizes my ideals of keeping things simple and straightforward. Lastly, I truly feel that Campomaggi embodies what it is like to be true to yourself–to your roots–in all of his products. As someone who has never envisioned herself seeing any sort of need to carry a bag, my first Campomaggi bag has truly become the companion I never expected.
2009 was the year when Emi uncovered some beautiful Campomaggi bags. We instantly fell in love and in a matter of months we were perusing the Campomaggi stock room ready to place our first order. That’s when the COLOMBO caught my attention: the vertical design was modern, manly, and appropriate for use with a netbook or tablet. When we received our first shipment, the one that featured the reinforcement leather strips that had absorbed the distressed olive brown color differently became my pick.
Since then, I have used my COLOMBO Distressed Leather Messenger Bag practically every day, and only rarely applied lotion to spots that got scratched–I meant to do it more often but I never seem to get around to doing it. The bag has been with me every day at work and on every travel occasion: it always seems to be the right bag for my tablet and netbook whether or not I need to carry both.
First the cons: on days when I carried both tablet and netbook and stuffed it with everything else I needed to take to an all-day trade show, the bag eventually started feeling heavy. Campomaggi leather is top quality full grain leather that is thick, and therefore heavy: there is no way around that. But since I carry the vertical messenger bag cross-body, the weight, although noticeable, was certainly bearable. On a day-to-day basis when I carry it for shorter bursts at a time I don’t notice the bag’s weight at all. The other time when I felt that the bag did not perform was when I wanted to take my sweatshirt off and slip it in the COLOMBO: it did not fit. Although the bag carries everything I need, there is not room for additional bulky items.
As to the pros… they can be summed up quickly: I love the bag. First of all, it doesn’t feel like a purse and I am totally comfortable wearing it. Second, I think that it looks good hanging fairly low behind my hip. Third, did you see the leather? To touch it is a constant reward. It feels alive when I hold it, it basks in the sun when I open the trunk to get it and shines with richness of color. Anyone who knows something about leather is very impressed and compliments me. Finally, after four years the bag still performs like a new one: I mistreated it a few times (I seem to want to drive with the trunk locked around the cotton strap) and it is not showing any signs of wanting to fall apart. Some of the deeper scratches take a long time to go away and perhaps some will not, but they blend in so nicely and they are part of the story of me now: they are here to stay.