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10 Artisanal Brands from Pitti Uomo 102

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Paolo Scafora

1_Alden New England

The Alden Shoe Company doesn’t need any further introduction, it has global recognition, Alden enthusiasts usually own not one but a dozen of them. Based in Massachusetts, USA, Alden has been manufacturing American handcrafted footwear for men since 1884. They only use the top-notch quality leathers, from genuine Horween shell cordovan to fine aniline calfskins, they also chose heavy, natural vegetable-tanned leather for the insole.


Functionality lies at the core of Alden’s operation. Alden’s Director of European Sales John Happ told me that when the finished shoes leave the factory for shipment, they are packed in plastic shoe bags to keep the natural cork laying beath the insole fresh so that the shoes can take the contours of the customer’s foot shape better, and thus more comfortable to wear. It’s also worth mentioning that the last shapes of Alden shoes are not designed for fashion but for function. Throughout the brand’s history, its lasts are developed for orthopaedic and medical purposes to fit a wide range of foot shapes.

Iconic models: Shell cordovan tassel moccasin on Aberdeen last; Tanker.



Having its beautiful showroom in central Paris and its dedicated tannery and factory in central France, Chapal is a family-owned luxury leather jacket company since 1832 with a rich heritage closely related to the history of aviation and car racing. (You can read the brand story here)


Besides its ready-to-wear expertise, CHAPAL offers an exclusive made-to-measure and bespoke experience where the most unexpected requests can be achieved.


For Pitti Uomo 102 this June, Chapal unveils its new collaboration with the Afro-Caribbean artist Dayron Ferguson, who is a singer, composer and performer.


It also shows the new collection EVOLUTION – a continuation of the House’s elegant collection around suede leather and tan colour – a perfect mix between tradition and experimentation for an impeccable masculine wardrobe.

Iconic model: A-1 aviation jacket



Grenfell is best known for its invention of the waterproof yet breathable Grenfell Cloth, also known as the wonder cloth, a densely-woven cotton gabardine material used to make the luxury and outdoor clothing since 1923.


The cloth is named after Sir Wilfred Thomason Grenfell who pioneered medical missions in 1892, serving the Labrador coast of Newfoundland, Canada. It all started with the textile mill owner Walter Haythornthwaite attending a Grenfell lecture, he was inspired by Sir Wilfred Grenfell’s word “you could not keep a statue warm by putting a fur coat on it; clothing must be windproof but also must breathe,” and created the cloth made from 600 thread-per-inch cotton.


A couple of years ago, Grenfell garments were bought back from its Japanese owner by the Azam family, and Grenfell is now based in London with all garments produced in its east London factory. Combining luxury highly-functional fabrics with classic and tailoring-inspired design, Grenfell is well preserved by sophisticated style enthusiasts.

Iconic model: Grenfell Shooter Jacket.


4_Lock & Co. Hatters

There’s a saying goes like whenever you tell the black cab driver in London to head to Lock’s, you will be taken to the St. James hatmaker Lock & Co. boutique.


Established in 1676, Lock & Co. is the oldest hat shop in the world and remains family-owned. Its boutique is the oldest shop in London and definitely worth a visit to experience the classic English style and professional service.


Having two royal warrants of appointment from the Duke of Edinburgh and the Prince of Wales, Lock & Co has adored royalties and celebrities throughout the history. Besides its women’s RTW hats and Lock Couture, they are also famous for offering classic men’s hat with the finest fabric and craftsmanship and its contemporary twist.


Iconic models: wide brim Panama hat, the coke (bowler hat)


5_Brunello Cuninelli

Brunello Cucinelli, founded in 1978 by the eponymous stylist and entrepreneur, is an Italian maison operating in the absolute luxury goods sector which specializes in cashmere and in the international informal luxury pret-à-porter sector. Brunello Cucinelli’s success is rooted in the history and legacy of great craftsmanship as well as in modern design: a quality strategy founded on a combination of innovation and artisan skill. As exclusive testimonial of Italian lifestyle worldwide, company business has always been conducted in the medieval hamlet of Solomeo, on the outskirts of Perugia.


(Text source: Brand Press Release)


FUJITAKA is a bag brand that integrates both Japanese traditional craftsmanship and modern sensibility.

Since IKETEI CO., LTD was established in 1941, they have been a private label as well as a leading brand of the company, integrating planning, designing, and manufacturing at the company’s own factory in Japan.


In exploring the Japanese spirit, atmosphere, and beauty, Fujitaka have been continuing to produce life-enriching items in harmony with the contemporary lifestyle. The brand is made for mature persons who know Japanese craftsmanship, chic, and form of elegance.

Iconic model: the Waprolux collection


7_Paolo Scafora

A pair of Paolo Scafora shoes are indeed the showing-off pieces. The skills and techniques embedded in that purely hand-made footwear resonate with connoisseurs with a trained eye for quality and craftsmanship.


The artisanal story of the Scafora Family starts in the industrious alleys of Naples in 1956. Since then, they have been designing and manufacturing high-end shoes, either ready-to-wear or bespoke. All the shoes are hand-crafted by talented master artisans sharing solid values with the Scafora Family: passion, dedication, and abnegation.  Every Paolo Scafora shoe is hand-stitched in accordance with the antique methods of the traditional shoe constructions: Bologna, Goodyear, Norwegian and Tyrolese. Each creation is hand-painted and embellished with unique nuances and sophisticated antique colour effects.

Iconic model:

Art.175BINC Oxford in Antiqued Amalfi Leather with Norwegian stitch on Last Q


8_Walker Slater

Walker Slater was founded in 1989 in Scotland by Frances Slater and Paul Walker. The company’s mission is to champion the heritage and sustainability of tweed and woollen fabrics through contemporary and elegant clothing.


Ready-to-wear tailoring is the central part of the offering (made-to-measure is offered, also), with a range of flattering suit styles for both men and women. Overall, quality reigns supreme, and with Walker’s timeless approach to understated design and deeply-rooted appreciation for fabrics that are sustainably made, its creations are crafted to last.


The palettes of Walker Slater’s collections are inspired by the natural beauty of Scotland. And the business is working closely with its range of suppliers and mills, most notably Harris Tweed Hebrides, together with the lesser-known mills in The Borders, as well as specialist mills in Italy and beyond.

Iconic model: Edward jacket


9_Bernard Zins

The history of the House begins in 1967 with the trousers manufactured in Lens. The founder Bernard Zins, a trained engineer, develops their four essential values: innovation, fabric selection, cutting precision and manufacturing quality. With a visionary and daring mindset, he is a pioneer in many fields, he puts industrial power and precision at the service of quality and know-how for industrially tailored luxury pants, both for men and women.


Through the mix of tradition and modernity, the brand has recently revitalized its creation via a new and audacious artistic direction that plays with the house codes and style.


With its headquarters in Paris in the heart of Le Marais, BERNARD ZINS is the French reference for luxury trousers.


(Text source: Bernard Zins Press Release)

10_ Felisi

Felisi began life in Ferrara in 1973 as a small craft workshop. Today it has become a top-class, world-renowned firm able to boast an increasingly refined, demanding, faithful clientele that has allowed it to gain a solid foothold not only in European markets but also in the USA and Asia, especially in Japan. Since its inception, the cornerstone of the company has been its sound, ongoing cooperation with the finest of leather artisans. Throughout its history, the secret of Felisi’s success has been the lengthy experience of the craftswomen who have learned the trade within the company, taking on board its long-standing tradition and acquiring skills just as they might in a school or workshop. Felisi is deeply rooted in the Ferrara area, home to both the laboratory and the factory, thus guaranteeing careful, direct supervision of each and every process and painstaking packaging of the accessories in line with the very highest quality standards.

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