Watch how an Object Particolare bag is brought to life
The people behind the product
The premium leather factory used to manufacture every bag, Siloe, is based in the heart of Italy’s Veneto region - one of the world’s most important centres for leather goods and the birthplace of many iconic leather accessory designs in high fashion.
Location aside, it is the craftspeople employed by the factory who bring their expertise and unique skill set to create the perfect alchemy for the Object Particolare collection. From artisans with a lifetime’s experience to younger colleagues learning the traditions of the trade and ensuring they live into the future, the Siloe factory team are varied and brilliant throughout. Read below to explore each of their distinct roles in the luxury bag-making process.
Master technical designer and the factory founder
“Basically, I make paper cut-outs all day.
This is Gianni’s typically understated way of describing his role; he is actually the right-hand man for every stylist who comes into contact with the factory. Gianni is the master pattern-maker and founder of the factory and has been part of the history and culture of Veneto leather-making for most of his life. Simply put, he transforms ideas into reality. Through his talent, experience and deep knowledge of leather working, Gianni takes the stylists’ designs and brings them to life, turning them from a simple sketch into something to hold and treasure for life.
But what do paper cut-outs have to do with it? When you create a bag, the first step after the design is to make a paper pattern – so everything starts with Gianni.
“I know where to look.”
Choosing the right material of the ideal quality is crucial to the end result in leather work. It’s like cooking a good meal: quality ingredients are essential. Mauro knows all there is to know about leather. He has been producing bags and shoes for decades - so long that he remembers when some of the material’s characteristics, now considered defects, were once thought desirable.
It’s not just about selecting the right material but knowing how it should be treated and finished to achieve the ideal result. Mauro’s work is complex with so many variables to consider per fabric and treatment - it is pure chemistry. For the Vitti collection, Mauro’s challenge was to find a material that was both structured, sumptuous to the touch and flexible in use, to reflect the needs of contemporary living.
“This is how to avoid waste.”
Siloe is a rare example of a truly artisanal factory, following all the traditional production steps as teams work the leather by hand. However, new breakthroughs in technology have become vital too; allowing for the optimisation of production and ensuring Object Particolare gets the very most from the precious raw materials, to help with planning and with cost control. For Fabio, as the master cutter, technology is useful both at the cutting stage and in calculating the material yield. But you’ll often find him working with more unique traditional tools like skivers and dies. When making prototypes, Fabio uses a skiver to cut the leather by hand, allowing him to cut beautiful curved shapes in fluid movements that are impossible to achieve with a machine. As for a die, this is a piece of metal produced when the final prototype is finished and approved, and is essential in creating the bag’s internal reinforcements, as it can cut several layers at once.
“There comes a point when precision is of the essence.”
Elena’s is a fascinating role as she translates the final design from analogue into digital form using CAD (computer-aided design) tools and other software. Like Fabio, Elena is also a bridge between tradition and technology. Her technical brain can visualise the complexity of details that neither customer nor the stylist can see. Simply put, Elena generates real, detailed digital maps of each product ready for manufacture.