For the latter, that meant establishing the Montblanc Pelletteria in Scandicci, on the outskirts of Florence, in 2006. “The city has long been regarded as the capital of leather craftsmanship, and our pelletteria includes exceptional artisans, who are passionate about crafting the finest leather products.
Many of them come from families who have worked with leather for
generations. This gives Florence its rich and unique expression in leather.
They understand and apply their technical knowledge of leather, potential treatments, and functions, in addition to their deep appreciation for the aesthetic appeal of leather,” Kamal says.
The process of making one piece involves many iterations. “Designs are first hand-sketched to understand the volumes and the proportions of the individual piece. Then it is discussed with the pattern-cutters and the material team to ensure that the transition from paper to prototype is as smooth as possible — these teams work very closely together, often challenging each other to find new solutions,” Kamal says.
“Once a piece receives the go-ahead for production, the artisans source the best skins from the tanneries near Santa Croce, with only blemish-free samples passing inspection. Pattern cutters judge the optimum way for skins to be cut, and a piece starts to take shape. Every stage of production is conducted by hand.”
The new Urban Spirit collection comprises 22 smart storage pieces for the consummate gentleman, ranging from duffle bags and backpacks, to wallets and business card holders. Many items are multi-functional, and they’re all lent a certain sexiness by the black matt, slightly waxy finish.
The needs of modern travel are also catered for, with limited edition storm covers featuring big city subway maps and special linings on internal pockets that block unauthorised readings of personal data of chips embedded in credit cards and passports.
It’s these kinds of innovations that keep Montblanc products forward-facing. And even the artisans accept a little helping hand from technology along the way. Back in the pelletteria, there’s a one-armed robot whose sole job it is to endurance test shoulder straps.