Did you know there are 50,000 small and medium-sized artisanal businesses in Italy?

Many are family run, with generations of highly specialised knowledge and talent, whether it’s leather pleating, buckles or the hand embroideries.

Giotto's Campanile Florence Italy 2020 Covid 19 MenStyleFashion (7)

You can read my hotel stays I did in July 2020 here in Florence.

Gracie Opulanza The Westin Excelsior Florence Sustainable Fashion (2)

One of many shoes I own. one of many I have given away too

Florence Leather

Regarding leather bags made in Florence. Cuoioifficine  a company owned by two brothers that make beautiful bags here in Florence. It is one of the bands I stumbled across when walking everyday to Palazzo Pitti.

Gracie Opulanza Florence Italy 2020 (1)

Florence Epicentre Of Craft

Florence for you. For 500 years, it has been an epicentre of craft, imparting its knowledge to the rest of the world.

I read in the Telegraph yesterday.

The reason the Chinese can now produce luxury leather goods that increasingly appeal to Western tastes is because they made a study of Italy.

httpswww.fattoriamansibernardini.com Gracie Opulanza 2020

For me walking around the streets of Venice and Florence. I questioned the leather quality in some Chinese owned shops.

My gut instinct is China as we all know can make anything fake. I am well adverse to Asia for many years.

Ferrari Red Jumpsuit - Florence Street Style

This is a market selling leather belts in Florence. There were loads selling leather belts. My point is you can smell leather and you can smell plastic fakes too.

Stetson Europe - Amasa Vitafelt Red Hat Gracie Opulanza 2020 venice Italy summer (8)

Just looking at cheap leather boutiques in Venice. The leather felt plastic to me. I hope during this pandemic these shops fail.

The reason I say that is for the last years I have always supported and marketed everything #MadeInItaly.

Italian Family Firms

Highly reliant as these Italian family firms are on the success of Italian luxury fashion brands, they’re currently on the precipice of viability.

If they go, their skills go and a line of beauty that in many cases stretches back to the Renaissance vanishes.

httpswww.fattoriamansibernardini.com Gracie Opulanza 2020

In speaking to Italian guests here at Fattoria Mansi Bernardini here is Tuscany Lucca. They all say the same thing. We must save our Italian artists and preserve the skills of fashion and craftsmanship.

httpswww.fattoriamansibernardini.com Gracie Opulanza 2020

Caretti Clogs

Caretti Clogs is a family who makes shoes by hand.

Caretti Clogs Italy Red Blue Green

I am currently in Italy highlighting everything made in Italy and kinda rebirth message. A new renaissance has emerged amongst me and the Italians.

Dolce & Gabbana

Made In Italy. The skills that need saving.

Did you know?

Its success has enabled Dolce & Gabbana to set up a school in Milan where around 20 apprentices learn needlework skills that until recently were on the brink of extinction.

I am wearing a Dolce & Gabbana skirt I bought for reviewing the Vintage Mustang. The skirt is beautifully done with handcrafted detailed work.

Gracie Opulanza wearing Dolce gabbana skirt in a vintage mustang (1) Gracie Opulanza wearing Dolce gabbana skirt in a vintage mustang (1)

Can The Ultra Rich Save Fashion?

This all poses an awkward question: could the ultra-rich save fashion and its myriad crafts (as they did art in the 15th century)?

If so, how will fashion, which is trying to transform its body fascistic, planet trashing, elitist-baddie reputation into that of a diversity-embracing, egalitarian force for all that is green, sustainable and morally unimpeachable, spin it?

Dresses that cost £50,00 plus don’t fit well into fashion’s new democratic narrative.

On the other hand, by definition, they tend not to be throwaway.

The skirt I am wearing is all handmade using fabrics from pillows.

httpswww.fattoriamansibernardini.com Gracie Opulanza 2020

You can read my articles in where I have for the last year worked with small artisans everything made and sourced in Italy.