Sometimes you come across a brand that you fall in love with instantly. I remember the first time I saw an Il Bussetto wallet. A customer was at the counter and pulled it out of her handbag. I was immediately smitten and of course had to ask who made her wallet. It took me a couple of months to track it down, but we did and I was so happy to finally find a wallet collection that aligned with the quality of the assortment of shoes we have in the shop. After all, good leather is good leather and we love nothing more than good leather!
So, when I went to Italy last September to buy shoes for the shop, I made sure to schedule an appointment with Il Bussetto at their offices in Milan. I wanted to know more about this brand, where and how these products were made, to find out their story and share it with you.
Il Bussetto, which gets its name from a tool used in leather production, was founded by Mauro Gobbi in 2004 in the region of Marche, Italy. Mauro has been in the leather personal accessories business for many years. But unfortunately in recent times, more and more factories that make these kinds of goods are being closed due to economic downturns, high cost of production and lack of interest from younger generations. Typically this kind of crafting is handed down from father to son, craftsman to apprentice. Mauro didn’t want to lose this tradition so he decided to do something about it.
Back in the early 2000’s while on vacation in Thailand, he discovered a small group of artisans who had the right hand for working with leather. In short, he was impressed. So impressed that he decided to open a studio or “laboratory” as he likes to call it, in Thailand to explore the possibilities of manufacturing leather accessories. He brought a small group of Thai artisans to Italy to learn how to make the molded leather product. Now that same team of artisans teach others the craft in Thailand. What started as a lab is now a school and factory.
Il Bussetto has over 29 colors of leather in their collection. Yup, you read correctly, twenty nine. They use bovine leather from Europe, then tan the leather in Italy with vegetable dyes. The leather then gets shipped to Thailand where it is hand painted, cut and sewn together. It is finished with a polishing of wax to bring out the depth and richness of color. This tanning process allows the transformation of raw leather into environmentally friendly resistant material. A little work of art in your hand to carry everyday.
When you buy an Il Bussetto wallet, you preserve a time-honored Italian tradition of leather goods manufacturing. You help continue the culture of the experienced craftsman passing on the skills to other generations. Now, isn’t that something to feel good about? We think so.
To see more of the Il Bussetto collection, go to resoul.com.
Image credits: Maggie Burns and Il Bussetto