The man behind many of LUXTRA's products
I hope you had a great week.
As always, we start by welcoming newcomers: so Basheerah, Emily, Paul, Keith, Tyanna, Elena, Nicky, Valarie, Mandy & Saengang... welcome! Thank you for joining us. I hope you'll learn something from these newsletters, but above all, enjoy reading them. This week is a lighter read, but there's a treasure trove of information about vegan leathers & sustainability in our newsletter archive.
Oh - and a quick mention of the upcoming e-Book. I jumped the gun a bit and it will be ready in a few weeks... My apologies for the delay - I'm trying to make it as comprehensive as possible.
Mattia Porciatti, founder of Creative Workshop
Transparency is one of LUXTRA's core values, so I thought it was high time for you to meet some of the people behind our products.
Working with Italy, there are a lot of Mattias and Matteos in my life. There's Mattia P, Mattia G, Mattia M as well as Matteo R and Matteo F. There's also a Mattis, but he's German.
The most important Mattia however, is Mattia Porciatti (above) - owner of Creative Workshop in Florence, Tuscany, and one of Luxtra's two manufacturers. It was Mattis O who introduced me to Matteo R, who in turn took me to meet Mattia P.... no word of a lie!
Since that fateful day, I've been working closely with Mattia to bring you high quality handbags, wallets, purses, pouches, jewellery boxes and more.
Let's see what he makes of our questions...
Behind the scenes: LUXTRA cactus-leather tote bags in production.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
Mattia: I started in 2004 working in “leather” goods in my family business. In fact my grandma was one of the 5 founders of a popular factory and Italian brand.
I started as an apprentice in the workshop, then I moved up to become a pattern maker, and then a manager…
What's something that would surprise people about manufacturing?
Mattia: Sometimes people doesn’t understand the complexities of the whole job: like (for example) that a bag is made from big quantities of small pieces.
Another thing is that the 1st prototype won't be as good as the production run, because it needs the industrialization [a process that involves creating "knives" that are used to cut raw materials, thus enabling uniform products to be produced in large quantities].
How has sustainability evolved since you started your career?
Mattia: Looking back to the early 2000s, it's a different world in terms of sustainability. Times ago, the main focus was just the target cost, today (fortunately) it's a pragmatic balance of pricing and the big picture of quality and eco-friendliness.
One of the many sketches that Mattia and I send back and forth to each other.
Thinking about the future of fashion: what are you most excited about?
Mattia: "Made in Italy" is still the driver of fashion and it will be also for the future.
Why is Italy the best place to manufacture bags and SLGs?
Mattia: Firstly because we have a long tradition and secondly, when in the past the other countries moved the productions to Asia we kept things in-house, so we held the know how and the expertise.
What's your biggest challenge at the moment?
Mattia: To be more competitive with the better service/quality.
Beautiful Florence: the beating heart of Italian fashion manufacturing
What's your favourite part of your work?
Mattia: Development. I started working in my grandma’s samples room and worked around development for many years. Is the best part of my job because it permits me to work with different designers from around the world with different needs, ideas and targets. It opens the mind!
And the most difficult part?
Mattia: To hold the standards promised. Timing and quality is my reputation!
Which is your favourite LUXTRA product?
Mattia: The Nina mini handbag and then the new Daphne bucket bag!
The Nina Mini Handbag
The Daphne Bucket Bag
What are your top 3 things to eat / see / do in Florence?
Mattia: I love parks and gardens. Giardino dei Semplici is one of the first botanical gardens in the world, established in 1545.
Take a drink or eat something at Harry’s Bar, established in early 1950s: the 2nd opening in the world. For eating something smart lunch (focaccine) I suggest Cantinetta Verrazzano, a nice place in the heart of the centre. High quality and a beautiful family story.
Seek out the Giardino dei Semplici when you're next in Florence.
That's it for this week. Thank you for reading.
Have a great week ahead. I'll catch you next time.