Firenze su misura

A guide to the past, present and future of Florentine craftsmanship

The seduction of a custom-made object. The subtle, exclusive pleasure of owning something that has been conceived, designed and made specifically to reflect one’s own personality. In this respect, the workshops of Florence’s artisans are a delight for all lovers of beauty. It is here that some of the oldest artisanal traditions were born, the fame of Florentine craftsmanship seeming to go back to time immemorable.  And it is here that those who are in effect the modern heirs to this extraordinary know how practice their craft today, to which Firenze su misura, the guide to Florentine craftsmanship edited by Gruppo Editoriale and OMA – Osservatorio dei Mestieri d’Arte of Florence, is dedicated. Issued in December in its new, colourful guise, which represents a world in continuous evolution at its best, the book opens the doors to true temples of mastery.

Forget the dull and dusty image of the elderly “artisan-hermit” who toils away in his workshop making objects that have little to do with today’s society or the fashions and trends of the moment. Make way, instead, for the increasing number of young artisans occupying centuries- old workshops and new studios where jewellery with modern lines, original eyewear and uniquely stylish bags, clothes and furnishing accessories are created.  

The guide recounts the art of creating things by handand authentic, universal beauty that goes beyond the passage of time. Craftsmanship is not just a passion but also a great opportunity that has taken those who seize it with an open mind out into the world.

280 pages in two languages (Italian and English) and over 350 photos taken by Dario Garofalo.

A journey that through the stories, faces and most iconic creations of sixty master craftsmen divided into six categories – home décor, jewellery, leather, accessories, tailoring and perfume – demonstrates the many facets of Florentine craftsmanship, and with it, the past, present and future of the city with which it is inextricably linked. And so we rediscover techniques such as Florentine mosaic work, with its incredibly expressive, beautifully coloured pictures in inlaid semi-precious stones, traditions such as leather working, typical Florentine picture frames, jewellery, perfume making – which owes much to Caterina de’ Medici –and tailoring, which couldn’t possibly be omitted when talking about the city where Italian fashion began its ascendance

The contents include historic names such as Officina Profumo – Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella, founded shortly after the Dominican friars’ arrival in Florence in 1221, Antico Setificio Fiorentino in San Frediano,where silk has been woven on its looms since 1786, wigmakers Filistrucchi, the oldest workshop in Florence still in the hands of the same family since its establishment in 1720, and the Scuola del Cuoio, an institution a stone’s throw from the Church of Santa Croce. 

There are also more recently opened workshops that have already made their mark, such as leather artist Kyoko Morita’s Il Merlo Bags, master ceramic artist Alberto Giampieri’s L’Arco Azzurro, Negar Azhar Azari’s NAA Studio, a jewellery workshop in the heart of Oltrarno, and BeGiuls belonging to Giuliana Becattini, a fashion designer with a multitude of ideas. A symphony of creations to have and love, the fruit of an artistic craftsmanship that always amazes for its exceptional workmanship, attention to detail and the wealth of tradition and innovation it conveys.

Publication of the guide is linked with 8 specially made videos, where scenes of artisans at their craft alternate with covers in pop, vibrant colours, like the music that accompanies them.

The guide, which is on sale on the IBS portal and in the best bookshops in Tuscany, Milan and Rome, is also distributed by Florence’s top hotels. An invaluable publication, which has come out just as Florence is standing as a candidate for UNESCO Creative City 2019, and which is also linked to The Mall Luxury Outlets project, where for two months from the end of August, a series of events featuring a number of Florentine master craftsmen will take place. But the surprises are going to keep coming. Stay tuned also with hashtag #firenzesumisura.