FrontRunners: Fair Leather

<< Back to Robb Report, August 2003

Sometimes the marks of quality are obvious: the radiance of a diamond or the sheen of a mink coat. But other indications of refinement are subtler: the aroma of a white truffle or the feel of cashmere against the skin. The exquisitely crafted leather items made by Valextra (+39.02.76000103, www.valextra.com) clearly fall into the latter category. Valextra was founded in 1937 on the idea of combining the techniques and skills of master craftsmen with refined design. After 66 years, Valextra has become not only a Milanese tradition, but a thriving modern enterprise that maintains and defends the art of the handmade.

Each object—from the calfskin change purse to the parchment-covered suitcase—is crafted by hand. While a few new pieces are added to the collection each year, classic items—such as the Compasso d’Oro briefcase (which dates to 1954 when it took Italy’s top design prize)—remain popular. If, for some reason, you can’t find exactly what you want, just make an appointment with the company’s su misura, or bespoke, staff.

He played the guitar when composing such classics as I Want to Hold Your Hand and Please Please Me…
Photo by Eric Stoner
The artist’s works will be on display at the Hirschl & Adler gallery in New York City this...
Auction items will include early comics, collectibles, and Simon’s The Simpsons pinball machine…
Ferrari’s track-only hybrid supercar is now available in 1:8 scale…
Photo by Estate of Pablo Picasso Artists Rights Society, New York
Picasso’s Les Femmes d’Alger selling for $179.4 million in May is one of many recent examples…
Photo by Randall Cordero
How an Internet entrepreneur assembled a world-beating collection of arcade games…
Photo by Cordero Studios/www.corderostudios.com
A Southern California homeowner has an incredible 1,200-square-foot shrine to America’s pastime…
Photo by Iwan Baan
This September, a highly anticipated contemporary art museum—the Broad—will open in downtown Los...
How much does baseball outpace other sports memorabilia? A look at the record-setting prices for...
Paola Russo discovered two decks in Italy at G. Lorenzi, one covered in gold leaf and the other in...