We imagine that you may have grown since the last time you purchased a backpack, not only in size and stature but also in taste. You’ve transitioned from homeroom to boardroom, hall pass to passport, and your newest backpack should reflect your current status.
That’s where the master leatherworkers at Il Bisonte come in. Since 1970, the Florentine label has been producing the finest artisanal leather goods following centuries-old Tuscan traditions. Among their most popular creations is the Cosimo, a men’s single-strap backpack that can also be worn as a crossbody bag.
A part of their Heritage Collection, the Cosimo is crafted from rich, double cowhide leather that looks beautiful upon receipt and is guaranteed to take on a satisfying patina of its own with continued wear. Other fine details include brass hardware, suede interior lining and a front-zip pocket with a handwoven cowhide leather pull.
Remarkably, all these fabrics and leathers are produced within a 30-kilometer radius (18.6 miles) of Il Bisonte’s main factory. It helps that the maker is located in a region internationally famous for the quality of its leather goods, but Il Bisonte goes above and beyond to ensure that all of its creations are manufactured following the highest standards of environmental sustainability, favoring biodegradable materials and recycling waste.
For example, consider the source of Il Bisonte’s leather. The label sources leather from cows that had been raised for food use, ensuring that the hides of these bistecca in waiting are not otherwise wasted.
Another quality that sets Il Bisonte apart is what it does with those hides after it receives them. The leather is vegetable-tanned using tannin, a 100% natural powder that is extracted from the bark of chestnut, mimosa and quebracho trees. By following this ancient process, Il Bisonte produces leathers that are soft yet durable and marked with the unmistakable scent of the deep woods. In addition to its tactile and olfactory qualities, Il Bisonte’s vegetable-tanned leather is assured to grow more beautiful with exposure to sunlight, daily use and the passage of time.
Though the practices used to create its leather may be rooted in the past, the Cosimo’s design stands firmly in the present. Its compact size and adjustable shoulder strap make it the ideal accessory for travel and its crossbody functionality will keep it securely close to the body during a bicycle commute (or perhaps, a Vespa joyride). In addition, two zip pockets ensure that essentials like masks, phone chargers and boarding passes remain within easy reach at all times.
And with that, our advanced seminar in backpack studies will conclude. You’ve graduated to something truly great—just don’t forget to pick up your diploma on the way out.