Il Bisonte is a high-end Florentine brand that has been crafting bags and accessories in Tuscany in leather and fabric for the past five decades with a style that is unfettered by fashion conventions and seasonal trends of the market.
Its participation in and support of the International Festival in Ferrara stems from deeply shared values and a desire to recount to the magazine’s readers and festival participants its love and commitment to Orti Dipinti, a magnificent educational urban garden situated in the historic center of Florence, where the possibility of building a better future for people and the planet is explored.
To find out all about “Il Bisonte for Orti Dipinti,” we highly recommend participating in “GREEN,” a meeting with Orti founder Giacomo Salizzoni and vertical forest architect Stefano Boeri, scheduled for Friday, Sept. 19, at 5 p.m. in the Cortile del Castello, as well as reading issue 0 of Il Bisonte Magazine which is dedicated to this project, and can be found free of charge at the festival and in digital format at stories.ilbisonte.com/magazine.
Founded in 1970, Il Bisonte is a 100% made-in-Italy company now owned by Look Holdings Inc, the brand’s historic Japanese distributor listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.
The fashion house’s identity is based on authentic values formed by a past which is rich in tradition, creativity in constant communication with the present, and a vision of the future dedicated to environmental, social and commercial sustainability.
For Il Bisonte, tradition is a factor of innovation and generates well-being for the territory that preserves it. This is why the company values the ancient knowledge of its master artisans and supports revitalizing once-forgotten manufacturing techniques, like the vegetable-tanning of leather. This way it helps safeguard the irreplaceable skills of its craftsmen and pass that knowledge on from generation to generation.
All of Il Bisonte’s workshops are located within 30 km of Florence. The creative center and pattern-making department are in the Pontassieve factory. Leathers have always been selected from the same tanneries in Santa Croce sull’Arno. Linen and cotton cloths are made exclusively in Prato; woolen ones come from the valleys of Casentino. Brass finishes are melded in Pelago, and bags and accessories are sewn in the villages of Vicchio and Rufina. This unique supply chain of excellence is the most authentic heir to the thousand-year history of Tuscan manufacturing.
Free from seasonal fashion constraints, Il Bisonte’s collections do not pander to the fleeting whims of trends and the market. The company’s responsible business model ambitiously seeks to generate lasting value in the lives of its customers, who are invited to consciously choose what to buy, wear it for a long time, take care of it and repair it when necessary. Outside of traditional consumer patterns, Il Bisonte focuses on an authentic yet alternative circular economy and on using products that have a slow and sustainable life cycle.
All the artisan processes in Il Bisonte’s production chain are constantly being optimized, and they prioritize the use of biodegradable materials as well as the recovery of manufacturing waste. The hides used to make bags and accessories come exclusively from animals raised for food use, which – if not reused – would negatively impact disposal.
In an ancient technique, the leather is ‘vegetable-tanned’ using tannin. This 100% natural powder, extracted from the bark of chestnut, mimosa and quebracho trees, enhances the quality of the leather, making it soft and resistant to wear and tear, and uniquely redolent of the forest. Over time, thanks to the tannin’s alchemy combining sunlight with daily use, vegetable-tanned leather takes on a magnificent amber patina that renders it even more beautiful.