CECCHI DE ROSSI: Artisinal Wine-soaked Modern Tuscan Leathers
On a mild winter evening I arrived in the Tuscan town of Pescia, and sat down to a hearty dinner with my friend, Nim, who wanted to introduce me to her friend Tommaso Cecchi de’ Rossi, owner of Italian leather goods brand CECCHI DE ROSSI, for whom she recently started to work with, having left the world of law for that of leather. Tommaso arrived with his family, cheerful and easy going, and we had a non-stop chin-wag over pizza and Chianti. The next morning I visited this studio, nestled within the grounds of a vineyard, an apt setting for the CECCHI DE ROSSI brand as I would learn.
John-Paul Pietrus: Tommaso, how did you commence business?
Tommaso: I was born into a Tuscan family that had worked in the leather industry and still produced wine, however CECCHI DE ROSSI actually started following a series of coincidental events in 2007. I had begun to design and produce the occasional leather bag but merely for my own personal use. Following an incident involving a spillage of red wine over my own bag I started to experiment with colouring leather with wine. I spent the next few years developing the “pellevino” natural colouring technique which uses wine and other natural extracts to colour the leather. In 2009 I patented the technique, and subsequently, the composition of the colours. Meanwhile I continued to study design, experimenting myself with bag design and learning from other local and international designers and artisans. I launched the CECCHI DE ROSSI brand in 2010 with a Spring-Summer collection of bags and accessories.
JP: Is there a family history in leather goods?
Tommaso: I am the first to produce leather goods, however I do have a family history in leather. My family owned a prestigious local leather tannery so starting up a business producing leather goods took me back to my family origins. I was also influenced by the fact that my great grandfather was a diplomat in China, growing up I was fascinated by the family bond with the country and this was definitely reflected in my work in developing “pellevino” colours and creating my brand.
JP: How many seasons have you had?
Tommaso: Thirteen, and we are currently designing our 14th season
JP: What sets CECCHI DE ROSSI apart from other Tuscan leather goods, what is your usp and also is there a signature style?
Tommaso: CECCHI DE ROSSI uses two unique and patented techniques in the production of our products. The first is the “pellevino” colouring technique, as previously mentioned. The second is the “Armor” leather modelling technique used in the “Armor”, “Bicorne” and “Infinite” range, whereby bags and accessories are constructed by modelling the leather on wooden moulds. The result is completely seamless leather bags and accessories. This is what I consider to be the heart and USP of the brand. In addition we use a traditional “plissé” folding technique for the “Venta” range. The items in this range are constructed purely of “plissé” folded leather, no metal or wood added. These ranges represent the brand’s most signature style. We use the purest and highest quality of products in the construction of our bags. Even the materials used to reinforce the leather are natural materials. As the leather ages, so does the bag itself, beautifully.
JP: What is in the near future for CECCHI DE ROSSI?
Tommaso: We are currently working on our AW17 collection to be presented next year. The collection will maintain CECCHI DE ROSSI signature styles, presenting new products in existing ranges. We are also busy expanding into the Interior Design market. We have a current collaboration with Passoni Nature for the production of furniture and interiors coloured using “pellevino” patented colours. This is a very exciting project for us and we are working on other projects that unite CECCHI DE ROSSI’s signature work with interior design. We are also working on various online projects and collaborations with other designers. Finally, we are developing a formula of presenting CECCHI DE ROSSI in a broader context, organising events and other initiatives which bring together CECCHI DE ROSSI bags, accessories and interiors together with a food and drink concept that focuses on the quality of natural ingredients. The common factor in this project is a sort of “tribute to nature”, combining a contemporary artisan aesthetic with quality of natural products and ingredients.
JP: What is your dream project?
Tommaso: To successfully build a “CECCHI DE ROSSI” concept which combines contemporary artisan fashion, design, food and drink. To become a real “maison” CECCHI DE ROSSI, I mean a true contemporary luxury brand, a name that people associate with real luxury through products that are not only superficially beautiful but also meaningful. A brand that brings together tradition and contemporary fashion/interiors/food/drink that age beautifully with time and be remembered always.www.cecchiderossi.com
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