Friendship, passion for motorbikes and a willingness to take risks. This is how Brutus, a brand of leather clothing and accessories for motorcyclists (and everyone else), was born in the middle of the pandemic. The products are all designed and manufactured in Italy. The showroom and headquarters are in Turin, where design is carried out in 3D, following the logic adopted for the creation of racing vehicles. While production is carried out by craftsmen scattered throughout Italy. A real gamble launched at the end of 2020 by three friends who met on motorbikes: brothers Federico and Giuseppe Rizzo and Antonio Gargiulo who, in this interview, tells us about an adventure that “hides” within itself (also) a completely new and particularly innovative way of managing the dyeing process.
For motorcyclists, for everyone
When was the project born?
The “ok: let’s do it” was in the summer of 2020. We were all doing other things, and to some extent we still are. The stopping months of the pandemic gave us a chance to decide what to do. We founded a company together. First a year of planning work, and then we set off with clear ideas about what we wanted to represent.
All three of us are motorcyclists, we live this environment from the inside. There are also people who design the bodywork of racing motorbikes. Each of us is connected to the world of motorbikes, in a different way. And we have relationships with moto GP and Superbike personalities. And the intuition came from there. We realised that there was a market space, a gap between the technical product (like Alpinestars or Dainese) and the leather walking jacket, and fashion clothing.
Occupying a market space
So what do you offer?
Our products have technical features for motorcyclists, but can be worn by everyone. There are no rigid protectors inside, but the thickness of the leather is that of the 70s jackets. We can’t call ourselves technical, but we’ve been observing those who wear leather garments on the track.
A middle ground
We thought about comfort and fit as fundamental principles. For example, we calculated the space to wear a protector under the jacket, a waistcoat with airbag or a back protector. A jacket that looks good to wear but is also comfortable. This also applies to boots. Comfortable items for which we have never compromised.
Do you only sell online?
At the moment yes. On the one hand it’s better that way, given what’s happened in the last period. On the other, those who come to visit us at the Griffa studio in Turin (by appointment) where we work, discover a very stimulating environment, and buy our products appreciating them much more. For this reason, we will be doing some events, including trade fairs.
The leather, the style
Where does the raw material come from?
We use 100% Italian vegetable-tanned leather, mostly from Tuscany and Solofra. It depends on the animal and the thickness we need. We also pay meticulous attention to the use of plastics and metal parts. Even in the packaging: our packaging is made of cotton mixed with 30% recycled plastic.
The style is vintage, but the idea is hi-tech…
Yes, Brutus products have a strong innovative connotation. They are all made on a 3D design, from clothing to footwear. This way, we are able to see the product in its entirety and then the craftsman can reconstructs it with the pattern and what is needed.
That special colour factor
You derive colour pigments from used tyres: how?
It’s called Donut SP (Special Production) colouring, and is the latest innovation from Brutus. It is made directly from rubber polymers obtained from the crumbling of racing tyres. Namely: tyres that are collected at the end of race weekends. It’s an idea that was born out of doing burn outs at an event. We thought about the fact that racing tyres are being retired because motorbike manufacturers can’t keep them. We worked on it, it took us a few months to find the right solution, working with Iccio Leather Treatments, a partner who is actively participating in colour and material experiments on the leather. And the result is formidable on leather jackets.
Innovation and reuse?
This unprecedented dyeing is completely focused on the theme of environmental sustainability, further reinforcing the concept of recycling, already intrinsic to leather. And so synthetic rubber takes on a new form and a new sense of existence. It is not a product that is made in series, but on demand. All our products are numbered, they have a distinguishing serial number stamped on a leather label. We will never make thousands of pieces. We focus on uniqueness and craftsmanship.