One warm Sunday this August, Hicham BenMbarek, an artisan with Moroccan roots received a visit from a special tourist in his shop in Via della Vigna Nuova in Florence: Sheik Hamed Bin Khalifa Al Thani (pictured in the shop in Florence). The emir, whose family now owns half of Italy, or rather the Valentino maison and Balmain, fell in love with the artisanal creations marketed under the Benheart brand and decided not only to purchase leather jackets for himself, but also for his 24 children and all the stock. So, not a bad advertisement for Benheart, a brand that already has a very particular story. As a child, the 34 year-old designer from whom the brand took its name, fled from his country, seeking a better future in Italy, and at the age of 29 he risked losing his life because of a serious heart condition. A transplant saved him and Ben fought tooth and nail to make his entrepreneurial dream come true. Today, his company generates an income capable of providing work for 60 people, with stores in Verona, Tokyo, Rome and Florence, where he lives. The two men said their goodbyes with the emir promising to open a Benheart store in Doha.