A journey to Valvigna, in the heart of Prada leather goods

A journey to Valvigna, in the heart of Prada leather goods

“We have to use as much of the leather as possible. But this is a luxury bag that has to last, so we cannot accept imperfections”. This is affirmed by Samuele Checchi, head of Prada’s women‘s model shop in Valvigna (Arezzo). The quality of the leather is so important for a bag from the brand that the group has acquired a 43% stake in the Tuscan tannery Superior. The bag examined was the Prada Galleria, the most complex. It takes 100 different components and a whole day’s work to make it.

The Prada Galleria bag

The Galleria bag was designed in 2007. It is named after the brand’s original flagship store in Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan. The Telegraph tells us how they make it in Valvigna (in the 30,000 square metre indoor and equally outdoor factory) where 800 people work. But only artisans with at least five years of experience can get their hands on this bag. “We have been making the Galleria for years, but we are constantly reinterpreting it”, says Checchi. Who points out how, unlike other luxury leather goods companies, every Prada artisan is an expert in every step of the production process. Whereas usually each craftsman is an expert in only one stage of the process.

“Bertelli oversees everything

Checchi reveals how Patrizio Bertelli, who, with his wife Miuccia Prada runs the group, is “very focused on leather goods”. So much so, that to make prototypes “he wants the model makers to do their work manually, because you can’t get that kind of feel with a computer”, writes the Telegraph. “Mr Bertelli oversees everything from the first model to the finished sample. Everything. Always”, adds Checchi.

Superior leather

The Prada Galleria bag is made from Prada’s signature cross-grain saffiano leather. Mostly used is the central part, which is more even in thickness than the side parts. “We have to use as much  of the leather as possible, but imperfections are not tolerated”, says Checchi. On Prada’s involvement in the tannery Superior, industrial director Massimo Vian says: “We wanted to control the entire supply chain. There are some technical secrets that belong to that tannery, which we are now very active in managing”.

Photo by Prada

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