Inside Berluti: with leather as the main protagonist. From the choice of material to the cutting, coating and tattooing to personalise the finished product. Berluti has been part of the LVMH stable since 1993. But it has a centuries-old history, dating back to when Alessandro Berluti, originally from Senigallia (Ancona) and who moved to Paris, founded it in the late 1800s. Today, the brand produces in its factory in Gaibanella, a suburb of Ferrara: 8,000 square metres where about 300 people work. To become an artisan requires 400 hours of training, while for each pair of shoes there are 200 work steps to complete and almost 50 hours of work for made-to-measure models.
According to thenationalnews.com, which visited Berluti factory, a large part of production is now occupied by the Playoff sneaker model (pictured). It consists of more than 80 leather parts, each of which requires its own process. “We use only the best quality leather,” says plant manager François Berthet. “Less than 10 per cent of the leather our buyers view is up to Berluti standards”.
Sneakers stitching “is art”
“Of all the ways to cut leather (a procedure performed by laser, ed.), the most important thing is the craftsman’s eye,” explain the maison. Not only that; to assemble the 80 leather parts that make up the Playoff sneakers requires “the most complex stitching in the history of the brand. It’s art,” says Berthet. Then there is the phase of patinating the leather, a process that takes up to 160 minutes on average. Finally, we come to the department where the leather is tattooed on demand. “We have four in-house tattoo artists,” says Berthet. Each design takes about 16 hours, and is done with the same gun used to tattoo human skin. If that’s not the best, it’s pretty close.