“The glove is the accessory that makes the difference in elegance.” (Laura Lusuardi) From protective sheath to the hands accessory to complete a perfect look, the glove has come a long way. According to legend, the goddess Venus, one day, while running in the woods on Mount Olympus, fell with her hands on a bush of brambles and scratched them. The trusty Graces, then sewed the thin strips around his hands: gloves were born. Already Homer in the Odyssey sang its multiple functions, but a greater diffusion came with the Egyptians. In the tomb of Tutankhamun five pairs of gloves were found: linen, five-fingered and one-handed, used to lead the chariots or to attend the processions. But it was the Europeans who made it a hallmark of nobility, the symbol of maximum elegance, no longer an instrument, but an accessory. Whether they are short, long, sporty, elegant, for women or men, leather or any other material, gloves are still today one of the elements of clothing that resists epochal change, the advent of technology and new needs of the market. Italian gloves, products that have their roots in the great craft tradition of the Peninsula, are a shining example of the immortality of this timeless accessory.
Naples, capital of gloves: the art of Neapolitan masters
Among flavours, smells and colours always new, not everyone knows that in the alleys of Naples it is possible to reconstruct the history of Italian gloves, or rather the glove factory’s art. The city of Campania can be considered in all respects the capital of gloves, precisely because here, immediately after the start in France in the 1600s, began the production of this exclusive accessory, at least at the beginning. We are in 700 in the Sanità district and here, the Neapolitan master craftsmen, are dedicated to the creation of Italian leather gloves, passing on art and passion from generation to generation. From the design to the choice of materials, from the paper model to the meticulous cutting of all the components, up to the seam: the handcrafted gloves of Naples are born as unique pieces, cared for in every detail and able to remain faithful to the wearer over the years. The products created by the skilled hands of the Neapolitan masters become timeless, perfect Italian excellences, rich in history and culture.
Here is a roundup of the leading Italian leather gloves manufacturers:
From the Sanità district to the conquest of the world: the Omega gloves tell the story of the Squillace family, led by Pasquale, who in the IXX century makes use of the idea of opening a glove factory. Then it will be the son Gennaro to continue the family tradition, coming to produce about 3000 pairs of gloves a year. From father to son, the art of hand-made gloves will conquer first Alberto, an expert in fabrics and raw materials and then Mauro Squillace, now head of a company that continues to put in front of all the high quality of its creations, between more classic models and new trends.
1895, Naples: Fortunato Portolano founded the leather gloves factory that bears his name. In the hands of the first-born Alberto, the production widens and the tannery and dyeing of leathers also arrive. World success comes with Mario Portolano, a consecrator of Neapolitan artisan culture and a lover of elegance to choose from in everyday life. Even today, the elegant gloves by Mario Portolano are synonymous with quality and reliability.
Three generations of master glovers, from 1930 to the challenges of the future. Today it is Alessandro Pellone who leads this entrepreneurial excellence of Italian craftsmanship, after taking the baton from his father Gaetano and his grandmother glovers. In his own production workshop he dedicates a lot of time to choosing the perfect materials to combine traditional craftsmanship with fashion novelties.
The Colonna artisans gave life to the gloves family’s tradition in 1930. Leather gloves for men and women born from prestigious collaborations with brands of great international value, such as Brunello Cucinelli, Gianni Versace, Alberta Ferretti, Moschino, Dsquared, without forgetting the values of the roots, the craftsmanship of the origins.
Giovanni Ricciardiello, master glove of 5 lustres, continues to work in the family-run company together with his children. Guardian of the wisdom of the art nouveau glove, Mr. Giovanni carefully chooses the materials with which to create his products, unique in the world. Gloves in leather black or in various colours and models to keep up with changing times, collecting the “gauntlet of challenge” of modernity.
Sim Italian Gloves
The company was founded in Naples in 1927, founded by the master glove Luigi Simeone with the name of GUANTO SIM: a factory that produces leather gloves, worked according to the Neapolitan artisan tradition. In 1997 the Simeone brothers transformed it into the Sim Italian Gloves s.r.l., continuing to contribute for years to the success of Made in Italy in the world.
Forino Gloves 1899
Elegance and practicality are the founding values of this gloves’ factory company born in 1899 from the ancient family tradition. Over 200 original and exclusive models that make space on the global market with strokes of craftsmanship, the one that never goes out of fashion.
The gloves are no longer the symbol that identifies a precise social class, the highest, emblematic, of the European nobility. Today the gloves are a product for everyone, an accessory necessary to protect themselves from the harsh winter temperatures, but also and above all the detail that enriches and completes the clothing, that extra touch in your style. Classic, modern, even touchscreen gloves to afford the luxury of not taking them off when the technological and frenetic daily life requires us to stay in touch with others. Winterly, closed and warm, or summerly, open and breathable. In every single seam of an Italian glove there is the patience and the passion of the small artisan shops of the past, which have become leading manufacturers of gloves all over the world. Made in Italy gloves are to be placed right in the crowded chest of tricolored excellences, those that come to life between the sky and the sea of the Peninsula and slowly reach the heart of those who love quality, good taste and tradition.
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