The Best Accessories Brands at Pitti Uomo
1. Ana Lemata
Ana Lemata is less a milliner than a textile artist who happens to make hats – and “passionate” doesn’t begin to describe her approach to her craft. Her hats are by turns whimsical, elegant, and romantic, ranging from traditional designs to hats that are barely recognizable as hats until they’re worn.
Ana was trained by the former milliner to Queen Mother Elizabeth of England, though she also carries a Ph.D in art history. Both skill and knowledge are on display in all her wares, and one gets the feeling that her hats wouldn’t be out of place in the Guggenheim Bilbao. But don’t let the incredible artistry fool you – these hats, made of materials such as beaver felt, vicuna, and straw – are made to last as long as the wearer, with proper care. And, while there are a host of ready-made options available upon inquiry, Ana relishes the opportunity to make bespoke hats for discerning clients.
If you’re in the market for something hand-made, unique, and sure to bring you years of happiness, you should act soon – currently, Ana’s prices are almost criminally low considering the materials used and the amount of work that goes into each piece.
2. PB 0110
One of the most interesting pieces we saw at Pitti was this undyed leather backpack by PB 0110. This is a German brand that manufactures primarily sleek, modern leather accessories; very much in the vein of Scandinavian design but with a slightly more streetwear bent to them. What that means is that instead of rigid perfection you get a product with a bit more personality than the stereotypically featureless accessories people still tend to associate with ubiquitous minimalism.
Like most of the companies that show at Pitti, PB 0110 is eager to tout the lasting quality of its products. Normally, I’m wary of these claims, but pictures of well-used leather bags suggest that perhaps there’s more than marketing spin to the statements.
Though the articles are available in a range of colors and styles, the undyed leathers are probably the stand-out. Perfect for lugging around your rolls of dead-stock denim and small-batch-roasted coffee beans.
If you spend any time involved in the #menswear community online, you’ve probably heard of The Bespoke Dudes – or at least of the founder, Fabio Attanasio, who’s a veritable Instagram celebrity. The eyewear is based on classic – mostly 50’s and 60’s – styles, but updated for a more modern look. Every pair, whether wire or acetate, is manufactured and hand-finished in Italy, and if nothing else it’s a great alternative to the Luxottica behemoth. Of course, you’ll have to make sure the shapes and widths work for your face, but the details, lenses, and finishes may just pull you away from that free pair of sunnies you keep in your car’s cupholder.
4. La Portegna
We’ve been singing the praises of La Portegna since at least 2014, and nothing has changed our appreciation for these lightweight travel goods and accessories. While in years past the offerings were very voyage-focused, La Portegna has expanded somewhat to include a wider range of women’s goods, along with shoes and sneakers for both sexes. The latter being, as José told me, a natural extension of the brand, despite (his words) the ubiquity of minimal sneakers.
To me, the appeal of La Portegna is how good the products feel in the hand, and how comforting it is to bring them with you on a daily – or irregular – basis. The designs and leathers continue to be attractive to both the eye and the hand, and offer a relieving middle ground when one is faced on all sides by heavy leather weekenders and Nylon carryalls. And, to José’s credit, his (leather-soled) espadrilles are the only espadrilles I’ve ever considered wearing.
Oh, and if you’re looking for a backpack in La Portegna’s beautiful and long-wearing ‘Sol’ leather, the wait is over.
(Disclosure: La Portegna provided Styleforum with sponsored goods for a different project in 2015)
Merola is an old standby of Italian glovemaking, and for good reason. Since 1885, they’ve managed not only to hang on to their manufacturing pedigree, but they’ve adapted their line to fit the needs (and hands) of everyone from Kate Winslet in Titanic to your average guy with a smartphone. Of particular note were the gloves lined with tie silk, which is a touch that I can see many Styleforum members finding attractive – and comfortable. The materials and linings remain sumptuous, the finishing top-notch, and the number of styles available mean it’s pretty likely that you’ll be able to find something to keep your hands both warm and stylish, whether you’re riding a vintage bicycle or just nonchalantly stuffing your gloves in the pocket of your overcoat.