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Storytellers reporting for duty in Florence.

  • 22.04.2019

by Emily and Melissa

Ciao Bella!

We were truly honoured to be invited to Italy by our wonderful client Milaner, who work with the world’s best luxury artisans. Their mission; to tell their stories and sell direct to consumer for the very first time.

Milaner, like many of our clients was founded by two incredible ladies; Serena and Elisa, who grew up in the heart of one of the largest luxury manufacturing districts in Italy. They bonded over buying custom-made pieces from the artisans who they now connect with on a level that enables them to bring their products to the world. In order to get to know how Milaner functions, and how the amazing products are crafted – we took to Italy to find out a little bit more about the processes and more importantly – the talented people behind the brand.

Elisa and Serena both travel around Europe in a bid to meet with the talented craftspeople that they represent. They search for the rare ones; those who have spent their whole lives mastering a specific craft and often preserving a family business. As a result, the collections are made of iconic essentials of unsurpassed quality and beauty.

We are so excited to help bring their products to life through insider access and never-told-before stories. We hope you enjoy following our journey through Italy as much as we enjoyed it all. It truly was the trip we will remember for the rest of our lives.

We were lucky enough to stay at the Continentale, a romantic hideaway in the heart of the city and part of the Lungarno Collection. Our suite was amazing and sat almost directly on top of the famous Ponte Vecchio. Our balcony directly overlooked possibly one of the best sunsets we have ever seen – which was a complete bonus as it was Emily’s birthday on the day of our arrival – which of course called for extra celebrations (like we ever need an excuse!).

 

The classic “Bauletto” design pictured below has been a best-seller for Sapaf 54 for decades, and for good reason. This iconic “doctor” style bag is made with the best quality materials and handcrafted by master artisans in Tuscany, exclusively for Milaner. We road-tested the piece and can safely guarentee that it is perfect for a day in the city! You can fit all of the essentials that you need – and still look effortlessly chic. The Bauletto can hold all of your belongings securely with a zippered top and stylish gold accents. What more could a girl want?

Whilst we were in Florence we focused on shooting pieces made by Sapaf 54. In English, the initials S.A.P.A.F. translate to “The Artisanal Society of Artistic Leather Manufacturing”. This society was born in a garage in 1954 in post-war Florence by Silvano Calistri and his wife Valdivia, just as the artisan movement in Florence was flourishing. With interested buyers from all around the world, Silvano and Valdivia made their first export to Puerto Rico. From there, Sapaf 54 had acquired customers around the world, supplying customers like Saks Fifth Avenue and Bloomingdales. 

We also took our lovely “Bauletto” out for a beautiful surprise meal for Emily’s birthday. We went to one of our now favourite restaurants; La Ménagère. The set up was perfect – it was a combination of a restaurant, paired with a beautiful florist – now that really is our dream duo – food and flowers! Not only was the location incredibly special, but our table was located directly next to a grand piano.

The classic “Bauletto” design pictured above has been a best-seller for Sapaf 54 for decades, and for good reason. This iconic “doctor” style bag is made with the best quality materials and handcrafted by master artisans in Tuscany, exclusively for Milaner. We road-tested the piece and can safely guarentee that it is perfect for a day in the city! You can fit all of the essentials that you need – and still look effortlessly chic. The Bauletto can hold all of your belongings securely with a zippered top and stylish gold accents. What more could a girl want?

We spent our afternoon snapping away and people watching at Caffè Concerto Paszkowski – a stylish and traditional cafe which seemed to be unchanged by time. It had an air of passion and a quest for exclusivity – which dated back to 1846. In the early 1900s, the Caffè Paszkowski became well-known as a literary cafe welcoming intellectuals and writers – something which you could really feel from the character – there was something about the dark wood stained tables that made you think about how many people had sat in that exact spot over the years. Unchanged since its inception, today the Caffè Concerto Paszkowski remains an elegant concert stage and cafe right in the heart of Florence.

We also took our lovely “Bauletto” out for a beautiful surprise meal for Emily’s birthday. We went to one of our now favourite restaurants; La Ménagère. The set up was perfect – it was a combination of a restaurant, paired with a beautiful florist – now that really is our dream duo – food and flowers! Not only was the location incredibly special, but our table was located directly next to a grand piano.

We also got the chance to visit the oldest café in Florence, the city’s living room for over 270 years. Gilli was established over 270 years ago by a Swiss family in Florence, it started as a pastry shop just steps away from the Duomo which was perfectly located! Again, we took the chance to sit, sip, and take in the ambiance that surrounded us.

We spent our days in Florence seeking the best spots to shoot – but also made time to get lost. We always find it important to allow for a loose agenda as we know that even the best made plans don’t always work out the way that you want them to. Some of the best locations that we have found whilst being in a different country have been the times where we have been roaming – it’s such a good way to immerse yourself in the local culture.

As much as we had relentlessly pinned Florence on Pinterest for months prior to our trip, nothing could have prepared us for the unsurpassed quality and beauty that we were met with. Being able to step out onto the balcony that overlooked the river, whilst drinking coffee and getting ready for our day of exploring ahead.

For all of the three nights that we were in Florence for, we watched the most incredible sunsets that we had ever seen – which was extra special, especially for Emily’s birthday. Even we couldn’t have imagined that we would get the views that we did. The sun set straight across the river in front of us, and the vibrancy of the tones bounced on the water – it really was the most beautiful thing we had ever seen.

Until next time, Florence. We will be back.

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