Leatherworkers by passion, writers by chance: “Bag Modeling”, the first manual dedicated to the secrets of the leather goods modeling profession, is published




This is the story of Elisa Cigna and Andrea Marcocci, two young Florentine leather goods pattern makers who took advantage of the years of Covid "imprisonment" to give life to a very ambitious project. In fact, after three years of intense work, their first book as authors, "Modelleria Borse", is being released by the Ikon publishing house, a real leather goods manual with all the "secrets" of the trade learned in the field by the two kids during their young careers.


A leather goods manual is an apparently simple yet innovative and effective idea. How was “Modelleria Borse” born?


Elisa: «After my university experience in Architecture, I approached this profession with the Alta Scuola di Pelletteria in Scandicci and, subsequently, I won a scholarship for a modeling course with a final internship at a high fashion brand . There I met Andrea who already had some experience in the sector. I immediately realized that there are similarities between the creative process of the bag and that of constructing a house or a building: there are very similar principles and rules to be respected. Everyone has their own modus operandi but a bag must stand up just like a house! During that internship period, also thanks to Andrea's teachings, I wrote lots of notes wherever I could. At home, I put them all back in order so I could reuse them later at work. In a year and a half I have written an enormous amount of information. Then, suddenly, Covid, everyone at home. And Andrea enters the scene."


Andrea: «With Elisa we thought it might be a good idea to give the form of a real book to her precious notes. So, after finding the Ikon publishing house which supported us right away, during the pandemic we threw ourselves headlong into this project: we met on video calls every Saturday morning for a year and a half. We had to write and rewrite everything, delve deeper into the concepts and become writers... by accident! Additionally, we tried every process, every technique that we put into the book to make sure we were getting the concepts right. “Modelleria Bags” was born from the awareness, gained during our experiences, that in this sector there was a lack of a written leather goods manual accessible to everyone and not only to those who have the possibility of attending paid courses and not at specialized schools. A tool that explained the connection between knowing how to use the software and the manual creation of bag models. I would like to say that our methods are neither univocal nor absolute, but are intended only to be a help for young people who are approaching the profession."


What is the hope for your creature?


Elisa: « "Bag Modeling" is the first manual of this kind and we are proud of it. While researching the book, I tried to dig up information about leather goods modeling on every platform imaginable, but there was almost nothing to be found. There are manuals on clothing of all kinds, but on the bag there is a huge void to fill. Unfortunately, in this sector the primordial and conservative conception of the artisan world still prevails: "I have the know-how and I keep it". Instead, the current world teaches us that aggregating and disseminating our heritage of artisanal knowledge in the correct way is vital for the profession to survive the lack of specialized figures. The treasure of the old Florentine leather craftsmen is at risk of extinction. Among young people, however, there is a hunger for knowledge, there is a need for the right tools for those who really want to learn with passion like Andrea and me"


Andrea: «Our objective is absolutely to get the manual into the hands of young apprentice leather workers as a training and orientation tool. Collaborations with schools are welcome, in fact we have already contacted Polimoda, Marangoni, Mita and Alta Scuola and we are waiting to know if they are interested in including "Bag Modeling" among their course textbooks. We would be happy if this project would also overcome the mistrust of leather workers of previous generations so that they could finally share and pass on their knowledge to all enthusiasts".

“Modelleria Borse” is published by Ikon Editrice

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