To discover the origins of the Pratesi leatherwear manufacturing company, we have to go back to a time when a shrewd and intelligent Florentine, Egidio Pratesi, was an evacuee in Rome during the Second World War. Little did he know that a few years later, in 1948, he was to have the opportunity of a lifetime.
Italy at that time was a country completely destroyed by bombing and her people were trying to make a living in any way they could. It was a time of great invention and enterprise, with new businesses invented daily in the effort to keep an all-too insistent wolf from the door. Egidio took advantage of the fervent expansion which was going on at that time in the world of cinema. In no time at all he was creating outfits for Quo Vadis, the famous film set in ancient Rome. Pratesi’s pieces de resistance were the leather shields worn by the centurions who battled it out in the Coliseum.
Recognition in this specialised field brought its own financial rewards. This gave Egidio the freedom to continue his activity as an artisan, making small leather goods such as picture frames, key fobs, and belts.
After having such a successful start, Egidio wanted to pursue his dream beyond its beginnings, so he set up a workshop, and this is where he created his very first bags.
As the years have gone by, Egidio’s enthusiasm for new and greater methods of craftsmanship has led him to explore new techniques and materials. Each of his products is finer than the next, yet each has the classic style and durability to stand the test of time.
Moving on from the small workshop founded in via Prati in Rome, Pratesi set up another, more sophisticated workshop connected to an outlet, where the goods could be bought by the fashionable shoppers of Vaile Parioli. Indeed this was one of the most exclusive residential areas of Italy’s capital, famous for its tree-lined boulevards and majestic 19th century houses.
In the 1960s, the economic boom seemed to transform just about every sector of Italy’s economy and this led to an increase in the demand for manufactured goods.
In order to satisfy this increase in demand, Pratesi transformed its little family-run business into a modern factory with a team of skilled workers. This was achieved by relocating to the company’s present site in Donnini, where the high density of nearby tanneries makes it easier to obtain good-quality hides.
Over the years Pratesi has constantly sought to focus as much on improving its products as increasing its output. They have began to develop a specialised focus on the manufacture of suitcases, briefcases and travel bags.
In a span of time which covers almost fifty years, Pratesi has gone on from strength to strength after being handed down from father to son for three generations.
All this has given the company the possibility to create its own individual style, quite unique in the field of leatherwear and it is this very style which has come to be appreciated by so many people far and wide and has allowed the company to continue its activity up to today.