SCENE | Vere Verto in Rural Spain
It's perhaps more evident than ever: source and process are huge components when building a brand in today's market—consumers are more aware of where things are made, how they're made, and what they're made of. While there's been a lot of due praise given to heritage brands and manufacturers over the last seven or so years, I find it as interesting when a young label finds its way, and hits its stride, by teaming up with a storied manufacturer or artisan in the world. Case and point is Vere Verto, one of my most favorite leather bag makers. They recently returned from the leather tannery they work with in rural Spain and had a show-and-tell session with me. The business relationship they have with their tannery is not only a window into an ancient craft, but it's also a window into the Spanish soul. E-mail and phone orders don't cut it with a tannery like this that's been in business since 900 A.D., it's about face-to-face meetings (often with wine), tradition, heritage, pride, family, and respect. In short, tanneries in Spain are sacred and personal relationships are everything. Here are some shots from the tannery in a teeny village north of Madrid in the Castilla Y León region. All the processes the leather goes through to become piel curtida (a tanned hide), from drying to buffing to vegetable dying in giant bombos, are slow, storied, and, according to Vere Verto, perfect. It makes me have a whole new appreciation for my Mox.
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