Why Italian leather is the gold standard for quality worldwide

Italian leather is revered worldwide for its luxurious quality, supple feel, and long-lasting durability. Here's why:

In the world of leather, Italian leather is the absolute best. Of course, many kinds of leather may carry the genuine leather stamp, but it is the Italian tanning process in particular that makes for such a superior and long-lasting product. When it comes to shoes, especially shoes of the luxurious quality, meticulous design and high end craftsmanship featured in Elizée's styles, it's important that the leather be buttery-soft to the touch so it pampers the skin, and of a quality that will last a lifetime.With Italian leather, this is what you can expect.

Italy has a centuries-old tradition of prestigious leather tanning, starting in Tuscany in the middle ages. This method is respected the world over for the age-old knowledge behind it, and for using plant extracts (mostly from tree bark and roots). The Italian tradition embodies lasting design, quality craftsmanship, and responsible production, and creates an incredibly strong, durable leather. This leather allows artisans to craft and mold Italian leather into elegant almond-toe boots, pointy stilettos, strong but delicate ankle straps, and almost anything a great designer can dream up.

It takes know-how (passed down from one generation of craftspeople to the next), time and love to produce leather by the Italian method. While knowledge and love are hard to quantify, we can tell you about the time: on average, it takes 60 days to tan leather by this traditional method! As with most things in life, from preparing a gourmet meal to perfecting a piano sonata, quality takes time – leather is no exception.  


As you can imagine, Italy has a large number of leather producers over different regions, from large tanneries to small family-run businesses. To showcase their leather, twice a year these producers descend on Italy’s fashion capital, Milan, for the Lineapelle leather fair. Here you – as one of over 20,000 visitors from 100 countries – will find everything from the very traditional in earth tones, to the latest innovations in color and stamping or embossing. Fashion designers, high-end car makers, and those that love the finer things in life all descend on this remarkable show in February (Spring/Summer show) and September (Fall/Winter show) each year. In recent years, Lineapelle has also added shows in London and New York.

To clean Italian leather (just not suede!), simply wipe the item with a soft damp cloth. You can put a small amount of soap on the cloth – just be sure to wipe all soap residue away. Never use excess water, and never immerse the item in water, because this could cause the leather to swell and lose shape, and could also lead to mold. The damp-cloth method is safe. Afterwards, give the leather a final wipe with a dry cloth to remove any remaining moisture. For suede, gently brush it with a soft, dry brush to remove scuffs. We recommend that you take shoes once per year to a cobbler for a bit of professional TLC to keep them looking like new for many, many years to come. Once your shoes are completely dry, store them in a dry area, away from direct heat or sunlight. 

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