I love a good story, and the story behind this brand is a great one. For his birthday a few years back, my brother received a gift from a friend – a major actress with impeccable taste at the pinnacle of her fashion game. The gift was a raw leather wallet, totally untreated, from a brand called Il Bisonte.
His raw leather wallet has since aged from the virgin color and texture it was. On a first date, oil from nervous hands mining for a credit card darkened the tan leather. The dye from a favorite pair Levi’s polished the wallet’s stitched edges as he strolled the streets of Barcelona. And money from home, from travels, and the receipts from a life well lived imprinted themselves on its insides.
This is a piece that has lived through his story, and just like him, bares the effects of the journey.
The Il Bisonte story started in the 60s with Wanny Antonio di Filippo, then a spare car parts salesman. While traveling for work, Wanny boarded a ferry to Sardinia where he met his future wife Nadia, a young singer on tour with her sisters. They were youthful and in love, artistic and inspired, and began turning the abundant stimuli of the decade into tangible art. “At the time, I would turn into a hippie at weekends. I was in my late twenties, and together with other French, English, German friends of mine, we would meet on the beach and create leather objects such as belts, wallets and bags, which we would then give as a gift to our friends,” Wanny recalls.*
The Il Bisonte brand would soon be shaped in a small shop in Florence that evidenced the marks of a flood from years prior. Organic giving and permeation of life, of experiences are at the foundation of this brand and today’s purveyors are following suit. Each day decorates your Il Bisonte leather, and I imagine that Wanny wants it that way. Find out more about these elegant pieces at IlBisonte.com.
*All history via IlBisonte.com. Thanks to Jordan and Jeff for images of their aging wallets.