I passed by this shop on the way to the Fortuny Museum and it caught my eye since it reminded me of those souvenirs from Italy I got as a child which I thought were probably made in Hong Kong.
I saw some stuff that were cool.
The first thing that caught my eye was the kiss-lock eyeglass case. It had structure but wasn't hard edged. These would make a great minaudiere. It fits small cell phone, cash, credit card and small lipstick.
I'm not sure what they do to the interior but they sueded the leather in such a way that it was so dense it almost felt like it had a rubber coating.
I interviewed the shopkeeper, Pagan, who married into the family that manufactured the leather goods. He said while this type of leather is more commonly associated with Florence, their family business has been in Venice for hundreds of years.
The leather is first painted, then stamped in 22k Gold using stamps that has been in their family for at least 300 years. The stamps reflect what was being traded at the time, which explains the Oriental/Middle Eastern motifs. Then the leather pieces are assembled and finished.
Pagan mentioned that they sold some stuff to Barney's. He said they could not supply large quantities since there are fewer and fewer tradesmen familiar with this technique. In short, it's a dying art.
I love the way they drew the map of their store in Venice. Very Art Noveau.