“Where can I find a good leather store in Rome?” has to be one of the most frequently-asked questions I get. Although I’ve dragged my (leather-clad) heels on writing a full list — it’s pending, I promise — here’s one to add: Mancini.
The little shop, tucked behind the Pantheon, got its start back in 1918. The great-grandson of the first owner runs it today. For a small place, it’s had an illustrious history: it provided leather for the 1951 film Quo Vadis, once made a leather folder (random, yes) for Pope Pius XII and was Gucci’s go-to spot for repairs for years.
Just in time for the first day of fall: a workshop near the Spanish Steps that makes leather jackets. (And fur coats!). (Update, December 2016: Agostino’s store moved in November 2016. He’s now at Via dei Maroniti 13, near the Trevi Fountain—and only slightly further from the Spanish Steps. The store’s name is now Crisafulli Leather Fashion).
I discovered the Sistina 26 Crisafulli leather workshop a couple of months ago, and the owner, Agostino—a friendly Sicilian with a passion for all things artigianale—was more than happy to give me a tour. He and his wife, Elisa, not only run the shop, but design all of the jackets. And, as is always one of the best things about getting something handmade, they’re happy to alter the designs to suit anyone’s particular preference. And yes, they’re happy to ship abroad.
The cozy workshop in the back was everything an artisan’s workshop should be, included cluttered and humming with a current creation.
The store in the front has a number of jackets already made, in every color and type of leather imaginable, for both men and women. The styles range from classic to funky to, well, frankly outrageous. (Please see: green-and-yellow jacket, below).
Here are just a few of the leather jackets Agostino showed me:
And if fur’s your preference, they’ve got that too.
So if you’re thinking of splashing out this fall on a leather jacket that’ll last for years, check out Crisafulli. Because the only thing better than a leather jacket from Italy… is a handmade jacket made just for you.