An exclusive interview with Italian leather-crafting aficionado Simone Schedoni
Modena, Italy, is world-renowned for its legacy of producing the very best artisanal craftsmanship – supercars, fine leather, even balsamic vinegar – and a family by the name of Schedoni holds a rich heritage in all three. What is it about the Modena tradition that makes extreme quality so inherently important? South Florida Opulence sat down with Simone Schedoni, who currently runs the generations-old family leather-crafting business, to find out.
“Leather and supercars represent our business. However, traditional balsamic vinegar is, for us, a family hobby given from father to son since 1916,” said the modest Schedoni, whose family Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale“hobby” was recently named the world’s finest in a competition. “In any case, all three have a common base: PASSION in doing all the efforts to achieve the best. In Modena, apparently people do not compromise on things.”
Meet the Schedoni’s
If you haven’t before heard of the family brand called Schedoni, you have certainly heard of the brands for which they make leather goods: Ferrari, Bentley, Rolls-Royce, Lamborghini, Pagani. If you’ve ever purchased one of those supercars and ordered the custom-fitted luggage option, then you’ve had Schedoni in your trunk or back seat all along. The family-owned company is more than a century old. Even Pope John Paul II trusted them to make his chalice travel case.
“Actually, it all started when my great grandfather opened a shoe shop in 1880. The tradition of leather working has passed from father to son since then,” said Schedoni. “We still use production methods typical of the shoe production from 1880, and today, the final stitching of the Ferrari F12 luggage or the Bentley Mulsanne luggage is made using a 65-year-old sewing machine that was in use at my grand- father’s shoe factory.”
From Shoes to Supercars
How did the Schedoni family business evolve from being shoemakers to craftsmen of fine luggage for luxury sports cars? One might say it was out of a kind heart. You see one day, Simone’s father, Mauro, noticed that traditional luggage wouldn’t fit in the narrow trunk of the Ferrari owned by his brother-in-law, Franco Folli. Mauro decided to make a set of luggage for Folli that would fit perfectly in his car. As luck – or fate – would have it, Folli’s friend, a salesman for the Italian supercar brand, showed the luggage to Enzo Ferrari. The supercar magnate was so taken by the beauty of the exquisitely crafted luggage, that he asked Mauro to make leather cases for his customers, too.
“In the ‘60s, mass-produced items came to the market and prices of goods decreased. Wealth was spreading out and people were looking for shoes that would cost less so that they could afford to buy two or three pairs instead of just one,” said Schedoni. “At the end of that decade,
instead of decreasing the quality of shoes, my father decided to change the production focus and started to produce high-end luggage. In less than 10 years, he found himself producing luggage for Ferrari.”
Since then, the Schedoni family has made leather products – including tool cases, document folders, racecar seat covers and other commissioned items – for not only Ferrari, but also for Bentley, Lamborghini, Maserati, Pagani and Rolls-Royce.
The Schedoni Difference
“All of our luggage sets are custom produced by using the very same leather – same color – as the car’s interior, as well as the color of stitching. This means that every single set of luggage is different to the other. Today’s luxury market is full of products: Some are of good taste and good quality. We like to custom produce our items by using special materials. Our Schedoni carbon fiber attaché case, for example, combines materials used in a F1 car: The outside parts are made in carbon fiber; our logo is engraved on a titanium badge and its interior is lined with the same suede leather we used to cover the F1 seats. The outcome is a fantastic and sleek case!
“I feel blessed being the fourth generation involved in my family’s business. In today’s world, it becomes more and more difficult to keep on this kind of tradition. My dream would be to pass on these values and the passion to the fifth generation – my children Niccolò and Sara, and nephew Alessio.”
For more information about Schedoni fine handcrafted leather goods, go to www.schedoni.com.