Saint Laurent’s L’Atelier Maroquinerie is a Florentine temple to craft

The vast new 28,700 sq m space in Scandicci, Florence sees Saint Laurent invest in a new generation of craftspeople, whose work straddles technical innovation and traditional know-how

Saint Laurent Factory Images
Saint Laurent’s L’Atelier Maroquinerie in Scandicci, close to Florence in Italy
(Image credit: Courtesy of Saint Laurent)

According to Saint Laurent CEO Francesca Bellettini, Saint Laurent’s vast new workshop just outside of Florence is built on a simple premise: ‘to develop the most desirable leather goods in the world’. 

The gleaming L’Atelier Maroquinerie – ‘maroquinerie’ is a French term for the art of leather craft – certainly seems fit for the task. Spanning 28,700 sq m, the space contains a panoply of specialist equipment which marries technical innovation – one of the main aims of the space is to develop new techniques – with the traditional know-how of the region (the outskirts of Florence contain several such workshops for other major fashion houses). 

The workshop will largely focus not on producing the Saint Laurent accessories available for sale; rather, it is deemed by the house as a ‘research and development’ facility, whereby the experienced artisans will work on new ways of using the material in ‘highly specialised’ prototypes and samples. They will also produce a small number of one-off accessories for the house’s most loyal clients. Each product created will be the pinnacle of the maroquinerie medium – perhaps a useful comparison is the art of haute couture dressmaking.

Inside Saint Laurent’s L’Atelier Maroquinerie

Saint Laurent Factory Inside

‘L’Atelier Maroquinerie will help us realise our ambition to develop the most desirable leather goods and accessories in the world,’ says Francesca Bellettini, Saint Laurent’s CEO

(Image credit: Courtesy of Saint Laurent)

‘Bringing together the development of both accessories and leather goods, the atelier will be an environment for sharing expertise, generating ideas and encouraging experimentation,’ Bellettini continues. On a more practical level, it will also be the house’s go-to for repair and after-sales support, offering a ’repair and refresh service’ for European clients.

Alongside the main workshop, L’Atelier Maroquinerie will also provide an educational element for a new generation of craftspeople, training both newly hired employees and offering courses for those already working in the atelier. Both school and atelier are housed in what was formerly known as the ‘Palazzo delle Finanze’, renovating several buildings on the sit which were previously unused for decades. The regeneration is completed with areas of green space.

’We are very glad to have relocated and expanded the atelier in Scandicci, as we have long since recognised the artisanal and managerial skills of the people here and the heritage of the region for outstanding craftsmanship,’ concludes Bellettini. ’L’Atelier Maroquinerie will combine generations of knowledge with new levels of innovation.’

Fashion Features Editor

Jack Moss is the Fashion Features Editor at Wallpaper*, joining the team in 2022. Having previously been the digital features editor at AnOther and digital editor at 10 and 10 Men magazines, he has also contributed to titles including i-D, Dazed, 10 Magazine, Mr Porter’s The Journal and more, while also featuring in Dazed: 32 Years Confused: The Covers, published by Rizzoli. He is particularly interested in the moments when fashion intersects with other creative disciplines – notably art and design – as well as championing a new generation of international talent and reporting from international fashion weeks. Across his career, he has interviewed the fashion industry’s leading figures, including Rick Owens, Pieter Mulier, Jonathan Anderson, Grace Wales Bonner, Christian Lacroix, Kate Moss and Manolo Blahnik.