The Italian handbag manufacturer Roberto Alessi, based in Signa near Florence, has been a valued business partner of AIGNER for many years. Alessi’s love of quality and craftsmanship is not only evident in the Cybill Bag, which Alessi manufactures for AIGNER in Italy, with the Alessia and Gala series as well as the personalised straps also going through Italian hands. We interviewed Roberto Alessi to find out what he likes about working with AIGNER and why a love of Italy is contagious.

Mr. Alessi, how long have you been working for AIGNER?

I have been working for AIGNER for almost 43 years. I started producing bags for AIGNER in 1975 – and I still do today.

Can you remember your first order for AIGNER?

Yes, I can remember that exactly. I received my first order for a men’s bag in 1975, then more and more orders followed.

You have been making leather handbags all your life. What is your motivation to practise such a craft in Italy? How did you come to this profession?

My motivation is the passion for my profession. I have always been enthusiastic about the craftsmanship of leather bags – from the design to the finished bag. This fascination made me start working with leather goods very early on, first as an apprentice and then as a tailor. Later, I took the next step by opening my own leather shop.

What’s important for you when you produce a handbag?

For me, it is important to get a product that is aesthetically beautiful and a faithful companion thanks to the elaborate workmanship and high-quality materials.

What is the greatest joy in your profession?

I enjoy being in my workshop every day, which has been with me for a long time and still gives me a lot of pleasure. I also enjoy every single bag that we have created with a great deal of love.

Germans love Italy, tourists come in droves to Florence, Rome and Milan. What do you think makes Italy so charming?

I am proud to be Italian and I think that my homeland is loved abroad for many reasons: Italian art and historical cities. A beautiful landscape ranging from stunning, rugged coastlines to sublime mountains. The excellent Italian cuisine, the best wines in the world and, last but not least, the Italian craftsmanship – these are all reasons to love Italy.