Italian upstart Armadio is hoping to snatch luxury consumers away from the big fashion houses with a new direct-to-consumer service that promises quality Italian leather goods for 70 percent off retail price.
Launching for Spring ’16, the new e-commerce platform will offer hand-crafted Italian leather apparel and accessories like bags, shoes, and jackets in limited runs that will refresh regularly with new colors and inventory. Behind each item comes the story of the artisan who handcrafted the product, including a photo and details on the other mainstream brands the craftsman has also created for that season.
Armadio works closely with the same Italian artisans who supply the big fashion houses like Chanel, Gucci and Prada. While leather craftsman in Italy are revered as among the best in the world, prior to Armadio these local craftsmen had no access to distribution beyond Italy for their personal brands. They were instead forced to work exclusively for the big houses, who control the market and overprice items they create to make them more exclusive and less accessible. Armadio has now given these craftsmen an online distribution channel for their designs without any middlemen or retail markup.
“Tuscany happens to be the leather capital of the world,” said Matteo Mattia Gemignani, Armadio CEO and co-founder of Armadio. “We’ve always had access to the best and most affordable leather products back home. I wanted to give Americans the kind of access and experience they would have walking the local markets in Tuscany, and I also wanted to give the generations of craftsmen from my home town an online distribution channel that they wouldn’t otherwise have.”