Spotlight on Constància

Made in Tuscany bags, with a Texan decorative technique

In 1952 a small family-run tannery started its local business under the bright Tuscan sun. Fast forward 50 years and a young Neapolitan woman named Giuseppina moves to Tuscany for work, soon falling in love with the young owner of that tannery. From there until the establishment of the Constancia brand, it was just a matter of nighttime inspirations and daytime creations.

That’s the prelude of the Constancia adventure, and since we’re suckers for good stories, we asked Giuseppina to sit down for a coffee and tell us everything about their brand.

Mirta: After moving to Tuscany and meeting your husband, how did the idea of Constancia come to you?

Giuseppina: It all came from a dream, literally. Working in the tannery meant that I was surrounded by tons of high-quality leathers and many talented artisans for hours every day, so when closing my eyes at night I could do nothing but dream of creating my own bags. I guess I wanted to express my creativity in some way, and dreams were the most immediate outcome. Every morning, I would run to draw what I had dreamed that night.

M: And from the idea to the actual execution, what happened?

G: I had a personal event to attend one night, and I really couldn’t find the right bag to go with my outfit. I was looking around, but nothing was as good as the leather we were producing. That was the spark I needed: I translated my drawings into reality and created my first bag ever, the Harmony clutch. It was crafted with the special tooling technique, which has remained a signature of the brand ever since.

M: Can you tell us a bit more about the tooling technique used for so many of the Constancia bags?

G: Tooling is a decorative leather technique originating in Texas, where it reached its maximum expression during the mid-1900s, when the myth of cowboys was at its peak. It consists of special hand-carved drawings, often featuring floral motifs. We love it because it’s only applicable to natural vegetable-tanned leather, so it is perfect to enhance our real hide in the best way. In fact, in order to be carved, leather must be wet and water-absorbent, a characteristic which only natural leather has, while chrome-tanned leather doesn’t.

M: How many people are in the team and who takes care of tooling?

G: It’s just 3 of us! I take care of the creative direction, design, and production of each bag, while my 2 collaborators assemble the bags together and are also experts in the tooling technique. They studied it in Texas and they carve each bag by hand, taking up to 17 hours to complete the technique: you start from the simple drawing and then proceed with the carving.

M: Where does the name Constancia come from?

G: Before establishing the brand, I asked 3 of my closest friends which characteristics they saw in me: they all said that perseverance was my main trait, and in Italian the word for this is costanza. I wanted something less straightforward though, so I adopted the Catalan version of the word, which is indeed constancia.

M: What’s the best way to take care of your bags?

G: Being made of only natural leather, our bags need to be taken care of over time. We always recommend treating them from time to time with a specific cream, which nourishes leather and restores it to its original state, hiding scratches or stains. It’s preferable not to use the bags under the rain, as the natural leather absorbs moisture, and it’s also best to always store them in their dust bag, away from humid spots such as walls and floors. Apart from these few pieces of advice, I think that ultimately real leather becomes more beautiful over time with use!