I love Florence.
I love the art. I love the architecture. I love the city. I love the food.
I love everything about Florence.
One of the many things that Florence is famous for is being one of the very best places in the world to buy leather goods.
Everything from sensational handbags to luggage, belts, soft leather gloves, and fabulous leather jackets. Fabulous.
Just walking anywhere in Florence is pure magic, especially at night or in the early mornings before the tourists descend en masse.
Window shopping in this beautiful, art filled city is glorious. But if you’re not able to drop multiple thousands of dollars on the high end jackets and bags you see in the windows of Ferregamo, Gucci or Prada you are in luck – just make your way to San Lorenzo.
|Looking around the San Lorenzo market in Florence|
Not even 5 minutes walk from the Duomo (Santa Maria Del Fiore) you will find yourself at the San Lorenzo market and Mercato Centrale one of the most famous outdoor market areas in all of Europe. Mercato Centrale is inside, and is a food market, but all around it are endless market stalls and shops selling gorgeous leather handbags, luggage and jackets.
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(If you haven’t be to Florence in a couple of years, be prepared for a surprise. All the market stalls the used to be outside the Basilica di San Lorenzo are now gone, relegated to side streets.)
|Jimmy’s beautiful leather shop in Florence|
There are so many vendors that it can get quite confusing, and it would be easy in the mad tourist shuffle to make an expensive mistake and purchase something sub-quality. So I advise all my friends to have fun looking through the market, but then go see my dear friend Jimmy.
I first met Jimmy years and years ago when I bought my beautiful leather travel bags (that have been featured many times in this blog and in magazines!). Over the years we have become great friends, and now Jimmy has his own shop in the Piazza San Lorenzo, named Jimmy’s Leather Collection.
Everyone in the market knows and loves Jimmy, which is really helpful! I always get completely lost in the market stalls and can’t find my way back, so there are always vendors who will walk me back to his shop, which is in the Piazza San Lorenzo at the very beginning of the market.
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|Jimmy’s second store is at the tail end of the market. Travel bag in the front is identical to mine!|
What sets Jimmy’s shop apart from the rest is his attention to detail, and the quality of his merchandise. There is a giant area T the back end of the shop where you can sit comfortably on couches, look at clothes and bags in peace where you can really think and make wise decisions, to try jackets on and look at them in huge mirrors so you can see what they really look like, and to go over every inch of your jacket, it’s stitching, it’s form, and see the absolute perfection in the garment.
Jimmy does buy some garments from other manufacturers, but he also designs his own line of sensational leather jackets.
And they are beautiful.
Stylish, modern, and also classic.
The leathers that Jimmy uses are exquisitely soft and totally luxe.
Part of what makes shopping there so much fun is his depth of knowledge about leather, about the hide your jacket came from, about every step in the process.
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He has an encyclopedic knowledge of fashion and of specific moments in fashion. I can be talking to him about a cuff style I like and he will say “Yes that was in the Fendi jacket in 2013” or he will say “Do you remember the sleeve on Balmain’s jacket in 2012? That shape would look perfect on you”. When you talk about that very specific shade of beige that Chanel had 5 years ago or last season, he knows exactly what you are talking about.
I can’t get enough of it!
Jimmy really understands body shape and how to choose the perfect style to maximize your assets and not draw attention to your not so great bits. He also understands geographic idiosyncrasies.
He will show me styles that girls from Chicago and L.A love, and then he will show me what girls from NYC are drawn to.
I love that he gets it.
Jimmy’s attention to detail is worth noting too. He sees the perfect alignment in the hides he uses, how the seams match perfectly.
I’ve sent people from all over the globe to Jimmy, normally because they want to buy luggage like mine, but they tend to end up buying leather jackets. And every single time, every single person is just ecstatic about their experience and their beautiful new leather jacket.
Of course he also has beautiful handbags and travel bags. But everyone lately has been asking me about jackets.
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Another thing to love? Jimmy is charming and charismatic and fun. You will have a wonderful time shopping with him, no matter where you are from. He speaks something like 21 languages, so it doesn’t matter who you are, he just changes over to your language and chats away, always happy, always delightful.
Find Jimmy’s Leather Collection on Facebook here
Jimmy’s Leather Collection
Piazza San Lorenzo, 2