Based in Florence, Italy, The Bridge was established in the early Sixties. They began as a small handicraft workshop, and have grown steadily over the years into a company that today, despite its size, knows precisely how to blend tradition with style, and craftsmanship with technology. The Bridge have developed a long-standing and close relationship with the tannery Il Gabbiano, and this has allowed them to maintain both the quality and consistency of the skins used in the manufacture of their products. Cowhide leather is used to manufacture their leather goods, and tanned using animal fats and vegetable tannins. It does not involve the use of any harmful chemical substances. The skins are coloured with aniline dyes using wool buffers that are passed repeatedly over each hide by hand. As a result, each hide has unique colourings that make it different from any other. Hand dyeing brings out the natural beauty of the leather, and transforms the surface details into characteristic features. An amber roller is then used to enhance the oils applied during tanning. This gives the leather depth & shine, and makes it soft and pliable.
The amber roller is a traditional craftwork technique that produces truly unique results. All dyes are completely nitrogen free, and surpass even the most stringent of standards required by European law. At the foundry, the metal accessories for the bags are made using original designs that are patented around the world. The hot brass is pressed in exclusive The Bridge moulds, and once it has solidified and cooled it is polished by hand giving it the brilliant shine that brings it to life. In the designers’ studio, ideas are processed using CAD (Computer Aided Design), and a plotter is used to cut out the patterns or cardboard models of each part of the bag. These patterns are used to cut models for the prototype, and to create the metal punches that are used during production. The bags are assembled in the workshop, and machine stitched using the very best German yarns. So what is behind the popularity of The Bridge in Italy and the rest of the world? We believe that the 5 main factors behind their success are; their meticulous selection of only the best quality hides, their painstaking attention to detail, their intelligent use of old processing methods, their willingness to exploit the benefits of new technology whilst not compromising traditional skills, and the constant broadening of the product range. However, none of these factors can stand out alone, as lasting success is always about balance and teamwork. Over the years, all this has made The Bridge a much sought after brand, both treasured and imitated throughout the world.