I was greeted with the warmth of Florentine sunshine, immediately making an emotional connection to a city so rich in history and art that fashion can easily become an afterthought. First order of business, a morning visit to the atelier I was so eager to see. I walked endlessly in search of Via Maggio, finally locating the shop. Part of me wasn’t entirely ready, scared of making a bad first impression but I mustered up the courage and rang the bell, and the rest is history.
The atelier was beautifully appointed and designed to feel very welcoming. Nicola greeted me at the door and we immediately hit it off, like old chums. He gave me a quick tour and mentioned Mario would be at Pitti all week, the man I couldn’t leave without meeting of course. He was busy with Alvaro Miranda from Faust of Norway, an absolute gentleman, finalizing orders for their Oslo based atelier. I left them to finish their business promising to return later. Little did I realize that Pitti would overwhelm me to such an extent, I would almost miss out on seeing the shop again and certainly Mr. Bemer himself.
On my last night, I emailed Nicola apologizing for not being able to come by the shop and advising him I would be off to Milan in the morning. I wanted him to apologize to Mario on my behalf as well, as I just wasn’t able to see him at Pitti. Nicola’s response was something I will never forget, so genuine and asking that I come by in the morning to at least try on a pair of shoes. I happily obliged and met with him the next day, very glad that I did as the detailed tour of the shop he gave me was worth its weight in gold. Once again, Mr. Bemer was not available but Nicola mentioned that he would be at WHITE, a smaller trade show, in Milano for the weekend. Treating myself to a nice pair of green tassel loafers in black suede, we parted ways and I promised I would see Mario the following day. An email from Mario followed requesting the pleasure of my company, and there was no way I was going to miss the opportunity.
I’m glad I met these gentlemen, each giving me a different perspective of the operations at Mario Bemer. Nicola managing the store and operations while Mario and Seiji working on new designs, customizing lasts and producing RTW, MTM and bespoke offerings for their clients. A truly remarkable experience overall, one never to be forgotten. My loyalty to Mario Bemer aside, I’m loyal to the people that connected with me.
Photos: Casa di Sartoria
This post originally appeared on Genteel Flair, a digital destination for men’s fashion and lifestyle news. Genteel Flair is for the city dwelling millennial man with a cosmopolitan palette and a thirst for discovering new experiences.