Lucia Lorenzoni Ginestrone
Borbonese was founded in Turin in 1910 as a fashion house producing jewels and accessories which supplied the most prestigious tailors of the city. That same year, Lucia Lorenzoni Ginestrone, an established milliner, took over the running of the workshop and the Borbonese brand was born.
Umberto Borbonese Ginestrone, with his business partner Edoardo Calagno, worked alongside his mother in the family business during the 50’s and, thanks to his contacts with the emerging artists of the era, developed an eclectic and sophisticated talent, creating jewellery with innovative forms and materials.
In the 60’s the most prestigious fashion houses such as Fendi, Valentino, Ungaro, Galitzine and Yves Saint Laurent embarked on collaborations with Borbonese for their own creations.
Borbonese began its collaboration with the Bologna company, Redwall in the 70’s – which is still to this day the fulcrum of production – and brought to life a revolutionary line of bags which combine light, unlined and restructured forms with a unique softness and resistance.
It was in these years that the exclusive suede leather first appeared with the Eye of Partridge print which was to become the maison’s unmistakable trade mark.
To commemorate the landing of the first man of the moon, Borbonese created “Luna”, an iconic bag which is still a cult classic today.
In the 80’s Borbonese invented an actual style of life and became a successful brand, the collaboration with prestigious partners added value to the brand and the homeware and furniture collections were launched along with a sophisticated line of home furnishings.
Ever at the cutting edge and careful of new trends in the world of art and design, Borbonese worked in synergy with architect Alberto Rolla on interior design projects.
New iconic bags were launched on the market: “Sexy”, Mambo”, “Tango”, in classic Eye of Partridge or in new innovative materials, with modern combinations of leather and crafted details.
The company’s avant-gardism is also expressed through its marketing: Borbonese is alone of the first companies to affix its logo on zippers and ingot-shaped identification bags, which along with the screw became distinctive signs of the brand.
The most famous photographers of the era, including Giampaolo Barbieri, Helmut Newton and Satoshi Saikusa produced Borbonese’s advertising campaigns and contributed to its consecration amongst the leading Made in Italy brand.
With success after success throughout all of the ‘80s, the decade also saw the conception of Borbonese’s first prêt-à-porter line, which was presented during the Milan Fashion Week. The Borbonese woman is elegant and cosmopolitan and is inspired by immortal cinema icons such as, for example, Monica Vitti – who was already a testimonial and client of the brand in her life – to whom a bag, which has her own name, id dedicated.
Today Borbonese is a continually expanding brand. In 2002 it opened its first monobrand store in Milan, in via della Spiga. New lines of accessories, footwear and fur products have been launched in order to offer the market complete collections and confirm the brand’s status in the luxury world, where its tradition represents a powerful attribute and a defining trait.
A monograph book, which was published in 2005, tells the story of the brand through the words of Decio Giulio Carugati and a preface by Giusi Ferrè.
The artistic nature and cultural vocation which distinguished Borbonese from the outset led to the maison taking part in special initiatives: in 2007 Borbonese was the main sponsor of the exhibition of the work of artist Ferdinando Botero at Milan’s Palazzo Reale.
2009 was a year of great changes for Borbonese as the company faced up to the international crisis with a strategic reorganization in order to continue to be a leader in the luxury accessories sector.
In September 2009 the SS 2010 collection was presented during the Milan Fashion week in the Via della Spiga boutique.
Through a collaboration with the artist Martegani, the boutique’s windows were transformed into a theatre and formed the perfect scenographic backdrop for the protagonists – be Borbonese bags.
In 2010 Borbonese celebrates its first centenary. The brand, for this occasion, connects with the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation to create a new project: the Art Bags, twelve bags produced in limited edition that reproduce some of the pop artist’s masterpieces shown at the exhibition at the Triennale di Milano.
This same period saw the birth of “Borbonese 1910”, a collection which was created to commemorate the brand’s centenary year.
Borbonese is a brand which is in constant movement, an established Made in Italy player in which the values of memory and tradition, craftsmanship and modernity are strongly rooted in its image, which was always been in touch with research, design, glamour and innovation.