Turn of the Century, 1910
Borbonese started life in Turin as a jewellery and fashion accessories brand supplying the most prestigious tailors in the city. In 2010, prominent milliner Lucia Lorenzoni Ginestrone took over the management of the workshop and the Borbonese brand was born.
1950 - 1960
Umberto Borbonese Ginestrone, with his business partner Edoardo Calcagno, joined his mother in the family business and, thanks to his contacts with the emerging artists of the period, developed a sophisticated and eclectic flair, creating jewellery with innovative shapes and materials.
In the 1960s, the most prestigious names in couture, such as Fendi, Valentino, Ungaro, Galitzine and Yves Saint Laurent, collaborated with Borbonese on their own creations.
Borbonese began its collaboration with the Redwall company of Bologna, which remains a cornerstone for production today, creating a revolutionary range of bags combining light, unlined, unstructured shapes with unique softness and resistance.
Those years also saw the creation of the exclusive chamois leather with its O.P. (Occhio di Pernice – partridge eye) print, which was to become the brand's trademark.
To commemorate the landing of the first man on the moon, Borbonese created "Luna", one of its iconic bags that remains a cult item today.
Borbonese invented a veritable lifestyle, becoming a highly successful brand. Its collaboration with prestigious partners added value to the label and the homewear and furniture collections and a sophisticated line of furnishings was launched.
Always at the cutting edge and attentive to what was new in the world of art and design, Borbonese worked alongside architect Alberto Rolla on interior design projects.
New iconic bags were launched: "Sexy", "Mambo" and "Tango", in classic OP or in innovative materials with modern blends of leathers and techniques. The cutting-edge nature of the company was also expressed in its marketing: Borbonese was one of the first companies to place its logo on the ingot-shaped zip puller. This, together with the screw, was to become one of the most 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, helping to make it one of the leading Italian brands.
Success followed success throughout the 1980s and the decade saw the creation of Borbonese's first ready-to-wear line, which was presented during the Milan Fashion Week. The Borbonese woman was elegant and cosmopolitan, inspired by timeless cinema icons, such as Monica Vitti, to whom a bag was dedicated, bearing her name.
2000 - 2008
In 2002, the first monobrand boutique was inaugurated on Via della Spiga in Milan. New lines of accessories, footwear and fur products were launched, offering the market complete collections and confirming the brand's status in the luxury world, where its tradition represented a powerful attribute and a defining trait.
A monograph book published in 2005 told the story of the brand in the words of Decio Giulio Carugati, with a preface by Giusi Ferré.
The artistic nature and cultural vocation that have always set Borgonese apart led the label to participate in special initiatives: in 2007, Borbonese was the main sponsor of the exhibition by artist Ferdinando Botero at the Palazzo Reale in Milan.
2009 was a year of great change for Borbonese, as the company responded to the international crisis with a strategic reorganisation in order to retain its status as a leading brand in the luxury accessories sector.
In September 2009, the Spring-Summer 2010 collection was presented at the Via della Spiga boutique during Milan Fashion Week. In a collaboration with the artist Martegani, the boutique's windows became a theatre, the perfect backdrop for a show starring the Borbonese bags.
In 2010, Borbonese celebrated its centenary. To mark the occasion, the brand joined forces with the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation to create a new project: Art Bags, twelve limited-edition bags that reproduced some of the pop artist's masterpieces shown at the Milan Triennale exhibition.
The same period saw the launch of "Borbonese 1910", a collection created in honour of the centenary.
In 2011, the creative direction of the Borbonese 1910 collection was entrusted to Gabriele Colangelo, a prominent name at the forefront of Italian fashion.
2013 - Oggi
2013 - Today
A red sealing-wax BORBONESE logo marked the introduction of a new direction for the company: a decisive focus on the core business in the form of a wide, structured collection of bags and accessories, above all characterised by continued research into materials and techniques that make every piece unique and special.
Iconic models from Borbonese's heritage were reinterpreted using new leather- and metal-crafting techniques to render them contemporary and exclusive.
New Premises in Milan and Bologna.