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The love for leather


For many years, DI.MAR has worked for Italy’s leading luxury brands. Now, the company is going to rock the market with its own brand MONTENERI.

“We are very proud to present MONTENERI in Italy and abroad,” stresses Founder and President Fabio Martinelli. “Our new bags are designed by Tania Pezzuolo, an artist from Rome. So far, we have had extremely positive feedback, which makes us feel optimistic about upcoming challenges. We showcased our first prototypes in September 2014 in on the Maker Faire in New York, where we met a lot of visitors showing great interest. We are sure that with MONTENERI we found the perfect brand name. It is Italian, but it is easy to understand anywhere in the world. Last but not least, it has a very classy touch and cannot be mixed up with other brands.”

With MONTENERI, DI.MAR follows a new business approach and opens up new markets. The company’s roots date back to 1981, when at the age of 15, Mr. Martinelli started working at Angelo Cionco’s small crafting workshop in Valentano.

They made leather bags for one of Italy’s famous luxury brands. 15 years later, Mr. Martinelli opened his own company next to Angelo Cionco’s Pelleteria Divale.

In 1993, the two entrepreneurs decided to join forces – which was the beginning of DI.MAR. “Our aim was to guarantee high quality standards and to continue working as a direct supplier of different luxury brands,” explains Mr. Martinelli. “This was an ambitious project as in our region there is absolutely no tradition of leather manufacturing. Angelo Cionco was the first producer of leather goods in Lazio.”

It did not take long before DI.MAR managed to offer entire production processes from the first cut to the final product. “We invested a lot in technologies and human resources,” sums up Mr. Martinelli. “There was a lot of trial and error, but in the end, we were very successful in offering innovative leather goods synonymous with quality made in Italy. We benefitted a lot from our young and motivated employees with great ideas, who were keen to learn and to improve things.”

Today, DI.MAR is one of the most prominent direct suppliers of international fashion corporations. With 22 employees and a new business structure, the company is more flexible than ever. “There was a time when we had 100 employees, and it became more and more difficult to ensure and control our quality standards,” says Mr. Martinelli. “We decided that it was time for a change and gave some senior employees the opportunity to create their own businesses. We supervised all financial issues, bought new production plants and technologies, and rented them out. Today, we have a reliable network of high-performing subcontractors all sharing the same values and the love of leather.”

From 2006 to 2012, DI.MAR had an annual growth rate of 25%. To further strengthen its performance, the group has been subdivided into four different companies, each one working for one major client.

DI.MAR works for Gucci, IPV I Pelleterie di Valentano Srl for Balenciaga, Botthega Piefe Srl for Fendi and Cover Srl for Bottega Veneta. All the companies, except Cover, are located in Valentano, and each one operates in strict accordance to the highest quality standards. The effort to put this idea into place has long paid off.

In 2014, the group reached a growth rate of 46%, which was quite an achievement. Furthermore, new clients such as Yves Saint-Laurent and Tod’s have given new impetus. Now, with its new brand MONTENERI, DI.MAR is going to further rock the market.

“So far we have not exported at all,” says Mr. Martinelli. “This will change now. Our aim is to operate globally and to broaden our portfolio. In addition to our traditional bags, we started offering leather purses.”

With MONTENERI, DI.MAR faces new challenges. “As we do not want to compete with our own clients, it was necessary to create something different,” states Mr. Martinelli. “A traditional series of leather bags would not work, so we decided to shift our focus towards the world of business by introducing trolleys and covers for tablets. Tania Pezzuolo created different business bag collections for women and men.”

So far, DI.MAR is deeply satisfied with MONTENERI’s market introduction. Not only New York hailed the new bags from Valentano. “In Ocober 2014 we were on the Maker Fair in Rome and got the invitation for an exhibition with important guests from the fashion industry, among them the Managing Director of Milan’s fashion fair Pitti. He invited us to several important events. This will be a great platform to present MONTENERI to an international public. Another project will be to establish a leather corporate university to pass on our knowledge on to the next generation of Italian leather manufacturers. We believe in excellence, and maybe this is a way to strengthen the famous quality label ‘made in Italy’.”

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