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50 years ago, I had the good fortune to be one of 55 students accepted on the Syracuse University semester abroad program in Florence, Italy. We lived with an Italian family and took courses relating to Italian culture at Syracuse's little red schoolhouse. Luckily my host family spoke no English so I plunged into learning Italian quickly. When the semester ended, I returned to Syracuse for my final semester and then headed back to Florence.
Needing a job and speaking 3 foreign languages, I was quickly hired by one of the owners of a leather goods stand in the marketplace under the porticos of the Uffizzi Gallery. From 1974 until 1980, I began working with a number of small family-owned manufacturers and represented their collections to handbag stores and high fashion shoe salons in the United States. Almost all of these families and I have remained close friends for the last 45 years and while a few of the owners have passed away, my friendship is just as strong with their children and grandchildren. In fact, although I chose a totally different career from 1981 until 2016, I frequently visited Firenze and all my adopted families.
So in 2017, being semi-retired, I decided to offer again gorgeous Italian leather creations to the American woman who enjoys the Italian fashion at reasonable prices. Again working with a number of factories, including 1 still owned by the same family as five decades earlier, I have offered these handbags online for the last 2 years under the name VITTORIA PACINI. After hundreds of positive reviews and many more satisfied customers, we are now launching our Vittoria Pacini website.
One of the manufacturers I met in the mid-1970's was Franco Gherardelli, who became a dear friend (and passed away 5 years ago). Franco had a sister named Fedora at whose home I spent many a Christmas , having been invited for the big Christmas meal of the day with the entire Gherardelli clan. Fedora had a little girl named Luciana who years later, 1984, wrote me a letter while I was back in the States living in Atlanta.
Luciana wanted to come to the States with her new boyfriend Gianni ,who I did not know, use my home as a "base" and do the tourist thing for a month.Of course, I replied. We all went to Disney, New Orleans and a Michael Jackson concert at Neyland Field (Univ. of Tennessee) , after which they traveled by themselves up north, and later ended up marrying different people! Gianni and I became best friends as well, and Gianni Pacini had two daughters, Sofia and Vittoria. The latter, Vittoria is young, a fashionista, with a beautiful sounding name and thus, VITTORIA PACINI
Which brings us to 2020, a year with hopefully many exciting things to come including this new website of our Vittoria Pacini handbag line. Even from when I worked with Italian handbag manufacturers fifty years ago, I have always felt it is important to give the consumer lots of choices.Rather than focus on one or two "looks", we prefer to offer many types of styles with various leather treatments, functions, and colors to our customers. That's why you'll see greens and oranges and lilacs, as well as totes, hobos, clutches, saddle bags, satchels, and for that matter leathers and suede's, snakeskin (embossed) and croc, no matter what others say is "the in thing" that season.