Set 03, 2017


Horween Leather, a history made up of time and art

All when we think of America we suffered a metropolis with major skyscrapers full of stained glass, fast food and huge roads.

But America is also made of so much tradition, large workers, brand that have made the history based on tradition and on bringing forward the work done by hand and especially handed down from family to family.

I and Isabella stayed in Chicago, visiting the palaces of 1930, climbed on the Roof – Top-of-the-night, and lounging on the Wacker Drive, but we could not, in the perfect spirit  not search, discover, and visit a reality hanmade, heritage also in this city.

It was immediately clear that the company to tell was the Horween Leather Company (, leader company in the field of skin, the Cordovan especially, supplier of major brand in the world. From Redwing Shoes  (of which I have all the shoe-rack full), Wilson passing for Wolverine Boots .

We came out a little from Chicago, entering into an industrial suburb fact buildings of red bricks dating back to 1900, we were a little scared trying to understand where we were going and if we were in the right part of the city.

Following the maps we arrived in front of a red door, of wood with a small teaches, almost obliterated, written by hand… Horween Leather Company


We shopped with ISA, dubious, but we entered into this very small lobby where a lady without even raise our gaze has asked us who we tried…

” Salve we Fabrizio and Isa come from Rome we wanted to tell the story of the company with whom we can speak?”… WAIT A MOMENT PLEEEEEASE.

After 3 minutes of silence there opens a door and appear Nick. A handshake solid and two intelligent eyes, which asks for an explanation.

We listen in silence while explain to him who we are and what we do, what we love telling and who. The Just recently, is a person of few words Nick and immediately says “OK FOLLOW ME” and makes us a sign to follow him.

We pass through the offices, where employees look dubious these two romans arrived up li to know the company. He told us a bit about the history of the family and makes us see photos of his ancestors, ” here ” tells us ” The arts are passed from father to son for this i today are in this for me is the house”.

Nick explains to us be vice president of Horween Leather Company, he is the pro pro grandson of Isidoro Horween the founder of the family company, a company born in 1905 and goes from 5 generations.

A company that builds its own work on the excellence and not on speed or convenience.

The fact of being a family-owned company does not mean, however, not be in step with the times, in fact during all these years the Horween Leather Company has always followed with great interest the evolution of the workings of the skin, always including historical techniques that have made it famous all over the world.

The company founder Isidoro Horween has based the beginning of everything by placing the price as last thing, putting in first place the materials to be worked and all the tools for processing for providing a perfect product.

Nick brings us in all six plans of his company, making us see by machinery the oldest still in use, the latest in technology, speaking of his company with pride and that pinch of modesty who works well and continues to do so because that is how it should be.

We ascend and descend walking on old wooden boards creaking full of history, we pass between the craftsmen who do not stop a moment, even when Isa makes them stop because it must be able to have the perfect shot.

Nick makes us see all steps of the processing of the skin which in this company you still like in 1905, same techniques more or less the same machines.

Occasionally while we walk I and Nick there we watch, noting one of the interesting features of the other, i her shoes, and him the strap of my clock or my portfolio starting so to speak as two fans who share the love for tradition and handmade working as it was once.

Isa, being the sector, is instead in love with all the techniques that here are used, ancient techniques that now in other tanneries are not used anymore. Searches all machines and wonders how it is possible to succeed still today to keep these machines and these techniques.

From 4 to 6 floor I Isabella I ve seen again, I felt only say ye go well, while she is lost between the leathers, or processes, between washing tanks or machinery of 1906 that released American history.


The Horween Leather Leather Company has set the standard for the highest quality of the hides since 1905.

Offers a wide range from Cordovan Sport Leather (are suppliers of leather for the balloons of the NFL) and leather for the footwear as Chromexcel .

After about 1 hour and a half of visit, before we say goodbye Nick brings us in front of a wall, where there are the pieces of the leathers, and above signatures of famous personalities who have collaborated with them.

Now it is up to you guys…tells us.. we leave our signature, the signature of, I wish the best to Nick and all his company other 100 years as those passed on tradition, quality always in step with the times.

Credits: Isabella Talone | Fabrizio Politi

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