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The making of Prada’s Galleria Bag

A New York Times video shows the manufacture of the iconic bag

The making of Prada’s Galleria Bag A New York Times video shows the manufacture of the iconic bag

Galleria is Prada's most iconic bag. The story of this leather tote, equipped with a zipper and rounded handles reminiscent of the bags used by doctors in the 1950s, began in 1913 in Milan, when Mario Prada, Miuccia's grandfather, opened his first leather goods store in Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. His flagship products were made with Saffiano leather, whose wide mesh texture, the product of a hot pressing process that makes calf skin resistant to scratches and water, inspired in 2007 Miuccia Prada the idea for the Galleria bag. Each bag is made by the skilled hands of the artisans at the brand's factory in Scandicci, a 38,000 square metre complex of chrome and glass on the outskirts of Florence. The making of process, unveiled by The New York Times, is both complex, meticulous and fascinating. 

The first step concerns the leather that is treated, thinned and cut into small pieces that the artisans will carefully glue to each other and then sew them in their place all the 83 pieces that make up each Galleria:

"An assortment of leather panels that form the structure of the bag; a cloned jacquard nylon lining; zipper closures for three pockets, two outside and one inside; a Prada leather and metal plaque in the shape of a golden triangle, on which the letters are pinned one by one; a small tag with the name bound in leather; detachable handles and straps, the rough edges of which are smoothed and hand-painted in the same colour of dyed skin." 

At this point the handles are applied, rectangular strips of skin one inch long called almonds, and the bag is then transported on one of the industrial sewing machines. Once almost all the pieces have been stitched together, comes the most delicate moment: flip the bag (which has been assembled backwards) carefully so that the seams do not stretch. The final step is quality control.