Growing up in Ecuador and Argentina, Clara Soto has always dreamed of learning how to make leather bags, inspired by her grandfather who was a shoemaker. Looking at him throughout the house, designing models, creating samples of shoes or creating handmade wallets surrounded by leather, the young Clara became passionate about that job that fascinated her so much.
Moving to Paris in her early 2000, Clara began working in jewellery yet her passion for creating with leather was too much of a pull. With help from her father, she discovered an intensive course at the Leather School of Florence, and so her next life move was set. With an initial plan to stay for only three months, the course duration, the city’s charms took hold, and Clara decided to remain, opening her first studio in Borgo San Frediano. Eighteen months ago she moved to the showroom on Via del Moro and launched her first collection.
With an Italian heritage, both sets of great grandparents came from the southern Italy region of Basilicata, who left for Argentina after the Second World War. Both grandfathers were shoemakers, who ultimately passed down this skill to their children. Clara’s brand name, DIGEROLAMO, is a nod to her Italian roots and the impact her family had on her passion for artisan craft.
The architecture, shapes, forms and colours Clara discovers on trips around the globe inspire her designs. As does her adopted home of Florence, its dusty terracotta, Chianti red and sandstone crèmes seen in the leather colours Clara sources. In the DIGEROLAMO showroom, her handmade creations are on display, every part of the final product made in-house in her basement workshop. She designs the bag’s intricate pattern using a handheld punch, glues and sews the stitching, and will even emboss your initials on your purchase for an added artisan touch. The showroom also features contemporary jewellery created by her Argentinian-based mother who works with bronze to shape the pieces before being gold plated in 24k Gold. There is also a selection of sterling silver pieces for sale.