Anyone who has spent quality time at the latest evolution of Manifattura Tabacchi this summer will be acquainted with the food, drink and events scene, but The Factory is also the workplace for tenants who have chosen the most cosmopolitan corner of Florence to craft and sell their wares. Let’s meet them.
Natural clothing: Lunedì
Genderless, natural and sustainable are the values behind the free-flowing clothing designed by the talented Alessandra Lunedì. Named after the owner originally from Puglia and whose home is in Reggio Emilia, the Lunedì vibe is minimal yet considered, size-less and tailored to the individual. “My mum was an artisan and I’d help her. Then after many years of working for a big semi-industrial fashion company, I felt the need to do my own thing.” She decided to move her work to Manifattura Tabacchi due to its sustainable roots and focus on Italian craftsmanship. “I feel at home here with the other creatives at the Factory in this calm community and shared mindset.”
Sustainable fine jewellery: Fàbera
Chiara Ferri, Fabio Colarusso and their baby, Lorenzo, are winning over hearts and minds from their atelier at The Factory. “We craft sustainable fine jewellery by hand using 18k recycled gold and lab-grown diamonds at Manifattura Tabacchi and our aim is to deliver them to our client’s home at an equitable price.” While most of the process is conducted online, so that clients can participate from the comfort of their own homes, they are also encouraged to come to their atelier to contribute to the final stages. Chiara’s from Veneto, Fabio’s from Campania, and the business model originated in London, where the family was living during the pandemic. Having decided to return to Italy, Fàbera started in their apartment before they made a leap of faith and moved to Florence. “We decided to open the atelier at Manifattura Tabacchi because of the focus on the circular economy…Our end goal is to work internationally.”
Artisan headwear: Super Duper Hats
Super Duper Hats has been part of Manifattura Tabacchi since 2019 and has evolved with the venue during the different stages of its development. “From the very beginning, we really felt able to share and propose things,” explains founder Matteo Gioli. The company uses its production space to craft artisan hats to order, with a team of artisans creating unique handmade pieces directly from the raw materials. Super Duper Hats now occupies a multifunctional space, comprising retail space as well as their office and creative studio. As Gioli describes, “We are a destination.” For Super Duper Hats, the arrival of new tenants is what makes Manifattura Tabacchi’s The Factory a fresh concept that facilitates dialogue between a variety of creatives.
Timeless tailoring: Archivi Sartoriali
Creating high-quality and timeless clothing is the focus of Archivi Sartoriali, which hopes to fill wardrobes with items that will last for years. A key part of their philosophy lies in overcoming fleeting fashion trends, preferring to craft classic clothing that won’t go in and out of use with the seasons. A highly specialized operation, Archivi Sartoriali are adamant that they are not just a tailor, defining themselves instead as an “atelier” that works closely with customers to create personalized pieces they will love. “We opened at Manifattura Tabacchi in June for Pitti Uomo,” says Benedetta, one of the partners. “That was our goal.” They are enthusiastic to be a part of The Factory, finding inspiration and shared values in the unique environment and collaborative atmosphere.
Concept store for interiors: Zoo Design
Business partners Marco and Luca Baldini and Francesca Pacianti have curated their space in Manifattura Tabacchi under the brand name of Zoo Design. A concept store and design gallery, the focus is on interior and spatial design with a cool sideline in vinyls. Objects and brands are individually selected, displayed and refreshed in their exhibition-like space, prioritizing quality over quantity. Through working with young designers and lesser-known interior design studios, the team seeks to provide an alternative to large companies. Manifattura Tabacchi is the perfect fit for them with an international and contemporary vibe that attracts a diverse group of customers and has a different atmosphere than the shops you pass on the street.
Tattoo art: Noa Ink
The creative and collaborative atmosphere is what brought Noa Ink to Manifattura Tabacchi as the latest expansion of the internationally-known tattoo studio and just one of four studios across Tuscany. Founder Noa Yannì started the business after graduating from Lucca’s art institute. It has since grown from a one-person enterprise to a dynamic project involving many artists. Aiming to dispense of the idea of a multi-style tattoo artist, each professional maintains a unique approach and their own individual flair. Yannì is at the forefront of this artistic landscape, having managed Pistoia’s tattoo convention for three years and developed her own line of tattoo inks. Noa Ink comes to Florence with the ambition of creating courses for tattoo artists, where Yannì hopes the shared space in The Factory will foster innovation and connection between artists.
Hair sculptors: PolvereNera
Beyond hairdressing, PolvereNera present themselves as “hair sculptors”, serving all the tastes and styles of their wide-ranging echelon of customers. Clients of all ages can experiment with their look with the help of the creativity and expertise on offer. Store manager Giovanni describes the company as a “family” and views the opportunity to join Manifattura Tabacchi as a positive experience that demonstrates the growth of the hairdressing brand. The Factory is the company’s fourth venue after branches in Lucca, Verona and Prato, but the upbeat environment signifies an important evolution for the firm, which began in 1970, but is always keeping up with the times.
Established in Florence in 2014, Blues Barber is a traditional barbershop that stemmed from Valerio Imperiale’s enthusiasm and expertise as the son of a barber. (He also harbours an immeasurable love of blues music, hence the name.) A newcomer to Manifattura Tabacchi after the brand’s two other locations in via Cimabue and via delle Cento Stelle, the design-driven space adds a classic barbershop’s feel to the industrial surroundings.
The smell of rubber fills the air at Florence’s Trek Bikes store. A new resident of Manifattura Tabacchi’s The Factory, this house of cycling is the stuff of dreams for bike enthusiasts and everyone in search of inspiration for an active and sustainable lifestyle, including bike hire for riding around the Tuscan hills. Marco, the store manager, talks us through the vast choice on offer. “Bike manufacturing has made leaps and bounds in the last ten years. To us, safety is the most important thing of all.”
Manifattura Tabacchi just became easier to reach with new 24-hour parking. Boasting 800 car parking places managed by European leader Apcoa Parking Italia, the new facility addresses the need for better facilities on Florence’s west side. Covering four floors, the parking lot designates 400 places for visitors and 400 for future residents of Manifattura Tabacchi, including 15 spaces for persons with disabilities. Equipped with the latest surveillance systems to ensure customer safety, the car park also has four electric charging units. An electric bike sharing service will become available shortly as well as automatic locker boards. Hourly charges of 1.50 euro will apply, with a maximum daily rate of 9 euro. Monthly and quarterly rates are also available.