Benheart: both a brand and an inspiration

Benheart: both a brand and an inspiration

Passion, care and commitment to high-quality Made in Italy products.

Thu 09 May 2024 2:04 PM

Benheart goes beyond its quality crafted bags, belts, jackets and shoes.

Visiting the store is an experience, all informed by the unforgettable story of its founder and namesake, Fes-born Hicham Ben’Mbarek, who left behind Morocco at the age of six to travel clandestinely with his mother across the Mediterranean Sea, finding themselves spending their first night at the station in Florence. His mother soon found work, and Ben attended school before later learning to work leather from a shoemaker near their home. His story took another dramatic turn when he had a heart attack while on a football field aged 26, leading to a heart transplant that saved his life. Ben viewed his new heart as the start of “the best life you could ever wish for,” and so began Benheart.

He opened his first store in via il Prato, choosing a key and stylized heart as a logo, representing the opening up of the world as “a key that unlocks destiny”. His iconic creations soon found more stores, with Florence now home to two, located on via dei Calzaiuoli 78/r and via della Vigna Nuova 85/r, with others open around the world, including Milan, Rome, Verona, Kuwait, Strasbourg, Tokyo and Beverly Hills, with a soon-to-be-opened store in Paris and the ultimate dream of one in New York. The Benheart brand quickly became well known in the Renaissance city, to the point that his items have found their way into the hands of former American president Barack Obama, Mike Tyson and former basketball player Tim Duncan.


Ben first began with a jacket, but the products range from bags and belts to shoes and wallets. Only traditional artisanal craftsmanship goes into each item, fully made in Italy using local raw materials that are continuously checked during the production process to ensure top quality. This dedication to local craftsmanship and production was even recognized by the Institute for the Protection of Italian Producers, certifying the 100% Made in Italy brand, evidence of their unwavering commitment to Italian authenticity and quality.

The Benheart careful curation goes beyond the initial purchases, each item also comes with free lifetime assistance, meaning any tears or tugs that need a little love can be quickly resolved by contacting customer service, with a 60-day guarantee upon purchase. Their leather items are for life, and for this reason, Benheart has very loyal customers. There are clients who return after years, still proudly wearing their jackets, bringing their friends and picking up gifts like belts and bags, with the range covering various budgets. What’s offered here is an experience, not simply the exchange of goods. To enter is to understand the passion, care and commitment to high-quality products.

A characteristic of the stores is the table where belts are custom made on the spot, allowing clients to choose their leather and buckle, then witness first-hand the workmanship in action. Jackets are tailor-made to suit all sizes, with people sending their measurements from all over the world. This commitment to quality is ultimately what has made Ben such a success in the city and beyond, the love for the long-standing leather traditions in both Tuscany and his birthplace in Morocco, with reverence for the skills that go into creating items that last a lifetime. A friendly smile is just the start of the visit, with a clear interest in clients that creates a Benheart bond.

See the website to learn more.

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