Fratelli Rossetti and Leather Heads Sport are working together for the retailer's New Artisan Project.


Fratelli Rossetti’s New Artisan Project isn’t about making money or self-promotion.

The next installment in New York will feature a bevy of sports-related products made by Leather Head Sports that will be unveiled May 9 at the Madison Avenue boutique. Handcrafted American-made leather baseballs, footballs, basketballs, rugby balls, soccer balls and medicine balls will be showcased in the company’s Madison Avenue store windows. Several notables from the world of sports will be on hand to check out the heirloom-type sporting goods as well as artisans creating them.

Started several years ago in Milan, the New Artisan Project has always been rooted in working with artisans in a variety of fields, not necessarily in fashion, said Rossetti, who runs the 64-year-old company with his siblings Dario and Luca. “This was not necessarily a strategy. This company came up and basically meets our criteria. We have featured people who made bicycles by hand, hats, skateboards, guitars and different fields.”

Guests won’t be able to buy the products at the Rossetti boutique. President Diego Rossetti said, “There are no commercial reasons behind it. [Although it will be available elsewhere.] We like to talk about craftsmanship and how important it is to do things by hand, which is not naïve. Certain things can only be done by hand.”

While certain handmade techniques at Fratelli Rossetti still require the same methods that were used 50 years ago, other aspects have been computerized, such as grading of sizes for greater time efficiency and preciseness. Rossetti said, “We like to balance the technology with the tradition. Whenever we can use technology, of course it would be silly not to use it. But certain things that are related to the making of the product can only be done by hand.”

The New Artisan Project has “kind of created a rendezvous with customers,” who are eager to see which artisans are featured from one installment to the next, Rossetti said. “We have had a hat company [Altan Hats] but most of them are far from fashion. We wanted to really promote craftsmanship — the passion of doing things by hand. We like to work with small companies to give them some visibility, which is really not so much the case of New York because this company is pretty well-known. But we share with them the passion for doing things by hand to give the product some added value.”

Refining e-commerce continues to be a priority, as does refurnishing the company’s 30 stores worldwide. Through new partnerships, Fratelli Rossetti opened recently in Seoul and Kuwait City.

In other news, Fratelli Rossetti will be presenting customized designs with Mumble Mumble during Salone del Mobile in Milan, which runs from April 4 through 9. From there the items will be spotlighted later in the spring at the company’s other stores — tennis racquets in Rome, canoes in Venice, surfboards in Genoa, inline skates in Brussels and skis in Turin.

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