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RISE AND SHINOLA: Detroit-based Shinola, known for its American-made watches, bicycles, journals and leather goods, opened its in-house leather factory Monday. The factory will launch with a team of around 50 trained leather makers and will be led by Paloma Vega-Perez, formerly of Louis Vuitton. The facility was set up in partnership with Braloba, a Swiss family-owned and run business that’s been producing leather goods for two generations.

Braloba’s craftsman will provide leadership and training for Shinola’s leather workers. The U.S. firm has also partnered with Galli SpA, a leading Italian leather goods machine company, to design and produce custom machines for the factory. The new factory will produce a portion of Shinola’s watch straps and eventually will expand to small leather goods and handbags.

This story first appeared in the May 13, 2014 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

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