Adriano Meneghetti products are made in high-quality materials that are hand cut and hand sewn with meticulous precision, combining practicality and aesthetics.
The brand was established in 2011. After working for years as a renown creative director and fashion designer, Adriano brought with him all he had learned, and drew on his own childhood memories to influence the classic, and luxurious, designs of his belts. Here is an exclusive interview with the Instituto Marangoni-designer, Adriano Meneghetti himself.
What is the story behind your brand and where did you find inspiration?
Everything started on a spring afternoon in 2011. I always dreamed of setting up my own brand. I wanted to run my own project and my first goal was to create something solid before I turned 30.
After few years of experience in fashion as a designer and creative director for different companies (working with technical sportswear, high-end women’s footwear and accessories), I recognized that it was the right moment to start my own brand. The year was 2011, a moment of profound economic crisis in the world. I said to myself: “If you can survive in this moment, you will always survive.”
My father was a harness horse driver and trainer. One day I was at my father’s stable at the San Siro racetrack in Milan when I saw a collection of lunghine (the nylon rope used to lead horses). I’ve always considered these colorful braided ropes used in the equestrian world to be quite charming. I immediately thought about transforming the rope into belts, combining it with high-quality leather. I showed some prototypes to knowledgeable people in the trade who appreciated the novelty of these pieces. It was amazing to discover that I had come across something completely new for the market.
I would go on to develop the Trotter collection, a model with two different kinds of fastenings: one with double rings and the other with a buckle and a wide color palette. Together with the Trotter I also created the Rugged collection, characterized by washed, aged and twisted leather with brass and silver buckles for belts that would be long-lasting and improve in appearance with age.
Today, the collection has evolved into several categories: belts, bags, small leather goods and a bespoke/made-to-measure tailoring service. Everything adheres to the same philosophy and brand values I laid out at the beginning: the highest quality materials and Italian craftsmanship.
“You Can Find Inspiration in Everything*: (*And If You Can't, Look Again)” – Sir Paul Smith
This is a brillant title of a book released in the early 2000's by Sir Paul Smith, a designer that I admire a lot. And this is also a quote in which I follow myself: I find inspiration in everything, the key is how you look at things.
You work with some of the most exotic leathers such as alligator and your buckles seem very well thought out. Tell us about your design process and production details?
Actually we do not work with exotic leathers by our free choice. We use printed, exotic-inspired leathers. In the exotic business is very hard to find reliable suppliers, and we cannot compromise our expectations on integrity and traceability.
We use only hides from animals used for the meat production. It is therefore a sustainable process since the slaughtering waste constitutes the raw material for the leather production.
Regarding our buckles, are all in solid brass with different finishings. Our signature finishings are “English Brass” that has a brass matt color aspect, and “English Silver Plated” where the brass is plated with real Silver 925, both with a very warm vintage patina. We also have buckles entirely made in Silver 925 but only under requests and for special projects.
For our NATIVE collection, we made a very keen research on precious stones such as Lapis Lazuli, Turquoise and Malachite and we are working on some special items using them. Stay tuned!
It seems that you've chosen both direct-to-consumer approach as well as some online retailers such as The Rake and Monocle. Where else can your products be purchased?
Our products can be purchased in selected stores around the world such as Beams, United Arrows or Isetan in Japan, Colony Clothing in Singapore, Alan's in Seoul, Henry Bucks in Melbourne and many others.
We opened our online store back in 2013 and beside that we sell on The Rake and in all the online stores of our clients. With Monocle we have released several collaborations together and we are very happy and proud of it!
Which markets are you looking into now and where can we expect to find Adriano Meneghetti in the future?
Expanding our distribution in the East will be a priority. We are happily distributed in Japan since 10 years and we hope to do the same widespread distribution also in other East countries. The American market will be also another great target. A market and scene that we deeply love and in which we think our products could fits well.
What are the 5 cornerstones in the men's wardrobe to combine with your belts?
The most important cornerstones are the one that you feel are "yours". Items in which you feel at ease and possibly that also makes you feel good looking.
I would mention a good pair of denim (such as vintage Levi's 501 or Big E), a bespoke 6x1 double-breasted Navy hopsack blazer with gold metal buttons and wide peak lapels (at least 11 cm), a bespoke shirt and a good pair of shoes such as the Belgravia from Edward Green.
Finally, what's your personal philosophy on style?
Attitude, gestures, good manners, culture and kindness.
These products were originally crafted for Sartoism, which is now acquired by Lund & Lund.