Carefully selected leathers that offer unparalleled comfort and suppleness thanks to treatments … Age-old, Italian know-how and family-related crafts that generate a unique patina … The organizers of the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este recently joined the Parisian glove designer Christophe Fenwick.
Text Anja Van Der Borght
Christophe Fenwick: “Our range of driving gloves are the only ones in the world with a truly handmade patina.”
Christophe Fenwick’s free time has been richly filled with everything that revolves around engines. “I have been fortunate to be born in a family with a rich industrial and sporting heritage,” Fenwick tells us in his studio in Paris. “Louis Breguet, founder of the French aviation company Breguet Aviation (purchased in 1971 by Dassault Aviation, ed.), is my great-grandfather, for example. My own family name is immediately associated with forklift trucks in France. Fenwick was founded as an export company in 1862, but my grandfather Robert Fenwick expanded its activities with the distribution of Bell helicopters and the production and distribution of Fenwick forklift trucks and Lambretta scooters. He even bought the French motorcycle brand Derny and had a futuristic scooter ‘de Taon’ designed by Roger Tallon. I worked for twelve years as an export director in sportswear with my Italian uncle … Sergio Tacchini. In short, I am heir to many beautiful company names and I hope to leave a nice path to follow for the next generations. “
As an avid motorcyclist who commuted through Paris every day with his motorcycle, Christophe Fenwick needed some decent driving gloves. Preferably also stylish but that was like searching for a pin in a haystack. That’s the reason why Fenwick decided to have it custom-made, inspired by a design from the 1960s. In Italy he discovered an exclusive method to let the gloves undergo an aging process. The fine glove leather thus obtains a beautiful patina. The reactions of his friends and environment to the unique vintage look were so enthusiastic that Fenwick decided 2 years ago to set up an entire collection and create his own brand.
Pekari from Peru
Christophe Fenwick knows the leather goods sector like his back pocket. For years he distributed handmade shoes from brands like Fratelli Rossetti and Joseph Cheaney. His nose for top quality made him embark with suppliers of the best lamb, deer, and kangaroo leathers, and led him also to pick pekari leather from Peru, which has been treated in Italy, Scottish cashmere, …
“In addition to the fit, the quality of the leather, which must be elastic for example, is of paramount importance for driving gloves”, Fenwick tells. “Many companies use nappa or simply lamb leather; I use one of the highest qualities lamb leather from Italy. Kangaroo is interesting because it is very soft, qualitative and resistant. I also use it for my collection of driving shoes. We can say that today we have the largest collection of quality driving gloves in the world. They are fully hand stitched and prices range from 250 to 460 euros. “
Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este
“At the request of brands, we also manufacture small, special series of gloves”, continues Fenwick. “We were lucky enough to be chosen by BMW Group Classics as partner for the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este this year and we delivered one pair of gloves for each participant, 160 pairs in total. But we also created gloves for Aston Martin and for the Breguet watch house. I do not like bling bling so in that area we were the perfect partner for Breguet. Numerous details refer to the watches of the brand: the motif on the gloves refers to the guillochage on the dial of some watch models, the small belt on the wristband of the watches and the blue color to the typical blue Breguet brand color … “
Christophe Fenwick gloves for Breguet
Christophe Fenwick: “I enjoy the fact that real connoisseurs around the world choose my driving gloves to ride or simply to stroll through the city in style.”
More important than good driving gloves are well-fitting driving shoes. Of course, with his background, Fenwick also applied himself here. “Because I was able to set up a chain of suppliers and partners who are part of the latest luxury craftsmen in Italy, I decided to have my driving shoes made in an Italian workshop specializing in motor sport shoes”, says Fenwick. “After all, I wanted a driving shoe that is nice to wear on a daily basis, but that has internally some technical aspects which make it suitable for competition use.” Our shoe soles are, as you might expect, light, flexible and oil-resistant, but also technically reinforced for a soft and precise touch of the pedal. The heel is then specifically adjusted so that it is not abrasive for the carpets. A problem that many owners of beautiful – be it classic cars or not – want to solve once and for all. Furthermore, I heard from a lot of car amateurs that they want a shoe sole that is somewhat higher than used in the traditional flat driving shoe. That is why I developed a higher insole with a leather inner shoe that injects air when walking, which is making the shoes extra comfortable to wear. You can even wear them barefoot and order them with patina if you wish. No matter how you turn it or look at it, a beautiful patina is our trademark. “
More info Moss & Bros, Waterleidingstraat 58, 1050 Ixelles, tel. 02 534 06 20
Christophe Fenwick, 91 Rue Saint Honoré, 75001 Paris, tel. 0033+ (0) 1.40.13.06.76, www.christophefenwick.com