Officina N.11 was founded in 2015 when Francesco Banzola left his leather laboratory on the outskirts of Faenza. Together with his wife Marta Casadio, he opened a new space in the center of the city: Via Evangelista Torricelli 11, just a few steps away from Faenza’s gorgeous Piazza del Popolo. The new lab is both an artisan workshop and retail space, featuring historic leather cutters and sewing machines, with the smell of natural leather wafting through the air.
Officina N.11’s leather bags and accessories are rooted in Banzola’s career in leather goods: for over 30 years he’s worked with some of Italy’s most famous and innovative luxury brands. Banzola’s experience with leather begins in 1984 in Faenza, when, as a self-taught craftsman, he began exploring the potential of this natural material with an approach that has always distanced itself from traditional leather manufacturing techniques.
In the early 2000s, Banzola experienced a breakthrough when he began using raw leather that isn’t dyed or finished (known as the “crust”) to create bags. This creative new method, laborious and delicate, produced exceptional results: each bag and accessory carries a unique look, emphasizing the beauty of the material by making it stand out. Each bag is like a small artwork, the exact opposite of traditional leather manufacturing, which utilizes unremarkable leathers and increasingly more synthetic materials.
Officina N.11 bags are soft yet extremely durable and light, thanks to the use of cotton liners in place of cardboard structures. Essential metal details—studs are never used—and a minimalistic design language are the other key elements that have defined Officina N.11 bags since the beginning.
Officina N.11 bags and accessories are perfect for everyday life and for more formal occasions as well. Each piece’s “worn” look is the result of a particular finish or technique such as “in water” dyeing, waxing, or ironing with steel. These handcrafted techniques give Officina N.11 bags a look that changes over time, among the most beloved features because each piece is truly unique. Bags, belts, wallets, and other leather accessories become not just everyday life objects, but design pieces that take on individual characteristics with time.