Big News

The Proper Kit. It's a pop-up shop that happens every year in NYC. A one-day trunk show and state-side Mecca for menswear connoisseurs. It's the fruit of a collaboration between Style Forum and A&H Magazine to host some of the most renowned brands and retailers in the industry, from Carmina Shoemaker, to Beckett and RobbThe Bespoke Dudes Eyewear to No Man Walks Alone.  This year, L'Arte Nascosta is proud to join ranks with some of the best to debut two artisans for their first trunk show in New York.  

Here's what you need to know:


P a o l o  P e n k o

Goldsmith - Florence

Paolo is a classically trained Florentine goldsmith that has dedicated his career to researching and perfecting Renaissance methods of jewelry-making.  Inspired by the art and history of the city that surrounds him, Paolo's handmade creations are rich in timeless symbolism and can be customized to best suit the customer's personal philosophy and values.


Read more about Paolo HERE, and HERE

You can view his website HERE


E m i l i o  C o l o n n a 

Leathersmith - Rome

Inspired by rugged American-made workwear, Emilio Colonna applies his skills as a leathersmith to produce a collection of watchstraps, wallets, belts and other leather accessories that evoke a similar spirit. His philosophy is simple: it's worth it to work with only the best raw materials. This is how Emilio ensures that each one of his products will last a lifetime . . . and get better with age. 


You can view his website HERE.


I created this blog to share stories about Italy's great artisanal talents.  It's the cornerstone of a larger dream, which is to explore the "artisanal experience" with you, the reader.  I'm excited to another step along this path, and it is a pleasure to do so with The Proper Kit. 


Come join us on

Saturday, November 5, 2016 - 10.30 - 19.00

at 28 west 36 street, b/w 5th & 6th ave

to RSVP:

Grinta (n.f.) - determination; grit (noun)

Once I heard Sophia Loren in an interview.  When asked how she became so successful, she answered with a single word: "Grinta." 

Technically, "grinta" is the Italian term for "determination"... but really, it means much more than that.  It implies recognizing the task at hand, rolling up your sleeves and not hesitating before diving elbow-deep into the hard work and sacrifice that stand between you and your dream.  

“Grinta” might have been Sophia Loren’s secret weapon, but she’s not the only one...

I’m happy to introduce you to Maria Vittoria Paolillo. She’s young, she’s charming and she’s passionate; she is the creator and designer of MVP Creations

It started just for fun: a few bracelets here, a few necklaces there – a creative outlet for Maria Vittoria, who sold her first designs to her friends.  Before long, interest spread from friends to acquaintances, from acquaintances to complete strangers, and what began as a hobby matured into a real opportunity for Maria Vittoria to create her own brand. 

There was one big obstacle before her, though: the family business. 

See, Maria Vittoria comes from a long line of jewel merchants.  To this day, her father and brother sell nature's most precious stones to the biggest names in luxury jewelry; they also sell their own label at a store in the heart of Rome's luxury district. 

In fact, it was while working in this boutique that Maria Vittoria was inspired to design her own collection.  She was just 21 years old and wanted to sell some designs conceived for girls her own age at an accessible price point.  To her father, whose career was built on selling examples of the worlds most exclusive jewelry, Maria Vittoria's idea seemed counter-intuitive.  She had to prove that it could work before earning his support.

Maria Vittoria self-funded her first production series by selling all her bags, all her jewelry and all her stones.  She wore her collection to Milan Fashion Week and it wasn't long before she was invited to represent it at a jewelry trade show.  Maria Vittoria accepted the invitation.  Fast-forward a few years; MVP is an established brand represented in points of distribution all throughout Italy - even in world renowned boutiques like LuisaViaRoma


I am inspired by Maria Vittoria, and I was excited to have the opportunity to meet her last April in Rome.  We sat down for a long conversation about artisanship and how gratifying the artisanal process is.

As a matter of fact, it's by not chance that Maria Vittoria chooses to work with a Roman goldsmith when developing her designs.  She searched far and wide before she found Daniele.  They are a tightly knit team, and together they create designs that break the boundaries of convention.

Maria Vittoria follows the stages of production from beginning to end, and ensures that every detail is perfected before the collection is released. Daniele also does his part, applying his knowledge of the craft to develop innovative solutions that more conventional hands would deem impossible. 

The result is a special, and contemporary line of jewelry that has won the hearts of countless celebrities, and has garnered the attention of the most prestigious names in the press. 

It started just for fun... now it's that and more. Brava, Maria Vittoria!! 

P.S. If you love Rome nearly as much as I do, you might want to check out her Instagram account HERE for daily life inspiration from the Eternal City!