At Buttons’ Home With Bonfanti Firm

The beau­ti­ful sto­ry of Firm Bon­fan­ti star­ted in 1946 thanks to Grand­pa Wal­ter and has con­ti­nued throu­ghout the years fir­st with his sons Mario and Elio and later with their daughters Sere­na and Chia­ra. Wal­ter began his com­pa­ny on the nar­row stree­ts of Bar­rie­ra di Mila­no, a char­ming and chal­len­ging area that has beco­me over time a mel­ting pot of eth­nic groups and dif­fe­rent tra­di­tions. The dit­ta Bon­fan­ti spe­cia­li­zed in the crea­tion, rea­li­za­tion and distri­bu­tion of but­tons, buc­kles and acces­so­ries. Thanks to the hard work of 3 gene­ra­tions, even during dif­fi­cult times, they have gro­wn and evol­ved without loo­sing the pro­fes­sio­na­li­sm, the exclu­si­vi­ty and the kno­w­led­ge, beco­ming a real pri­de of what is kno­wn as “made in Italy”.

Wal­king around the pre­mi­ses, it feels like wal­king around a museum whe­re but­tons are not just but­tons but real jewels. During our tour Sere­na and Chia­ra explain that the core of their com­pa­ny con­ti­nue to be the arti­sa­nal spi­rit of the begin­nings, still very visi­ble in the cur­rent col­lec­tions that, twi­ce a year, the crea­ti­ve mind of Elio Bon­fan­ti desi­gns, fol­lo­wing the trends in fashion whe­re but­tons gain a lea­ding role and are not just accessories.

The pie­ces of each col­lec­tion, with their dif­fe­rent colors and sha­pes, are hand stit­ched to the pages of bin­ders, whe­re each bin­der beco­mes a master­pie­ce of craf­tsman­ship in the hands of ven­dors not only in Ita­ly but also in the Uni­ted Sta­tes of Ame­ri­ca, Rus­sia, Swe­den, Uni­ted King­dom, Japan: as you can ima­gi­ne their but­tons, buc­kles and acces­so­ries are sold all over the world. 

Over the years, they were able to beco­me extre­me­ly fle­xi­ble and ver­sa­ti­le: in this way they have been able to ful­fill their clien­ts’ needs and requests with uni­que custom made pie­ces. What about the mate­rials? Besi­de the more tra­di­tio­nal ones like mother of pearl, horn, coraz­zo and metal, we have the Eco But­tons made with envi­ron­men­tal­ly friend­ly and recy­cled mate­rials such as recy­cled paper, hemp, coco­nut, vege­ta­ble ivo­ry and wood. 

They have also a fun line of but­tons cal­led “emo­ti­con but­tons”: desi­gned by the arti­st Pao­lo Gil­lo­ne bet­ter kno­wn as “Jeans” and inspi­red by the book “ La guer­ra dei bot­to­ni” writ­ten at the end of 1800: you can attach and detach them depen­ding on the mood.  Thin­king back on our visit, it would be nice one day to have a museum: star­ting with the but­tons that made histo­ry of Dit­ta Bon­fan­ti until the more recent emo­ti­con but­tons, that talk about our cur­rent sta­te of mind.

Sin­ce 1946 you can find this and more at via Bal­tea 20. A sign of tra­di­tion that is open to the futu­re and to what is dif­fe­rent. You can appre­cia­te the respect for integration.

Via Dora Bal­tea 20 – Torino
Tel. 011/2482041