the story behind


There is a story behind every brand. In our category ‘Behind the Brand’ the designers share their candid insight about their inspiration, the production process, and the people behind the brand. This time we sat down with Vincenzo Niglio, export manager at Nanni, to ask him about the history of the Italian brand, where the inspiration for the materials comes from and how to keep your leather belt in the best condition possible.

Nanni was initiated by Vittorio Nanni in 1981. How did it all begin and what was the initial idea behind the brand?

It all started almost as a game on one of the most famous and glamorous beaches in Italy, with a meeting between who will turn out to be the first commercial director Giulia Barda and the young Architect Vittorio Nanni.

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A special meeting between two young creatives who decided to experiment with unusual materials in the world of accessories. It is all about eccentric creativity in technical solutions, materials, and finishes.

How would you describe the aesthetic identity of Nanni?

The brand of belts was born out of harmony between style, history and rock ’n roll. Nanni is for the contemporary Narcissus – either man or woman – who expresses his or her individual style in dissonant details and in statement accessories.

What does a week at the Nanni atelier look like?

The Nanni atelier is located in one of the most up coming areas of Milan, both from a cultural and creative point of view. And this is the air that you breathe in the atelier: energy and dynamism.

How do you stay inspired to come up with new designs?

Nature, art, design. And above all, travel intended as the discovery of exotic cultures.

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Metal and leather are important elements in the Nanni collections: where does the inspiration come from to mainly use these two materials?

From Vittorio Nanni's passion for the world of bikers. The iconic belt is the ‘subway belt’: entirely crafted in metal and made with a motor chain of a vintage motorcycle. The solidity of this material that can be forged and finished in infinite ways has always been combined with the softness of a material such as leather. The antithesis of the two materials created the originality of Nanni.

How should women feel when they wear a Nanni design?

Unique and sexy.

"Nanni Milano, the brand of belts, was born out of harmony between style, history and rock ’n roll"

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In what kind of Nanni belt should everyone invest in?

A metal chain belt can complete and make any type of look special. And they are still inimitable in their perfection of execution; they are like real jewels, rather than accessories. Perfect in any season.

How would you combine your Nanni belt?

Nanni belts and sandals have a strong personality and manage to complete the contemporary designers’ looks. Nanni’s accessories are perfect with jeans and sneakers as with more sophisticated clothes.

What kind of leather do you use for the production of the belts?

Exclusively Italian leathers.

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How can you keep your Nanni belts in the best possible condition?

The quality of the product, made almost entirely by hand, does not require particular maintenance as the choice of materials falls on very high quality and very long-lasting metals and leathers.

"The inspiration to mainly use metal and leather in our collection comes from Vittorio Nanni's passion for the world of bikers."

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What does Nanni contribute to sustainability?

Choosing low chromium leathers and vegetable colours.

What would you name as the greatest accomplishment of Nanni?

To create a product that is faithful to its aesthetic and being able to interpret the changes in fashion for over 40 years.

Any future plans you would like to share with us?

The most interesting project is the development of the shoe line, which after the success of the sandal collection, has prompted the brand to produce a complete collection of shoes.

Discover the Nanni collection by Pauw Amsterdam in our stores or online.