Born in Florence in 1934, he finished secondary school and then served an apprenticeship in the workshop of the craftsman Osvaldo Frezzolini, an expert in gilding onto leather with real gold.
Leather Goods / Shoe-making
After learning the secrets of the craft, he and his brother Roberto set up the firm Fratelli Peroni in 1956.
In the 1950s and ’60s, in addition to perfecting the technique of decoration, he started to produce fancy leather goods, carrying on with the Florentine art of leatherworking and gilding applied to vegetable-tanned hides.
In more than 60 years of activity, the company has built up a range of over a thousand articles, all designed and made by Piero. His pieces have been shown at Artex – Centro per l’Artigianato Artistico e Tradizionale della Toscana, at galleries in Florence, Boston, New York and other cities around the world and in museums.
It was 1983 that the workshop on Via Marconi in Florence was acquired, and the firm is still located there today. Fratelli Peroni sees its mission as preservation of the qualities and tradition of Florentine artistic leatherworking for posterity. It aims to do this by taking on young apprentices to teach them the techniques and secrets of the craft, thereby avoiding the loss of a know-how deeply rooted in the territory but at risk of vanishing owing to the lack of formal training in this sector.
Two awards worthy of note attest to his skills as a craftsman: in 2007 Peroni was declared an ‘Italian Company of Excellence’ by EURISPES and in 2012 a Bottega d’Arte or ‘Art Workshop’ by the Osservatorio Mestieri d’Arte of Florence.
Sixty-four years after its founding, and following Roberto’s retirement, the company is still run by Piero Peroni, with the aid of his sons Marco and Maurizio and a few employees, who are handing down this precious know-how.