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Geronico Embraces Third Generation

When in 1919, shortly after the end of WWI, Pietro Geronico came to Florence from the lakes district of northern Italy, he was only a young boy looking to make a living. Born in 1899 in a small city not far from the Lake Maggiore where most people employed themselves in repairing umbrellas, he came to Florence looking for fortune.
Here, repairing umbrellas was his first job. Soon after, he was hired by a shop in Via Calzaiuoli that sold bags and umbrellas, of which in the turn of a few months he became the manager.
It was the first step towards a brilliant career. Pietro decided to open his own shop, in the same street as the one he was working for. He named it with his surname: Geronico. This was in 1929, just ten years after his move to Florence. In the early stages of the Geronico store, the core business was umbrellas. Alongside umbrellas, Geronico sold travel bags and hand- bags of all sorts, as well as leather and fur to produce other items, as it was common practice at that time.
It was only between the late 1950s and the early 60s, a time of vast and sudden expansion in Italian fashion, that the shop changed its profile and became international. To adjust to the demands of a rapidly changing market, it reduced its sales to leather goods, including travel and work bags, evening and formal handbags, and a wide assortment of high-quality items made exclusively in Italy. During this time, Florence was known as the “district of leather,” and thanks to stylists such as Ferragamo and Gucci became the capital of Italian fashion, until in the 1970s it was replaced by Milan.
Today Geronico, which recently received the award of “historical shop” by the Comune di Firenze, is run by Marina, third generation member of the Geronico family. Marina has renewed the shop, turning it into an elegant contemporary boutique, while at the same time preserving its classical essence. Notice the handmade umbrellas at the entrance to the shop, remnants of Geronico’s past.


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