In 1830 Pietro Tesi, Milliner, opened his shop at S.Pietro a Ponti, just outside the gates of Florence.
From the start, his manufactory’s major characteristic was typical of its time and place: the crafting of braids and straw hats. The company’s prestige was almost immediate. At the end of the 19th century, the Tesi firm was specialized in producing the most diverse and celebrated head-coverings: leghorns, maglineand the all-pervasive canotti.
The firm’s development garnered exponential growth at the turn of the century, in terms of its presence in the major European markets, and in gaining a foothold overseas, in the United States. Thanks to Luigi and Guido Tesi’s entrepreneurial abilities, the company enjoyed a Golden Age. Due to the increase of exports, the business concentrated on progressive advances in techniques of workmanship for head-coverings, and on research in new materials and new solutions to anticipate the needs of its continually growing clientele. The territories for researching new materials expanded to include Central and South America; new proposals in terms of style and innovations for the collections were studied in order to re-launch the hat as a fashion element, since it had fallen somewhat out of favor in dress-codes.
An obstacle which the subsequent generations at the firm’s helm (now in its fifth generation) have been able to overcome with aplomb, by launching diverse and specific varieties of hats, especially panamas and trilbys, through tenacity coupled with the precious baggage of its artisanal tradition, which, then as now, never ceases to surprise and amaze.