On the surface the story of Libero Ferrero sounds like it could belong to any heritage brand from the past century-three brothers come together to create a line of American made goods inspired by their Italian heritage. Although after sitting down yesterday with Pete Lafferty, who runs Libero Ferrero along with his two brothers and fiance, I soon realized that the brand is anything but boilerplate.
Born and raised in Michigan, Pete and his two brothers Matthew and Adam, never started out thinking they would be designing bags. With backgrounds in sales, architecture, and art design, the three collectively had all the loose components needed to start a brand, but it was something they had not considered until a few years ago. Deciding it was time for a career change, the brother’s pooled their resources and joined together with Pete’s fiance, Julia Salamon to form Libero Ferrero.
Since the brand’s founding, location has always played an integral role. With one brother out in Los Angeles overseeing production, another brother based in Chicago where he works with Horween leather sourcing materials, and Pete and Julia living in New York handling design and marketing, Libero Ferrero is strategically spaced out to capitalize on each region’s distinct advantage.
Fortunately, Pete brought along two new designs yesterday, the Brigadier a daily carryall and the Balfour a full-zip weekender, which gave me a chance to try out the bags myself. The first thing I noticed was the buttery texture of the Horween leather, which was some of the softest material I’ve ever felt on a bag. I was also amazed that the bags were both sturdy and lightweight, a testament to the strength of the leather. Overall though, what I found most remarkable, or rather unremarkable was the designs themselves. I say unremarkable because Libero Ferrero’s real strength lies in their simplicity.
The designs are timeless, and not timeless in a tacky marketing way, but literally the bags look like they could have come from any era. Libero Ferrero’s bags are understated in the best way, on the exterior they allow the straightforward designs and quality of the materials to speak for themselves, focusing on the interior to provide the details that a man really needs. Lined with medical-grade nylon and Holland & Sherry suiting wool, inside of the bags the focus is on functionality, filled with pockets and wide-mouthed zippers. These are the sort of bag that every man needs, they’re not flashy, you won’t see them on some runway, but what they will do is make your life easier, and be a daily compliment to your suit for decades to come.