Lorenzo Borghi’s story started in 1952, at the age of twelve, when he started working at Lionello Passerini’s millinery shop. When Passerini died, Borghi took over and moved the business to Via dei Piatti in the heart of Milan. There, he has been dedicating himself for over fifty years to the fine art of traditional hat-making. During his career, he has collaborated with great fashion designers such as Krizia, Ferré, and Moschino, as well as with theatre costume makers. He makes hats for famous people (including Queen Elisabeth II) as well as for ordinary individuals. Each creation is made with a certain passion and love that only a true craftsman can express through his work.
When did you decide that your future would be in woodworking?
My passion for wood grew in a craftsman’s workshop where I used to spend a lot of time during my university years. My passion for design flourished at the Polytechnic University of Milan, also thanks to Beppe Finessi, an extraordinary professor who influenced my choices and marked my future.
I developed the idea of designing and, especially, of making the objects myself. In the case of single pieces and limited series, the object’s added value lies in the fact that it is hand made. Based on a solid working experience and by examining almost obsessively other consolidated artisan businesses, I persuaded myself that I could make it work.
What training is needed for this profession?
I believe that it takes a double education. On the one hand, you need to have a formal training in the field of design; on the other, you need to develop the technical and manual skills that are necessary to transform an intuition into an object.
Fabscarte, established from Emilio Brazzolotto’s twenty-year long experience, is specialised in the production of handmade and painted wallpapers. We have visited their wonderful Milanese atelier.
Does this profession require specific training?
An education in arts and crafts is essential, but what is even more important is to work with a master specialised in interior decoration, and to keep broadening knowledge and improving personality.