Artesanía M. Vivas, founded in 1896 by Justo Vivas Recio, is now in its 4th generation of family ownership and leadership. In terms of artisanal-quality handcrafted Spanish leather, M. Vivas is unquestionably among the very best.
Since the beginning Artesanía Vivas has been based in the town of Malpartida de Plasencia in the Extremadura region of Spain. Since then the Vivas philosophy has not changed: top-quality, handmade products built with superior materials, astonishing attention to detail, endless patience and passion for perfection.
Early on, Justo Vivas Recio’s creations were made primarily for riding and hunting, such as leather chaps, leggings and other items for equestrians. He soon became known for using a jackknife to cut leather, and he even designed his own tools made out of wood, bone and iron to allow him to work the leather in his own meticulous way. In later years, Justo expanded his production and added wallets and briefcases. He also pioneered a distinctive method for engraving customers’ names or initials on the leather.
Later, when Hipolito Vivas Oliva took over the business he created the “petaca”, a small pouch for carrying tobacco that would forever give the Vivas shop the local nickname of “petaqueros.”
But Hipolito was always pushing to new product areas and production techniques. In fact during the 60’s and early 70’s, when plastics and mass-production threatened the artisanal way of life, Hipolito shifted his production process toward small batches rather than producing one item at a time. This change retained the traditional handcrafted quality but also enabled Vivas to better respond to consumer trends and demands. Vivas also began to use precision sewing machines and further expanded into leather accessories for ladies such as purses and handbags.
Today, under the watchful care and leadership of Manuel Vivas, the 4th generation of Artesanía Vivas continues to make beautiful and unmistakably Spanish leather goods that still adhere to strict artisanal standards and values. Manuel Vivas also continues the Vivas traditions in hunting, equestrian and clothing accessories such as belts and wallets. In addition, Manuel recently introduced a variety of new colors, textures and styles across an expanded line of women’s accessories.
Aretsanía Vivas remains one of the few leather artisans that blend old-world nostalgia and craftsmanship with a forward-looking yet distinctively Spanish sense of design.
And, we simply can’t state this heartily enough: if you are ever in the Plasencia area in Spain, by all means, visit Artesania Vivas! You will love the people, you will love their heritage, and you will definitely love their products!