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The Replica and the immortal life of Russia Calf.

The Replica and the immortal life of Russia Calf.

Since the Seventeenth Century, Russia Calf has been considered the highest expression of the classic “Cuoio” leather for boots and shoes. Stefano Bemer, in collaboration with renowned tannery Horween Leather, are determined to make it immortal…

The shores of Britain have been the haunt of seafarers for thousands of years. Today the coastline is littered with the remains of their activities; countless shipwrecks under the ocean still bear the mysteries and treasures of their ages.

Among them is the Metta Catharina, who departed from St. Petersburg to reach the Mediterranean port of Genoa with a large load of cargo. On a stormy night in December 1786, the ship was blown onto the dangerous underwater reef, and sank into 30 meters depth under the sea near Plymouth.

The Metta Catharina lay forgotten for nearly 200 years until divers discovered its bell by accident in October 1973, and since then treasures on the ship have seen daylight again, among them the legendary Russian reindeer leather, AKA Russia Calf.

The leather is marvelously supple and its durability has been enhanced by its two centuries of being submerged in black mud.  The color varies from a rich claret to a lighter sienna and most of the hides have a cross hatch grain embossed by hand.  It is also renowned for its ability to resist water and repel insects.

With respect to this legacy, Stefano Bemer initiated a collaboration with Horween Leather, one of the most important tanneries in the world, with the aim of reviving the leather of that age. With our co-efforts, we have managed to deliver extremely similar color, texture, and features of the Russian leather and, of course, the highest shoemaking expertise of our master craftsmen, expressed by our Tradizione Collection.