1977 was a pivotal year for the aficionados of luxury leather products everywhere. In that year, Mr. Alexandre Moura established in the Cognac area of south western France the Avel Company, dedicated to the sourcing of products that truly conditioned and maintained handsome and exotic woods, precious and practical metals, beautiful and fragile tiles and supple and fine leathers. Recognizing that the typical products available at the end of the 20th century had begun to rely upon cheap and ineffective petrochemicals for the care of these materials fundamental to the good life, Moura searched for a different type of approach, one that would prove beneficial for the artisans working with these organic materials and the discerning consumers who were tiring of false promises and a throw-away mentality toward luxury products.
In his quest to find the best products for the care of leather shoes, clothing, accessories and furniture, Moura discovered the Saphir Medaille d'Or collection, among the highest quality shoe and leather care products available anywhere in the world. The signature products made by this French concern were found right in Moura's home country and had won numerous awards over the years, including the Gold Medal for the best leather care products in 1925. Moura knew a premium set of leather care formulations would be greatly appreciated by discriminating men and women, and so acquired the Saphir name and formulas to offer to those who buy their shoes, boots and bags for a lifetime of enjoyment, not just for a season.
What sets the Saphir product apart and far above the ordinary is their reliance upon natural and nurturing ingredients to accomplish a deep conditioning of the organic leather material so many prefer in their footwear, attire, accessories, furniture, bags and luggage. Returning to the attitudes of a time when these items were companions for a life well lived, Moura knew he had to promote leather care products that would not just cover up wear, stains, water and soil damage, but would instead make every leather piece treated better and more durable - -- ready to take the wearer forward into the future with his or her coveted and valued leather possessions.
Saphir does this by using ingredients and a philosophy that has stood fast over the centuries of men and women's love for and reliance on fine leathers. Shoes and boots are not just fashion statements that set a tone or make an appearance for a season in the view of the quality people Moura was looking to serve. The footwear and other leather possessions of people who recognize quality are lifestyle choices and constant companions during a life well lived. Necessary to keep body and soul safe, warm and protected, leather wear deserves care and maintenance products as finely made and with the attention to detail the cobblers who crafted the boots, shoes and bags used when creating these leather works of the craft person's art.
To this end, Saphir eschews the hastily made and poorly considered modern leather care products available at the corner drugstore or big box discount chain. Full of artificial ingredients, including paraffin and plastics that actually sap the moisture from beautiful and supple leathers, the commonly available shoe care ranges can damage fine leathers. Cracking and flaking of the surface and stiffening and drying out of the under layers is often the final result of efforts taken with these inferior products. All the time and effort expended to keep leathers looking and feeling their best is wasted if the products are working against the materials.
Rather than "space age" ingredients that may warp and ruin luxurious leather, Saphir's product relies upon preparations that would have been used a hundred years ago to care for precious items like boots, shoes and bags. All-naturally derived, the list of ingredients is short, but mighty. To deeply condition and keep leathers moisturized and flexible, Saphir looks to vegetable and animal based oils and waxes. Mink oil and seal oil intensely condition and protect against further harm and wear. The busy bee offers its wax to help waterproof and guard against soil, grit and grime, establishing a barrier that still lets the leather, an organic material after all, to breathe and remain supple. Plant waxes, such as carnauba wax made from the leaves of the tropical palm tree, also add a layer of protection that does not clog the pores of even the most delicate leather.
Perhaps the most surprising ingredient in the Saphir formulations is the one that gives them their distinctive and crisp fragrance - -- turpentine, derived from the ancient pine tree. This rather ordinary and "old fashioned" ingredient is now appreciated for the amazing things it can offer for cleansing and maintaining a wide range of materials without artificial solvents that are harsh and can irrevocably damage leather and other natural products. That sharp and resiny smell brings a person back into a past where artisans understood what treatments were best for their art, even if the art was a pair of boots that humbly protected the feet while doing the outdoor chores.
The Saphir range is broad and deep and includes intensive conditioning products, polishes, protectants and pigmented dyes and creams to keep all precious and practical leathers soft and ready for today's tasks and the adventures that may turn up in the near or distant future. We are proud to offer this high quality range of products at Valentino Garemi for our Canadian and U.S. customers, and welcome leather lovers from around the world to sample and profit from these premium products with us.