Couture Glovemaker Daniel Storto shines as “Glovemaker to the Hollywood Stars”

On Wednesday, August 10, 2011 - 13:16

After keeping company for years with fashion heavy-hitters the likes of Geoffrey Beene, Dries Van Noten and Alexander McQueen, L.A. “Glovemaker to the Hollywood Stars” Daniel Storto made a radical change in 2001.

He packed his bags and moved from Los Angeles to tiny Gloversville, NY – population 15‚000.

But Storto – who has designed and hand-stitched gloves for celebrities including Madonna‚ Cher‚ Celine Dion‚ Nicole Kidman and a host of other celebrities – knew exactly what he was doing.

“Gloversville was the glove-making capital of the world at one time‚ and I am fascinated by its rich history‚” Storto says.

Glove History Attracts Storto

Indeed, between 1890 and 1950, Gloversville supplied nearly 90 percent of all gloves sold in the United States. Today, there are still traces of the trade in the town, though Storto's small Main Street storefront is arguably the industry's biggest presence.

The store – the only storefront glove making shop in the world, according to Storto – houses Storto’s studio as well as a selection of gloves available for locals and tourists to buy.

Made of imported Italian leather‚ Storto’s celebrity-style gloves start at around $500‚ but he also makes designer children’s gloves and inexpensive wool jersey gloves that sell for $25 a pair. Every few months, his website features a new, inexpensive style for purchase.

“Tourists love that‚ because they can take a piece of Gloversville home with them‚” Storto says. “My shop is a window to the world of glove making. People can see all the historical tools‚ me in my apron and all the stock.”

Storto's Background

Storto says his clients and counterparts in New York and L.A. thought he was "nuts" when he made the move to the small town.

“People ask where I live‚ and when I say‚ ‘Gloversville‚ New York‚’ they say‚ ‘Oh‚ that’s a good one‚ Daniel‚’ ” Storto says. “But when they realize I’m telling the truth‚ people are fascinated.”

Meanwhile, the move hasn't dampened his career in the least.

In 2001, he recreated all the gloves for the Metropolitan Museum of Art's blockbuster exhibition "Jacqueline Kennedy: The White House Years."

In 2004, Storto was profiled for the first time in the New York Times and saw his work on the cover of Vogue, shot by famed fashion photographer Irving Penn.

In 2009, Storto's life and work were again the subject of a feature story in The New York Times.

Storto tells his own story in a 2010 video by the popular style-focused email newsletter Daily Candy

Storto makes frequent trips to New York City for appointments‚ but says he’s always happy to come back home.

“I’m a big-city kid‚ so I know the rapid speed of life‚” he says. “The sense of community here is quite soothing and calm. It’s more real. The beauty of Gloversville is not in your face. It’s an inner beauty.”

These days, Storto is restoring a turn-of-the-century glove factory to become the only freestanding glove museum in the world.

“I love hearing stories about Gloversville at its peak‚ acquiring historical glove-making tools and meeting with elder glove makers," he says. "They’ve taught me ways to enhance my craft.”

Read about more of the primary industries in Gloversville, NY.