The provenance of Altea can be traced back to over two centuries ago in the city of Milan. To put the longevity of the brand's history into perspective: King Umberto I of Italy was still very much in power, attempting major colonial expansion into the Horn of Africa, successfully gaining Eritrea and Somalia. In the late 19th century, around 25 years after the unification of Italy, Milan had become a major industrial and cultural centre in the new kingdom. There was an aura of elegance flowing through Milan, with a booming economy accentuating the romance that Milanese architecture already administered. This was the era in which Altea was born.
Founded in 1892 in the area between Via Verri and Via Montenapoleone, it would later become one of the most important arteries in the geography of international fashion. The company started life as a tie shop in the sophisticated district, where it would be frequented by the best clientele of the city. It was the creation of Giuseppe Sartori, a man of great vision who gave his name to the business. In the Seventies, a fourth generation took the helm when Celeste’s sons Michele and Luca Sartori decided to expand the company’s production including scarves and other accessories.