The Mia Cara model is a rather special organiser in terms of its design and the quality of the workmanship that goes in to their making. We reviewed an A5 model earlier this year, after my visit to Italy to see the workshop and meet the owner of the company that makes the Mia Cara's for Gillio Firenze.
I could be wrong but I'm not aware of another company that makes an organiser that is of a design similar to the Mia Cara. I am aware that there is a German brand that is similar to the Mia Cara, but it is very limited in the number of colours available.
On the Gillio Facebook group, the pocket Mia Cara is very popular as a wallet/organiser combination for a lot of owners, likewise the Medium size is used too. After spending time with both sizes over the last few days I can see why they are popular for this style of use.
Pocket Mia Cara - Description.
Let us first take a look at the Pocket Mia Cara, it is the smallest in the range, the page size and the ring spacing is the same as Filofax pocket size at 81 x 120 mm and with 6 rings spaced at 19mm (¾"). Empty (without inserts) the Pocket Mia Cara weighs approximately 315 grams. The Pocket Mia Cara is made from Tuscan vegetable dyed Italian Leather and machine stitched to a high standard.
The organiser is made up of two parts the organiser itself and an outer jacket part. Both parts can be used together or independently of each other. When together they make a very neat organiser.
The organiser part slots in to a pocket in the inside back cover of the outer jacket. You don't have to remove the organiser to use it either.
The outer jacket has a full width back pocket for bills and notes. On the inside front cover there is an expanding pocket which is held closed with two poppers. There is another full height slot pocket behind the expanding pocket with the opening next to the spine of the outer jacket. A slot for a pen sits neatly in the spine of the outer jacket as shown. On the inside back cover there are six horizontal credit card pockets.
A soft leather broad clasp holds the outer jacket of the organiser closed. The removable organiser section does not have a closure fitted to it.
The organiser section has three vertical credit card slots giving you a total of 9 card slots the Pocket Mia Cara. There is also a business card pocket in the base of the inside front cover.
The ring size in the pocket is only 15 mm internal diameter.
This example shown above is one of many colour combinations available in this range from Gillio Firenze it is a light grey and orange 804-777.
Ben and Tom also sent me a Black and Cream Pocket Mia Cara, it is exactly the same in design and layout and just as difficult to photograph the cream interior as others! This is a new colour combination 775-819
Medium Mia Cara - Description
The medium size Mia Cara like its smaller cousin the Pocket size above is in two parts and it is quite a sizeable organiser in your hands. Empty is weighs approximately 485 grams. It uses 25mm rings and the spacing is the same as a personal size Filofax organiser.
This particular example is the black and red combination 775-770. You can see the full range of colour options on the Gillio website.
So internally you will notice that the medium gains a vertical zip pocket with a leather tab. Like the Pocket Mia Cara there is also a vertical slip pocket behind the zip pocket and the expanding pocket, which like the Pocket is secured with two poppers.
There is also the full length back pocket too. This will take a full size sheet of A4 paper but the pocket isn't quite deep enough to take the full width of an A4 sheet, about 10 mm sticks out the top. But folded in half it swallows it completely!
This particular colour combination reminds me of Charlie Sheen as 'Bud Fox' from the 1987 film Wall Street!
However, the black and red do make nice contrast, I really do like the contrast stitching on this particular example.
The outer jacket has six horizontal card slots on the inside back cover with a slip pocket behind this section. The organiser itself has 3 vertical card slots making a total of 9 card slots. There is also an additional business card pocket at the base.
To give you an appreciation of the overall size of the medium size Mia Cara I took a few photos of it next to my Standard size 30mm Van der Spek organiser which I recently reviewed here. The Mia Cara in it's fully assembled state is noticeable bigger than the Van der Spek.
However, comparing the organiser part of the Mia Cara, you can see they are fairly close in size.
And similar in thickness.
I think the Mia Cara is quite an outstanding design of organiser and the quality of the leather work is quite exceptional. Both the Van der Spek and the Gillio use the same number of stitches per inch, on the samples supplied they use 8-9 stitches per inch.
Thank you to Ben and Tom Van Haelen for the loan of all the review samples featured in this review and in yesterdays too.
There will be a chance to win a Croco Matt Green Medium Compagna later today... but first you must read and memorise every detail of this review and re-read the Medium Compagna review from yesterday.