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adventures in bespoke: Paolo Scafora pictorial

post #1 of 42
Thread Starter 
Special thanks to aportnoy and Eustace Tilley for generously sharing their experience and suggestions...

In Naples for the weekend and was able to secure an appointment to visit with Paolo Scafora. Naples being Naples, the network of personal relationships run far and wide, so it came as only a mild surprise to discover that Mina knows Paolo and she kindly offered to accompany me. The Scafora operations are outside the city in a neighborhood which can be best described as demographically and socio-economically "diverse." The ability to speak Neapolitan is essential here, as even while asking for driving directions Italian seemed to have limited utility. I seriously doubt I would have found this place on my own, and even with Mina driving we had to settle on meeting Paolo at the nearby Kiton headquarters, after which he guided us through a series of narrow roads to a small industrial complex.

Paolo is probably in his mid to late thirties, an affable guy with a strong vision for his brand and a clear direction for his operations. What struck me most in contrast to my half day in Northampton was just how immaculate his factory operations were. Machinery was new, floors were swept, and artisans were organized into tidy workstations. His staff are a mix of veterans as well as younger blood, and while staff were friendly I came away with the impression of an environment simultaneously relaxed yet filled with hushed intensity and attention to detail. Paolo will work and refine bespoke lasts on wood, and once the fit is nailed down he will recreate the lasts in plastic to better withstand the affects of the elements over time. All Scafora skins (calf, croc) arrive denuded, with Paolo preferring to have full control over painting and burnishing to arrive at "his" colors. These colors were very nice indeed.




















After the factory, we went next door to his gorgeous showroom to conduct the foot tracing and have a coffee (which was wonderful). The pictures here really speak for themselves. With 15 last shapes to choose from, I decided on a soft chiseled toe midway between the EG888 and 82. Simple double-monk with captoe, burnished espresso, 8mm sole with fiddleback and my initials. Paolo travels regularly to NYC, and as luck would have it his next visit at the end of February will coincide with my own. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that my trial shoe will be ready for that trip. Will continue to update this thread as my first-ever bespoke shoe commission unfolds.

















post #2 of 42
Wow, thats really awesome you went so out of your way to do something so cool. I love that idea, COMPLETELY custom tailored shoe, props!
post #3 of 42
hope you still have some energy left for vienna.
post #4 of 42
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by fritzl View Post
hope you still have some energy left for vienna.

I'm googling "segway rental Wien" right now
post #5 of 42
That alligator chukka boot is singing to me. Congrats on the new stuff, and great pics.
post #6 of 42
Wow. Those are some beautiful shoes.
post #7 of 42
E, that Paolo chap looks vaguely familiar.

Well done!
post #8 of 42
He looks quite young. I would've imagined a much older fellow. How long has he been in business?
post #9 of 42
Great report medtech. I'm sure the shoes will come out nicely.
post #10 of 42
Love those shoes you snapped. Any pics of what your finished product would look like?
post #11 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpooPoker View Post
That alligator chukka boot is singing to me.

Congrats on the new stuff, and great pics.

+1. The other gator boot is also full of win.
post #12 of 42
Anyone care to comment on quality of Scafora versus Ugolini?
post #13 of 42
medtech-expat, thank you for your interesting and detailed reports. Finally some quality in here again.
post #14 of 42
Bravo Eddie. Le scarpe sono belle. Ma la piu bella e la tua compagna
post #15 of 42
Thanks for the great report, E. And for upholding a great Styleforum tradition.
The workshop is surprisingly modern and new. I wouldn't have thought that.
Nice choice in the double monks. Looking forward to seeing the finished shoes.
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