I have not been able to confirm who makes the Italian shoes; I have called several RL stores. One claimed that they were made "in house." But I seriously doubt this, of course. I do have a pair of the Brawley cap toe oxfords that go for $169 on Bluefly (I got the ones that retail for $345, not the $295 ones -- though I'm not sure what the difference is). I am generally very happy with them. They polish up decently, have a great fit for a narrower foot (great arch support and heel padding for the narrower foot). The leather is very soft and thick without being stiff. Nice combination heel. I think they are every bit the equal of the Peales that I've seen at BB. Indeed, styling and fit seem very similar to me. However, the Italian mades run about a half size smaller than say, Aldens. I wear a 10.5 in Aldens, and 11 in the Polos. (I wear an 11 in Banana Republic, which is another easy way I think to make a comparison; just head to the mall nearest you!