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Romano martegani shoes

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by jcusey, Jun 28, 2004.

  1. jcusey

    jcusey Well-Known Member

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    As you may or may not know, board participant RIDER owns/manages the shoe department at Franco's Fine Clothier in Richmond. A few weeks ago in a thread that I can't seem to find, RIDER was commenting on the malleability of many of the smaller Italian shoe manufacturers: they can produce shoes using a variety of construction techniques in a great variety of different patterns finished pretty much however the customer wants. He mentioned that he was getting Romano Martegani, a venerable but rather low-profile maker, to produce a few models for him on a chiseled-toe last in leathers more similar to what the English makers usually use than what usually typifies Italian shoes. I was intrigued. I asked him what designs he was bringing in. He said that one of them was a plain-toe blucher with a floating medallion. I was interested. Then he posted the picture, and I was sold. I ordered a pair: [​IMG] Construction and materials: Combination of Blake and Rapid construction. High-quality French-style leather uppers (interestingly, the tannery's name for the leather is Betis, which is also in Gravati's catalogue). Soles and heels also high-quality. The waist is attractively bevelled. Fit and comfort: Good. The last is roomy, and I ordered a half a size smaller than normal. The fit in the heel wasn't perfect right off the bat, but after some momentary panic, it improved once they were worked over and worn a little bit. I'm very pleased with the shoes. I think that they're very attractive, and they are comfortable and well-made. I doubt that they'll replace Gravati as my favorite mid-range Italian shoe, but I'll certainly keep an eye out for what RIDER brings into his shop. It was a pleasure to do business with him, and I'd recommend him and his shoes highly (and no, I have no affiliation with him whatsoever).
     
  2. ballines

    ballines Well-Known Member

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    Shoes look very nice. How much were they? (if you don't mind me asking)
     
  3. jcusey

    jcusey Well-Known Member

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    Here's the listing on the Franco's website.
     
  4. TimelessRider

    TimelessRider Well-Known Member

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    Very nice. And sounds like a good value too at that price. Do the soles have channelled stitching?
     
  5. A Harris

    A Harris Well-Known Member

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    Great looking shoes.. And an extremely reasonable price-point. I was hoping someone would give them a try. All ya'll who are looking for good shoes at a great price should keep Franco's in mind.
     
  6. jcusey

    jcusey Well-Known Member

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    The shoes are made with both Blake construction (stitching through the insole and the outsole) and Rapid construction (stitching around the welt strip), so two sets of stitching go through the outsole. The Blake stitching appears to be channelled, but the channel for the Rapid stitching, though partially closed and camouflaged, is not completely closed.
     
  7. RIDER

    RIDER Well-Known Member

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    Well, as I don't want to turn this into too much of an advertisement, I'll simply say Thank You. I am glad you like them; I am very excited about the group of shoes we have done with Martegani. I will post a picture of the construction though, as it is a bit unique and it takes some explaining, which pictures do best. We had a flood last week and lost our main shoe store (and had to f disk the computers), so I don't know if I still have the file, but if I can it is interesting.
     
  8. RIDER

    RIDER Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG][/IMG] if this works, this is a combination Blake/Rapid construction cut-away
     
  9. marc237

    marc237 Well-Known Member

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    Beautiful shoes.  Question- they appear much lighter in the photgraph in this thread than in the link.  Which photo is closer to the true color?
     
  10. jcusey

    jcusey Well-Known Member

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    RIDER's picture link fixed: [​IMG]
     
  11. jcusey

    jcusey Well-Known Member

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    Thanks. The shoes have more red in them than is shown in my picture, but I think that my picture is more reflective of the color than the one on the Franco's website.
     
  12. RIDER

    RIDER Well-Known Member

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    jcusey - how did you do that?
     
  13. Nick M

    Nick M Well-Known Member

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    HE'S STANDING BEHIND YOU. Â [​IMG] Your image URL had an extra http:// at the start, Jcusey took it out. Very nice looking shoes, indeed. The last thread featuring Martegani shoes got lost in the forum hiccup a while back, I think - Rider, feel free to post any cool pics you have of the line, especially the two-tones... [​IMG]
     
  14. bigbadbuff

    bigbadbuff Well-Known Member

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    I live in Richmond and visit Franco's often... it gets high marks from me other than the occasional salesman who judges me as a 20something not willing to spend... but, this is found all over.

    I recall being in the Lakeside Ave. flagship store a couple years ago and being treated like a king by Mr. Ambrogi even though he surely knew I was learning my sizes in new (to me) designers that day...
     
  15. TimelessRider

    TimelessRider Well-Known Member

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    A picture is worth a thousand words. Thank you RIDER/jcusey for posting the construction details. I don't think I've ever had shoes with perforated insoles before except maybe sneakers.
     
  16. RIDER

    RIDER Well-Known Member

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    TimelessRider - actually I did'nt detail the perfed insoles; I chose the more traditional leather insole. I have not done that before and was concerned it might effect the fit. I will learn more about it as we go along. I work the same as Chuck; we can tweak things each season if we see fit, and it seems to be an improvement to the product. I will think on it-
     
  17. RIDER

    RIDER Well-Known Member

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    bigbadbuff - stop in and say hi sometime. Due to the flood I am at Lakeside all the time now.
     
  18. TimelessRider

    TimelessRider Well-Known Member

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    Good plan. You'll get the best possible criticism from forum members.
     
  19. Lomezz

    Lomezz Well-Known Member

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    bengal Stripe and Rider:

    According to the diagram, the rapid stitch is used to attach sole #2 to sole #1/welt, so I assume it is used mainly for double leather soled shoes. However, I have a pair of Barney's brand shoes which have "lavorazione blake-rapid' stamped on the sole, but they are a single leather sole. What would the rapid stitch be needed for in a single sole shoe, then?
     
  20. bengal-stripe

    bengal-stripe Well-Known Member

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    The "Rapid" bit refers to the machine that is used to lockstitch the soles to the welt. In a classic Goodyear welted shoe, the welt is stitched to the underside of the insole (with a Goodyear machine using a chain stitch), the stitching is neither visible from inside of the shoe, nor from the outside as it is covered by the sole. In Blake construction there is a row of stitching visible from inside the shoe.

    You can use the Blake machine to stitch either a strip of leather (welt) around the shoe or you use a thin sole (not thicker than a traditional welt which covers the entire sole). In both case you have glued them into place and then you secure them with a row of Blake stitching.

    Thereafter you than use the Rapid machine which stitches the sole from the outside onto the welt or the thin sole. You can easily produce a single soled shoe with the "Blake - Rapid" method. (A single-soled shoe has two layers, the welt and the outsole; while a double-soled shoe has the welt, the middle sole and the outsole).

    Blake is the most widely used construction method in Italy. A manufacturer will have only few (if any) Goodyear machines to stitch on the welt in the traditional manner. Equally your staff is much more used to using the Blake machines. Just utilize what is available to you.
     

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