A comprehensive guide to Italian shoes

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by onix, Apr 26, 2010.

  1. onix

    onix Senior member

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    Shoe Brands with Different Lines
    • Salvatore Ferragamo (est. 1929) has 3 main lines of dress shoes: Tramezza (hand-crafted), Lavorazione Originale and Studio. In general, Tramezza is Goolyear-welted, Lavarazione Originale is mostly Blake-constructed, while the Studio line use cement. Overall, Salvatore Ferragamo has attractive last but overpriced. Salvatore Ferragamo and Ermenegildo Zegna co-created a joint venture named ZeFer in 2002. The Tramezza is known to be made by Renzo Tattini of Florence (at least before 2007), it is likely that Renzo Tattini still makes this line.
    • Santoni (est. 1975) has 4 main lines of dress shoes: Limited Edition, Fatte a Manos (litterally hand-made), Santoni (main line) or Classic line, and the Nuvola. The last line uses rubber soles. The other lines may use many different constructions including Blake, Goodyear, Norwegian, Bologna and Bentivegna.
    • Sutor Mantellassi (est. 1912) does not explicitly divide shoes into categories, but in general, their shoes can be categorized into groups based on constructions. The top line is those that use Norvagese welt. It's then followed by those in Goodyear welt. The last line is the regular line using Blake construction.
    • Bruno Magli has three different lines for man dress shoes, the Platinum, the main line Bruno Magli and the lowest line Magli by Bruno Magli. The overall consensus is that they are overpriced (given the quality). Though here is an interesting restoration of a pair: A Tale of Two Shoes.
    • Ermenegildo Zegna started a partnership with Salvatore Ferragamo in shoe production by co-creating ZeFer in Milano in 2002. Their three main lines of shoes are at the same par with the lines of Salvatore Ferragamo: Couture XXX (hand-crafted), Ermenegildo Zegna (main line), and Z Zegna. They, however, offer a Limited Edition which is handmade using exotic skin.
    Other popular shoes in SF
    • Romano Martegani (est. 1891, Milano): Though not explicitly stated, Romano Martegani shoes can be roughly separated into two lines by their price range. The lower one is around Crockett & Jones bench-grade level, while the higher one is comparable to Crockett & Jones hand-grade. Note that this comparison is very subjective, and comparing Italian shoes and English shoes is more or less like comparing orange and apple, hence this is just a very rough estimate. However, SF's consensus is that they are one of the best value (see this thread). Romano Martegani was introduced to the United States largely due to the effort of Ron Rider (he's a forum member). He maintained a blog about Romano Martegani until mid-2009, then moved to another blog that focuses on both Romano Martegani and his own company, the Rider Boot Company. One of the first shoe review for Romano Martegani was done by John Cusey. Another interesting post, also by Ron Rider, is his dissection of a pair.
    • Silvano Lattanzi (est. 1971): Impeccable quality at high price
    • Settantatre (Napoli): shoes are made by former masters of Sutor Mantellassi at the same quality.
    • Borrelli: made by Sutor Mantellassi, Santoni (Fatte a Manos equivalent or above), and others
    • Brioni: made by Silvano Latanzi and others
    • Ralph Lauren: speculation around April 2009 is that some of their Purple Label are made by Silvano Sassetti
    • Rider Boot Company: made by Calzaturificio Cortina (est. 1955)
    • Tom Ford: made by ZeFer (the joint venture between Ermenegildo Zegna and Salvatore Ferragamo)
    Bespoke and Made-to-Measure
    No Info
     
  2. rebel222

    rebel222 Senior member

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    Technically Zefer make Tom Ford shoes.

    There are so many Italian companies. This may be impossible.
     
  3. sho'nuff

    sho'nuff grrrrrrrr!!

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  4. chas

    chas Senior member

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    I would add Santoni to that list. Nice quality shoes. They make both goodyear welted and blake rapid construction shoes.
     
  5. Guero

    Guero Senior member

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    My understanding, admittedly obtained from the SA at the Houston Zegna, was that Zegna is now making shoes under its own auspices, rather than through the Zefer joint venture with Ferragamo. Any insight on this? Perhaps its only the couture line.

    Oh, and Sutor has definitely made for Borrelli. Likewise Silvano Latanzi for Brioni. You need to include Santoni. Settantatre is a recent spin-of from Sutor. As rebel222 says, this may be nigh impossible.
     
  6. onix

    onix Senior member

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    There are so many Italian companies. This may be impossible.
    We all understand that such task is hard. But we have a lot of experts here (for instant, rebel222 [​IMG] ), I believe that our collaborative efforts will work.

    Oh, and Sutor has definitely made for Borrelli. Likewise Silvano Latanzi for Brioni. You need to include Santoni. Settantatre is a recent spin-of from Sutor.

    Thanks. Good info.
     
  7. onix

    onix Senior member

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    I would add Santoni to that list. Nice quality shoes. They make both goodyear welted and blake rapid construction shoes.

    Does anyone tell us all Santoni lines? I know only Santoni FAM and the regular Santoni ones.
     
  8. TheWraith

    TheWraith Senior member

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  9. sho'nuff

    sho'nuff grrrrrrrr!!

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  10. sho'nuff

    sho'nuff grrrrrrrr!!

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    i would consider the italian shoe triumvirate to be:

    Silvano Lattanzi
    SANTONI (LE)
    Kiton
     
  11. DocHolliday

    DocHolliday Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Aren't Martegani and Cortina made by the same folks? I think they do work for a variety of labels.

    This is a tough task indeed. And I bet such a list would change quite often.
     
  12. dropout5

    dropout5 Senior member

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    i would be curious if people know who makes shoes for John Varvatos, as most of his shoes simply say "hand made in italy." i have a pair of such boat shoes and love them.
     
  13. comrade

    comrade Senior member

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  14. westinghouse

    westinghouse Senior member

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    You forgot Bettanin and Venturi and Berluti, both which trump anything the English make IMHO. At least in getting compliments.
     
  15. bellyhungry

    bellyhungry Senior member

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    Doucal's not good enough to make the list?
     

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