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Florence Bespoke Shoemakers:

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Newcomer, Jul 23, 2010.

  1. Newcomer

    Newcomer Well-Known Member

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    Well, I am happy to say that I will soon be returning to Italy, particularly Firenze. Now imbued with a passion for sartorial pursuits, I have begun charting the different places I want to visit. In particular, I would like some more information on two cobblers: Calzature Mannina and Roberto Ugolini.

    I am under the impression that they offer more 'reasonable' bespoke services. I do not yet have the capital to visit Bemer, Gatto, or Hidetaka (as much as I would love to), I think that the aforementioned cobblers may be wiser investments at this point in my life.

    So, sages of the StyleForvm, would you mind helping me out if you have any experiences with these two shoe makers?
     
  2. Eustace Tilley

    Eustace Tilley Well-Known Member

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    I have seen a couple of Mannina shoes in the past and they are very nice. Prices start at 650 euros for blake shoes, so a pretty good deal as well.

    I think Matt has some experience with Ugolini - I would do a search. Saskia Wittmer (who trained under Bemer) is in Florence as well - wouldn't hurt to check her prices.
     
  3. Newcomer

    Newcomer Well-Known Member

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    Alright, I can see what more I can find--and that is interesting with Mannina, I was not aware that they did blake construction.

    And thanks for the tip with Saskia Wittmer
     
  4. HEARTLESS-531

    HEARTLESS-531 Well-Known Member

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    Newcomer - I was there over Easter and hit the big names. Bemer is coming in at damn near 1800 Euro fr bespoke (basic models). IMO, I thought Ugolini had the best value (approx 950 euros including lasts). And he was really nice. I passed on Manina. Going back in October to get my ankle boots at Ugolini. I posted pics on my blog: solebrothers.blogspot.com. Hope this helps. Please let us know how it goes.
     
  5. Newcomer

    Newcomer Well-Known Member

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    I will be sure to keep the StyleForvm updated on ever step of my sartorial journey [​IMG]. I would never travel to a foreign place and not write some sort of photo blog.

    And for anyone elses use, here is Iammatt's post about Ugolini:

    http://www.styleforum.net/showthread.php?t=42266

    And here is another interesting thread on Ugolini:

    http://www.styleforum.net/showthread.php?t=174622

    Heartless, if you would not mind, could you elaborate on why you passed on Mannina? and 950 Euros is nothing for the quality I feel...
     
  6. Eustace Tilley

    Eustace Tilley Well-Known Member

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    Alright, I can see what more I can find--and that is interesting with Mannina, I was not aware that they did blake construction.

    And thanks for the tip with Saskia Wittmer


    I mentioned Blake as it was the cheapest option and hence, represents the starting price.

    To clarify, Mannina does Blake, Norwegian and Goodyear. Prices are 650, 950 and 1,100 euros, respectively (no clue how Norwegian is cheaper than Goodyear).
     
  7. HEARTLESS-531

    HEARTLESS-531 Well-Known Member

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    Newcomer, I passed on Mannina only because I felt the range of bespoke shoes were somewhat limited (this is after visiting Ugolini and Bemer). Ugolini took a lot of time, looked at my sketches and pictures and was very involved in the process. Mr. Mannina was very nice and we know he has been making shoes for almost half a century but I just didn't feel the connection. Plus, when I saw the quality of Ugolini's leather and the beautiful finishes, I felt that is money well spent.Cheers
     
  8. fritzl

    fritzl Well-Known Member

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    Newcomer, I passed on Mannina only because I felt the range of bespoke shoes were somewhat limited (this is after visiting Ugolini and Bemer). Ugolini took a lot of time, looked at my sketches and pictures and was very involved in the process. Mr. Mannina was very nice and we know he has been making shoes for almost half a century but I just didn't feel the connection.
    interesting. judging by CN's pictures, I would be hard pressed to make a decision. what kind of sketches and pictures did you bring to realize your order?
     
  9. 7590bliss

    7590bliss Member

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    I visited Roberto Uglioni in may, spent an hour with him, asking every question I could think of. He is a very knowledgeable cobbler and a gentleman. He will only do business his way, which is to measure your foot himself, and do all the work. He would not let me get around this and required I return in a month for a second fitting. This I could not do and purchased a couple of pairs shoes from Bemer. The Bemer shoes are great as well and you may be able to negotiate a price, still much higher than Roberto.
    I am not sure of the quality of leather he uses, but his work appears first rate. I have a dozen pair of Lattanzi shoes and have not found anyone to compare, at least in materials.
    Roberto travels to Japan each year along with Silvano and says he does more business, surely a much better price.
    Roberto is planning a trip to NY this fall.
     
  10. Leaves

    Leaves Well-Known Member

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    I visited the Roberto Ugolini stand at the Super Trunkshow in Stockholm this weekend. I noticed a fantastic pair of derbies in carpincho leather. Tried to ask the rep about them, he snarled something and turned his back on me, going back to staring down into his mobile. The stand was utterly deserted, so it was not like I was stealing attention from another client. Frankly, I did not see any other sample that really catched my interest.

    I later found out that Roberto himself (we believe that was him anyway) had done the same thing to my colleague. I do wonder why they even bothered participating in a trunk show event, clearly they were not there to show their wares. Maybe they were just hung over or something. I just hope their product is better than their attitude. :(
     

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