Florence, Italy Scarpe Fatte a Mano Part 1



Working in fashion retail means that I’ve grown an appreciation for quality, value and construction, with a history in selling footwear, shoes have helped play a massive role in my style education.

With most high-end shoes constructed by a combination of both man and machine, my recent time in Italy has lead me to wonder what the main points of difference are between English and Italian footwear – Are all British shoes made with Goodyear welting and Italian with Blake stitching?

Being in Florence has meant that I’ve gotten to see a variety of different shoemakers and brands, including Sutor Mantellassi. Founded in 1912 by a fellowship of cordwainers; passed down from family member to family member, this Italian brand makes most of their shoes with Goodyear welting and the finest Italian leathers and Crocodile skin. Their construction (from what I have seen) is Goodyear welting and closed channel welting - The only Blake stitching I saw was on a pair of patent dress shoes.





I purchased this pair of snuff suede tassel loafers (above) because I was instantly drawn to their iconic blue soles closed channel welting. The suede is beautifully soft and very comfortable. It seemed like an offer too good to resist when they happened to have my size in stock during sale time and rest assured that I got these for a bargain. The shoe’s sizing seems to be a medium fit, not a true fit. (So I suggest trying half a size down). I would recommend this brand, especially for those of us who like to mix a bit of colour into our wardrobes with our accessories.