I don’t have a shoe fetish, but I do have a pair of Italian shoe that I got 20+ years ago that make me very happy. I call them my dancing shoes. Low-cut loafer in an oxblood color I’ve never seen anywhere else. Leather sole so you can slide on the dance floor. I’ve had them resoled 6-8 times over their lifespan, I love them that much. Another item on my Italy tick list was finding a pair of Italian shoes to replace them (well, supplement them, at least). Success! Le Marche happens to be home to several nice Italian shoe makers, and they have “venditta diretta” stores (outlets, basically) where they sell direct for cheap.
We visited a couple of shops in Monegranaro and got a tour of the last one, Piampiani, in Civitanova. Its not Prada or Bruno Magli, but they had some gorgeous shoes, and they’re made by actual people (who use machines—but still – very high-touch). When you think of “Italian shoes” and you think of Gepetto in a little shop with a hammer and some thread, you’re not alone. You’re wrong, but not alone. They DO make prototypes very much by hand, with hand stitching and the little cobbler’s lasts, etc. But when it comes to manufacturing shoes, they… manufacture.
But again, it’s very high touch and there are real people touching the work and making sure it is high quality. The women’s boots… que bella. So, yes, I got a new pair of dancing shoes.
Now, to hit the dance floor. Ladies…?