Right from the start…

October 3, 2014 / Local Interest
Ravenna, Emilia-Romagna

Italian leather shoes? Of course we are sharing Sig.Luigi and Signora Rosa’s amazing work with you! Who doesn’t love handmade Italian leather shoes?!

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There’s so much more to the story though… From the super-star international fashion houses to the smallest producer, the one thing that all successful Italian companies that create the “stile Italiano” have in common is incredibly hard-working owners with a laser-focused dedication to qualita’ and passione. Gianni and Donatella Versace did it this way, Miuccia Prada does it this way, and Giorgio Armani does it this way.

And Signor Luigi and Signora Rosa are no different. Married and in business right out of the gates, they have stuck with their three guiding principles from the get-go… style, high production standards (by hand only), and only the best quality materials.

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Sounds just like what you would expect from Italian shoemaking, right? In fact, Luigi and Rosa regularly produce for the big name fashion brands. The reason for this is because they are experts producing handmade Italian leather shoes for a very specific demographic….

…toddlers.

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They’ve been making shoes for babies longer than almost anyone else in the distretto calzaturificio (shoemaking district) near Ravenna, and so are the go-to folks for the zero to 12 month “crowd”. Their shoes wrap but do not bind the tender little feet of their “customers.” Each pair is an adorable and at the same time incredible creation…. and completely alla moda (in fashion) according to the latest trends.

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Luigi says that he could use machines for production, and then shrugs his shoulders and simply says “but why would I do that?” (The only one he has simply rotates the “lasts” so he can more easily work on creating a range of sizes for a given model, one by one.)

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That Italian obsession with handmade leather shoes? With style, know-how, and quality like this, it’s no surprise Italian families start their kids off young.

(A few more models can be seen on our online store, ItalianConnections.)

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GB

by GB Bernardini

Editor, Italian Notebook

11 Responses to “Right from the start…”

  1. Angela (New Jersey, USA)

    I have no grandchildren at this time…but as soon as I do I will be ordering a pair, or better yet….visit Italy and pick up a pair or two. They are precious!

    Reply
  2. Giuseppe Spano
    Giuseppe Spano

    This is what the world knows.that Italy has high quality products….but what the world needs is for Italy to advertise and export its wonderful goods, so that all can enjoy what Italy has. It also will help the the Italian economy..

    Reply
  3. Mary Cappiello

    I really liked this article. You always read and hear about all the Italian artisans…for instance, in the Oltrano area of Florence, but I have not seen many of them highlighted, like these high quality shoe makers you’ve introduced us to in your article here.

    Reply
  4. Barbara Goldfield

    Creative artisans like these are the people that keep “Made in Italy” alive! Thank you for spotlighting them. Un caro saluto alla Sig.ra Rosa e il Sig. Luigi.

    Reply
  5. Raymond Farrish

    What a great gift for that new toddler grandchild, grandniece, or grand nephew. Thatnks so much for sharing.

    Reply
  6. This brought back a 46-year old memory of a trip my husband and I made to Rome while stationed in Germany. He was just a private, so money was scarce. I kept seeing all these incredible baby clothes (we had left our 6-month old son with friends) but resolutely passed them by until I saw in a tiny shop window a truly beautiful pair of blue leather lace-ups. They weren’t as dark as navy just a really nice shade of blue. The style was traditional with the little pattern of holes in the toe, and I simply fell in love with them and had to have them. Foolish, probably, because, of course, he grew out of them very quickly but I had never seen anything even close to them in the states. And now my 46-year old son and I are headed to Italy in 3 days for a week’s stay in Florence. Wonder if he’ll see a pair of blue leather shoes and feel strangely drawn to them?? :)

    Reply
  7. Madaline

    Oh.. my.. god… almost (!!) makes me wish I had a bebe to buy these for.. so adorable!!

    Reply
  8. We are headed to Ravenna next summer AND expecting our first grandchild on December 1! Do these shoe artisans have an actual store we can visit and where exactly is it located?

    Reply
    • GB

      Hi Melinda, sounds like a great trip! Ravenna really is special.
      As for the shoes, they do not sell to the public, they only sell to distributors/retailers (like us, through ItalianConnections).
      And congratulations on the coming grandchild!

      Reply

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