Stories / April 2019

Marche on with Franceschetti

From the esteemed Italian luxury footwear hub of Marche comes Franceschetti, a family-owned brand with a century’s worth of craft expertise.

When it comes to fine shoe-making, there are only two or three regions in the world which can boast a venerable heritage. Northampton, in England, is the first to spring to mind, home of Crockett & Jones, Cheaney, Church's, Edward Green and George Cleverley. If you're familiar with Carmina then you'll also know that Mallorca also has a long history of high-level artisanal shoemaking, but more significant is the region of Marche in Italy. It's here that much of the world's luxury footwear is made, leveraging over a century of expertise, both in handcraft and technology. One such maker is the Franceschetti family, who have been at the forefront of men's luxury shoe manufacturing for almost one hundred years. Their story begins in the 1920s, when great-grandfather Adelio Franceschetti, endeavoured to make shoes completely handmade in a small basement room beneath his house. His passion was passed down to his sons,  Annibale and Ugo, then with Annibale's son Delio and his two sisters, Emilia and Sara. Delio and Sara now sit at the head table of the family business, while Delio's children Andrea and Stefania, have also written their names into the family tradition.

Montegranaro, the small commune in the province of Fermo on Italy's Adriatic coast, is one of those postcard-perfect towns perched atop a rolling hill. It's there that Franceschetti's shoe factory is based and has been since 1965 when it was one of the first true shoemakers to set up production in the picturesque Marche town. Franceschetti can not only boast the Made in Italy badge of honour, but more specifically, Made in Montegranaro. From Oxfords, Derbys and double monks to slippers, sneakers and moccasins, every style is made from beginning to end in Montegranaro, ensuring the highest quality control.

Where the company stands apart from many other Marche makers is in its leather finishing, which is less manufacturing and more art form.  The hand-colouring, brushing and polishing of the leather, particularly in the Patina Deluxe collection is second to none, guaranteeing that no one pair is ever quite the same. Rather, they display the working traits of the individual artisan responsible for your particular pair of shoes. Furthermore, each shoe is polished with cloth, fingers and a lot of passion for at least half an hour, to achieve that enviable mirror effect. For the more classic business styles, Franceschetti use full-grain calfskins, while for the Deluxe Patina line, yolk leathers are hand-dyed and hand-polished. Prefinished leather soles are eschewed in favour of handbuilt and brush-dyed soles. Many of the rubber soles are also handmade, consisting of a welted leather midsole and an outer rubber sole. Through different production phases, each pair of shoes, from design to packaging, undergoes more than 200 operations.

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Ryan Thompson