Famed for its exceptional craftsmanship standards, beautiful patinations and ability to blend a classical and contemporary design ethos, Santoni is without a doubt one of The Rake’s favourite artisanal Italian shoemakers. Founded in 1975 by Andrea Santoni, who passed over control to his son Giuseppe, the shoemaker might not boast equal amounts of heritage as some of its competitors, but that should not take light away from what it does: create beautiful hand-made shoes. As aforementioned, Santoni has a secret when it comes to the patination stage. The brand is able to conjure up such an explosive, eclectic array of colours that are as vibrant as a Wassily Kandinsky, whilst demonstrating washes reminiscent of a archetypal seaside landscape by J.M.W. Turner, resulting in beautiful, sturdy walking art.
So, for its Autumn/Winter ’17 collection, showing in Milan later this morning, we are fidgeting with excitement as the brand always has a trick up its sleeve. In addition to a new sneaker, Santoni has developed a new technique with hand painting shoes called ‘Inverso’. This innovative technique will no doubt turn some heads this morning, and for those sartorial zealots with a panache for (dare I say it) pea-cocking, let’s just say that a pair of Inverso Santoni double-buck monk-straps are the shoe to be wearing next Fall. We caught up with Giuseppe who revealed some exclusive snippets ahead of his presentation.
What can we expect from your upcoming AW17 collection? Any new models?
You can expect to see a perfect mix of classicism and modernism, and more precisely a re-interpretation of the Santoni classics in a new contemporary way.
How would you summarise the collection's aesthetic?
Shapes are bold, with geometric cuts and massive soles and the taste for precious materials and the painstaking attention to detail are the unifying element. The colour palette is dense and masculine: black, brown, burgundy, deep blue with touches of caramel. Materials are precious: brushed calfskin, crocodile, patent leather, aged calfskin with glossy finishes.
What’s been the inspiration for the collection?
The collection is inspired by the multiplicity of the modern metropolitan life: it’s a mix of stories ranging from formality to sportswear, breaking up and mixing up categories and functions. We looking at the future with the knowledge of tradition, we are faithful to our highly artisanal DNA yet immersed in the urban setting.
Have you incorporated any new materials, or methods of construction?
Yes. We are going to present a new kind of hand-painting of the shoes, called “Inverso". You can see that in the same pair, the left and right shoes present the same shades of colors but in the opposite direction.
Who is the Santoni man?
The Santoni man is a connoisseur who loves beautiful objects with a strong intrinsic value. He is a maniac for details, he has his own style and wants to distinguish himself by choosing unique and sophisticated objects.
What element or model from the collection are you most proud of?
Besides many cool classic styles, I love also our new sneaker called DIP. It has the same philosophy as our iconic clean sneaker: contemporary and essential, with clean lines and aesthetic.