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What Makes Santoni Shoes Special

Nick Scott explores the culture and craftsmanship that make Santoni one of the most unimpeachable names in luxury footwear.

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Moving towards the more conventionally casual end of the spectrum, the Wilson moccasin in rich autumnal, reddish brown with tassels and threading is an invaluably flamboyant addition to the repertoire of anyone planning a sockless summer, as is the Hill – a comfortable slipper in calfskin, hand coloured and polished, whose wingtip, perforations, fringe and tassels make it a testimony to Santoni designers’ ability to go big on embellishments without the slightest compromising of sophistication. Like the Carter and Oxford, they come in opulent shades of brown and blue.

Perhaps the most flamboyant offering from The Rake’s new Santoni range is the Carlos: a loafer/slipper which features a fringe and double monk buckle, also in calfskin. “It represents a modern interpretation of our more classic double monk shoe,” explains Santoni of the Carlos, which comes in shades of blue and burnt brown. “The shape is completely different – the buckles are round rather than square, and that exaggerated fringe adds an important style detail. The colour, enhanced by hand, also augments the design of this shoe.”

This being a shoemaker which is betrothed to the zeitgeist as well as tradition, Santoni is also applying its shoemaking excellence to serving au courant men’s newfound engagement with trainers: hence the Clean IC, a sneaker in soft calfskin, which comes in varying shades of black and white. “It’s our icon in the sportswear collection,” says Santoni. “This sneaker is conceived to be different, stylish and refined. It has neat and essential lines. It’s unstructured and unlined so extremely soft and comfortable, and it’s also extra light thanks to the EVA sole. In its all-white version it’s extremely sophisticated and it can be worn also in a formal outfit.” We concur: if the suit-and-trainers look with a feet-first approach rocks your boat, this is the footwear to be fishing out of your wardrobe.

“Making things more cheaply won’t sell more shoes,” Giuseppe Santoni told The Rake when we visited the Corridonia factory. “What sells more is making them right, making them beautiful, making them different. In short, making them special.”

The selection here is testimony, surely, to the diligence with which the Santoni artisans are executing this philosophy today.

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