The art of the cordwainer is under threat in most western European countries but it persists in Italy.  There are a number of reasons for this but primarily its due to the simple fact that Italy has developed a worldwide reputation for producing some of the best shoes in the world.  And although machines have replaced some of the processes that were previously carried out by the hand, quality Italian shoes are still created with traditional methods in mind.  Shoes are commonly made in stages, with different artisans, sometimes in different factories, taking responsibility for each individual step.


In the early 1900’s, France was the country that the world looked towards for inspiration with regard to fashion. Before the second world war, Italian shoe designers began experimenting with their own unique styles and after the war, Italy was left with a poor economy that turned to traditional craft based products, such as shoes and leather goods, basically to get the country back on track.  Italian shoemakers created sophisticated shoes marketed to the Americans, who had the purchasing power to assist in reviving Italy's post war economy. Since then, Italian designs have become the choice for discerning men who only want the best in fashionable shoes.