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Pitti Uomo 102 - Paraboot
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Report – Pitti Uomo 102

This June the summer edition of the men’s fashion fair Pitti Uomo took place in Florence, the first proper one since the pandemic hit. Shoegazing was there and checked out a bunch of the shoe exhibitors, here’s a summary of what could be found and some news from talks with brand representatives, who witness on the positive trend the quality footwear sector is seeing.

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Akira Tani
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Report – Akira Tani

The bespoke shoemaker Akira Tani, from Japan but based in Italy, has a lot of things that point towards soon being one of the most hyped makers in the industry: A slightly more casual house style highly suitable for how more and more people dress today, some of the best finishing in the world, and a price tag of just €2,300 (including VAT) for full bespoke. Shoegazing visited him in Florence.

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Report – Les Compagnons du Devoir et du Tour de France

The most famous, prestigious and formal shoemaking education in the world is Les Compagnons du Devoir et du Tour de France, which most of the famous names in French bespoke shoemaking has been through. A journey which takes the trainee to a number of different workshops with the aim to develop both the person and of course their craft. Shoegazing sat down with compagnons trainee Pierre-Baptiste L’Hospital to learn more about this traditional shoemaking education.

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Report – Gerberei Martin, traditional oak bark sole leather tannery

Gerberei Martin is perhaps the oldest still existing tannery in the world, founded in 1645, and run by the same family ever since. They make the most traditional oak bark tanned sole leather around, with at least 24 months in the pits resulting in extremely durable leather soles, and have a highly interesting old-school approach to the whole business. Shoegazing paid them a visit.

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Report – Midas Bootmaker x Skolyx

One of the most praised Indonesian bootmakers – Midas Bootmaker – has collaborated with the Swedish store Skolyx on the first RTW collection ever for the brand. Hand lasted, hand welted, handmade sole stitch (even for rubber soles), hand built heels, with real leather toe and heel stiffeners – serious craftsmanship now easily accessible widely.

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Report – Bespoke Shoe Works

One of the many Japanese bespoke shoemakers who’ve made an impact in recent years is Yuigo Hayano and his brand Bespoke Shoe Works. He has almost 15 years in the industry though, working both in factories and in bespoke workshops, and have trained both in Japan and England. His very well-made bespoke shoes are often called among the best classic British bespoke shoes you can get – just made in Japan.

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Report – Fugee bagmaker

The fact that customers continue to place orders despite the waiting time of over seven years (!) says a lot about the status of the Tokyo based bagmaker Fugee. Completely hand stitched bags with hardware designed and made in house to the highest possible level. Fugee has been the gold standard for bespoke leather bags and accessories since the 80’s, and a report from their showroom and workshop should interest all shoe nerds that also admire superb craftsmanship.

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