Fashion News

Santoni’s Family Tribute

By Samantha Brooks

Model for Santoni modeling the new Andrea loafer in orange with gold hardware

Santoni presents the new Andrea loafer named after its founder, Andrea Santoni

Model for Santoni modeling the new Andrea loafer in orange with gold hardware

 

The medieval region of Marche, Italy, about 150 miles east of Florence, rivals any Tuscan city with its rolling hills, charming piazzas, and stone-walled architecture dotted with terracotta roofs. Quaint and bucolic, it’s a world away from the fashion hub of Milan, and yet its humble environs are an essential part of the modern ethos that has helped Santoni become the subtle-luxe shoemaker for those in the know. “Our evolution is rooted in tradition,” says Giuseppe Santoni, the brand’s executive president. “The Marche region was a vital center already during the Renaissance—a cradle of knowledge in every field. Today, the region is known for its footwear, as culture and industrious-ness have merged together.”

Founded in 1975 by Giuseppe’s father, Andrea, Santoni has always aimed to create shoes that function like beautiful objects. “Our philosophy is that quality cannot be compromised, ever,” says Santoni. “However, we have always looked to combine the finest artisanal techniques with new technologies and contemporary design.”

Santoni burgundy shiny leather tassel loafer

Men’s burgundy shiny leather Andrea loafer

Santoni navy blue suede men’s loafer

Men’s blue suede Andrea loafer

 

To that end, the brand employs a sometimes 15-step process to create its signature velatura look a patina effect that is the result of applying layer after layer of color to the leather. “The meticulous process requires a substantial number of working hours. Everything is rigorously done by hand, with a first veil of color that is left to absorb, followed by further color applications with a wool cloth,” says Santoni. He also points out that it’s all in the quality and handiwork of the applications, with slow and intentional polishing strokes, and a final step that involves hand-polishing leather with creams and natural waxes that are applied with cashmere and silk cloths. “The velatura masters pass on the guarded techniques to their pupils,” says Santoni, noting that these skills have been honed over decades and generations.

One might come to appreciate this process with Santoni’s latest debut: The Andrea loafer. “It’s a perfect fusion between traditional and innovation,” says Santoni. “The name is a tribute to my father and the company’s roots. It’s timeless and genderless.”

Santoni orange leather loafers with gold double buckle

Women’s orange leather Andrea double-buckle loafer

Santoni animal print Cavallino loafers with black tassels

Women’s animal-print Cavallino Andrea tassel loafer

 

The men’s palette comes in shades inspired by the land on which Santoni was built: Adriatico blue, Mosto burgundy, Rosa pink, and Nerofumo black. For women, the colors are warm and unexpected textures are incorporated—tassels dance in bright Nerofumo patent leather, while Conero red and leopard-print pony skin set these pairs apart from the rest.

While the very first shoe designed by Andrea Santoni, a double-buckle pump, is still one of the brand’s top-sellers, newer offerings include everything from slip-on suede desert boots and chunky-heeled leather Chelsea brogue boots to velvet-and-nubuck double-buckle sneakers for her. For him, classic loafers and driving shoes comprise the bulk of the collection, which now also includes contemporary shoes like blue Chelsea boots featuring subtle color grading to sporty leather-and-fabric Hy-Run sneakers with chunky rubber soles.



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