I never really see Bontoni’s anymore and I just finally discovered why. Apparently, the founder (the grandfather) put a clause into the contract when he sold the company (or passed it on) to his heirs (son or grandsons -whichever) stating that he did not want his shoes to be sold in Europe (specifically Italy — on a RTW basis) but only be provided as custom creations. I was told that when they first started, it was not a company that sold shoes but rather just a family of shoemakers that made bespoke shoes for their friends and family. Obviously as their shoes are beautiful, word of mouth must have kicked in and word started to get out about their lovely creations. At that point it was probably difficult to stay as small as they wanted to with high demand so they started offering bespoke to more than just close friends and family. But when the founder passed away, he never said that they could not supply their shoes to outside of the EU and that is why you can find them all over the US and most like in Asia, but that finding them in the EU is like digging for diamonds….
Nonetheless, I came across this pair the other day and wanted to weep at the beauty of them….simply amazing and nothing else……gosh I am jealous!!!
7 thoughts on “Bontoni Brilliance!”
Anytime you decide you want a pair of Bontoni’s, you let me know. I have done business with most of the stockist in the US and know the stores that carry the biggest selection of RTW and who will take MTO requests.
some years ago there was a poster in StyleForum that recounted a less charitable story about Bontoni’s origins, from what he claimed was a very close point of view.
In any case the the story you have been told sounds a bit unlikely to me
^^ I can’t help wondering why this story sounds so much like a marketing “legend” – US shoe company requiring a contrived history, rather like someone buying an ancient watch maker’s name for a new company and adding “since 1832” or something, to the branding of its five year old company!
I don’t know if a Bontoni bespoke maker still exists in Italy, or if it’s the same company that sells these ready to wear items in the US. I’d be very interested to know, and kind of hope that the suspicions above are just my cynicism talking!
But either way, these are some lovely shoes. 🙂
MarkLA – Thanks Mark, I appreciate that and will let you know! A treat to myself one day!
Anon – I was told by someone whose boss apparently frequents their one shop in Italy and I believe knows the owners…..for me it is likely, as why else would they not sell RTW in Europe??? Only a contractual agreement could prevent such a thing…it doesn’t make business sense to not to sell their sought after shoes outside of the US/Asia
Alex B – Whatever the real truth is, like you said, nothing takes away the fact that they are absolutely magnificient!
I would like to see a Bontoni store sometime in the future, just to see their wide variety of fine crafted elegant shoes all under one roof. I know that several high end clothing outlets sell them, but when will they start branching out on their own!!
I think that is the question we all ask…..when!!
Have to share with my fellow shoe lovers: this site has a wonderful selection as well as free worldwide shipping. Doesn’t get much better than that: https://boulesse.com/en/search?q=bontoni