In my life I have been extremely fortunate to have traveled the world and even lived in some very beautiful places, one of them being Florence, Italy, from 2008-2009. And even though I left many years ago, a piece of my heart remains there in memory and nostalgia. Luckily in recent years I have been able to make an excuse to go back at least once a year by attending the ever growing menswear show, Pitti Uomo and thus being able to reminisce on my past and see my good friends that I left there. But now I thankfully have an even better reason to continue visiting and that is due to my upcoming plim sole shoe project, as you can see in the pictures.
Getting a new project off the ground is never easy, especially when trying to do it remotely. So as I happened to be in Rome the previous week, thought it best to make a trip up to Firenze to meet my new factory for plim sole shoes (and possibly driving loafers but this is unconfirmed as I have to see a sample first to judge the quality). I have made several samples of these new shoes but found myself not completely happy with the last and wanted to see what other options that I had.
The problem with the plim soled shoe world is that it works extremely differently than dress shoes. In dress shoes you make the last first and then build the pattern and shoe around that. In the plim sole shoe world, you make the sole first and then the rest of the components of the shoe follow after that has been made. And if there is not sole shape that you like, you are basically screwed as a newbie brand as to get a custom sole made takes the guarantee of at least a 1000 pairs ordered. Its okay if you are LV but not if you are little ‘ol JF.
Luckily for me, I found a last that I think is going to work, at least I hope, one that is slighly more narrow, elongated and what looked to have more curvature in the arch (i.e. more shape to the shoe). So I am excited to see the next round of samples as I am hoping to launch this new project for Spring/Summer of 2018 presuming that all goes well.
As you can see there really aren’t any actual pictures of Florence in this post as I didnt spend much time in the center doing tourist things, but rather spent much of my time elsewhere like visiting Bologna for a Cody Chestnutt concert and meeting the seaside town of Livorno for the first time (very lovely city that I highly recommend visiting).
My short love affair with this trip to Florence is now over and as we speak I am on a flight to Paris for a quick 3 days, seeing friends and scouting potential future business opportunities. But I am extremely content knowing that my business will bring me back to the city I once called home (Florence) and that very much shaped the life that I am living to this day.
Alla prossima caro mio Firenze!