As one of the Barbanera bros has recently had a birthday I thought that I would celebrate my appreciation of not only them as a brand but also as them as people as they are good friends of mine that I have a lot of respect for.
In this day and age of the online world and anybody with a bit of buck being able to start a shoe brand that simply copies other brands while undercutting their prices, I really got a lot of respect for the brand that does the complete opposite by making good quality, expensive shoes that are unique and original. It’s so easy to copy another shoe, make it cheaper and then lie through your teeth marketing it as the greatest gift to consumers, and of course, claiming handmade. But the more difficult, admirable and respectable way is to actually make things that you are passionate about, that are made at the best quality possible and done with uncompromising values and never sacrificing those to make a quick buck. And for me, Barbanera represents the latter route of creating a brand that is completely original and I have to say that while I wouldn’t wear every model they make, I sure as hell appreciate all that they do!
No other brand has ever made me look twice at a cowboy boot and they did. That’s no easy feat as I hated cowboy boots. I found them appalling to say the least. And yet by blending their love of Western with their very eclectic Italian style mixed with their love of Rock n’ Roll, they were able to come up with a design that blended the cowboy look with classic dress shoe look. And that took a lot of guts as it is a risk to make things that you don’t know if people are going to love or hate. A classic cap toe will always have a customer. A fusion of several genres won’t as a guarantee. And that’s what I love about Barbanera. The fact that they have the guts to take those leaps of faith to make what they want and like and not with the underlying idea of just to make money, but rather to produce great footwear that others can truly value and appreciate.
Well done to my Italian brothers for making great shoes, having bad ass style, being honest, humble and sticking to their values and never breaking them for anyone!