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Over my quick holiday visit to the in-laws in Perugia, Italy, I managed to pop over to my old town of Firenze (where I once lived for circa 1 year). I had the intention of going back to Stefano Bemer’s shop (where I learned to make bespoke shoes) and saying hi to all of my old colleagues, as well as hopefully snapping some pictures of any new models made. Being that plans don’t always happen they way that you want them to (and that fact that my wife was waiting for me at a nearby cafe) I was unable to take any pictures, as my time was rushed having to explain to my friends what I am currently up to while trying my best to speak in rusty, broken Italian. It was quite unfortunate, though, as Stefano was not around and I was unable to tell him of my progress, of which I hope that he would have been proud to say that it all started at his shop, my entrance into the bespoke shoe realm…. Nevertheless, I remembered that while living there, I had taken many pictures of the shop that I don’t believe I ever posted on the blog, and thought that now would be the perfect time to do so.

If you look at the picture at the very top, you can see that two of the bespoke shoes that I made (#2 & #5) came from the patterns of the shoes second from the left and third from the right, only that I slightly altered minute details such as coloring, piping thickness and last shape. Looking back at these pictures (which only make up a small amount of the entire collection), I must say that Stefano Bemer, while relatively unknown by the majority of people, makes some of the most beautiful shoes that I have ever seen! He is excellent, in my opinion, at pairing certain patterns (designs) with certain last shapes as well as putting together wonderful color combinations. With that in mind, I still wonder why you don’t find his shoes selling at more outlets around the world….

While I had a great time in Italy (living there and learning) and would not have traded that experience for anything in the world, I realized that during my short and nostalgic visit back, that I have truly found myself in probably the absolute best place that I could be for making my goals come into fruition (that being London). It makes one realize how funny and coincidental life can be. And if you would have asked me 6-7 years ago, whether I could see myself being and living in London, I would have said, “no way!” But now I am here, and I feel like I have found my second home, a place that I enjoy and can feel comfortable and secure in. It’s a great a feeling and am glad to have had this trip back to Italy to be able to experience it……Anyway enough of the sentimental babble, I hope that all of you had a wonderful holiday season and are getting ready for a great New Year’s celebration. 2012 is going to be a great one!!


Justin, “The Shoe Snob”

6 thoughts on “A Return To Italy (and Stefano Bemer)”

  1. this geezer looks well cool, where is his shop in firenze?by the way what do you think of shoes that are machine sewn, cesare baroli a shoemaker near como says it makes very little diff.

  2. Ike – Indeed, I wish that I had all of them!

    Superchick – His shop is in San Frediano, not far from Ponte Amerigo Vespucci, on the non-tourist side. Machine sewn shoes are fine but for RTW shoes, not for bespoke…. handwork is an alluring quality, one that represents attention to detail, precision and art….it just depends on what you like. As far as making a difference, well, that it is not true. I have never seen a shoe look more beautiful and precise then a shoe made and hand-stitched by a japanese shoemaker that makes for G&G. There was not machine in the world that could have made what he did, sewing-wise. It was better than perfect.


  3. I) was talking to ceare Baroli at the milan trade fair and he said that it was ridiculous to worry about hand stitching when there was absolutely no difference if they were done on the right machine, he even said machine is stronger. But Im no expert so take your advice as the bible

  4. by the way anyone in milan or environs check out these two, cesare baroli, first visit 500 euro when he makes a block but after about 300 each time for handmade shoes, i had some done with my initials in gold on the side of the shoe, plus another place in downtown milan called ago and spago, 350 euros.

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