We often forget that some of the brands that are now considered ‘designer’ brands started off as one of the greats and actually paved the way for many other brands to adapt to the making and follow suit. Ferragamo is one of those brands. While they make the majority of their money from blake stitched and/or glued footwear, the truth is that they can still make a very well made shoe. And that well-made shoe falls under the name of the Tramezza line. Claiming handmade, which really just means ‘handgrade’, this is Ferragamo’s top of the line product. I can’t say for sure but believe that they are a Blake Rapid construction that adds a thin layer of pliable leather between the insole and outsole, what is known as the ‘tramezza,’ which literally means ‘tra – between and mezza – middle’.
I once owned a pair of them. It was a beautiful pair of dark brown suede tassel loafers. And I actually loved them. The were comfortable. They were well made. And I have no clue what happened to them. I guess lost in translation as did a few boxes of my belongings when I moved from Seattle to Italy. Most of those being Italian designer shoes that I worked so hard to purchased back in my Nordstrom days. But such is life.
And while I wouldn’t wear 75% of what Ferragamo sells these days, I can say that I have always liked the Tramezza line shoes. But going one further, this new Gancini line (with Ferragamo horseshoe attached to the eyelet) takes the Tramezza to another level with a standard of finishing that is simply above and beyond all else Ferragamo. With closed channel soles, and what looks to me like a fiddleback and beveled waist, it’s now on par with the greats that you typically find on this blog. And let me tell you that one of the things that the Italians do very very well is their finishing. As you can see from these shoes, they are flawless. I am willing to bet that the rest of the production is too. That’s the beauty of being a powerhouse company. And while some might scoff at the $1250 pricepoint these shoes have, I say in all honesty that if you compare them to the $1500 welted shoes out there, I am not going to line and say that there is a whole lot of difference. A good shoe is a good shoe and this my friends, is a good shoe!
My cobbler said that my Tramezza oxfords where constructed in a “Bologna” way. What ever that means. They substitute the cork with a thicker leather insole. True or not. I´ve a small pile of Salvatore F. shoes dating from 94 and onward and they are excellent. Some of the elder loafers are my in house choice while at the country. The others are worn frequently after 25 years and counting.
I have a pair of the red Gancini Tramezzas and they are stupendous. Worth every penny because they are as comfortable as they are beautiful.
Here’s a question, Mr. Fitzpatrick. How would you polish them? Use Saphir Renevateur? And a burgundy cream polish? I do not, by any means, want to blemish the finish on these.
Thank you for any advice you can proffer.
Hey Anthony, I have always treated exotics like regular calfskin have been just fine to be honest. So I would keep the same regimen, just use little amounts.