When you think about all of the different leather options/materials that are available when making a shoe, you begin to realize that it is really quite mind boggling how many millions of combinations could take place. Take a saddle shoe for example, like the one above by Scarpe di Bianco. For a traditional saddle, you generally have either 3 or 4 pieces of leather whereby the saddle and heel counter (in this case there isn’t one) match in leather/color and the vamp and quarter match in another leather/color. So looking at the shoe presented, imagine how many different variations could take place, just on the saddle, let alone the vamp and quarter areas. And I really feel that it is an absolute art being able to pick out the best possible options to not only make the best looking shoe, but also one that many people will like and want to buy. This has probably been my biggest challenge in regards to my line, trying to create color combinations that I feel separate me from every other designer, yet not going too extreme so that I don’t become considered ‘trendy’ or ‘fashiony.’ It’s a fine line, I tell you…. But I do quite like this model here as I feel that pebble grain leather often goes overlooked, yet can produce such a beautiful shoe that can stand the test of time…..�
While I own a bunch of loafers already, I recently am quite obsessed with the idea of more traditional looking loafers, and owning them. Not that these models are necessarily traditional, but they offer that ‘classic with a modern look’ feel, as well as offering nice shapes, colors and designs. Having never seen Scarpe Di Bianco in person, due to their newness in the industry, I am quite curious of them. From looking at them, they seem to be your run-of-the-mill high-end Italian makers, offering a black-stitched or goodyear welted sole, with some good quality upper leather. This makes me quite curious of the price though, which I assume will probably be in the $600-$800’s. Don’t quote me on that, but hearing that they are ex-Sutor Mantellassi gents who started it, I would imagine that they came into the industry at a lower price (to maybe low-ball Sutor which will set you back $900+). Regardless, their look is very Italian, which on some shoes is great, but others is not. For these loafers, I quite like the ‘Italianess’ of them though, as I believe that Italian gentleman have mastered the art of the loafer.
While I am not crazy about the burnishing job that Scarpe Di Bianco did on the toes and heels, I do love the fact that they darkened the leather where the brogueing takes place. This feature provides a great way to accentuate the brogue and while this might be quite loud for some, I find it to be something that will help differentiate the model from all of the other full-brogues that would look exactly like it, had it not been darkened.