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Makers of Beauty.The philosophy of male footwear for Santoni

The master craftsmen, the enterpreneur, the "metiérs d'art", all in one book. By Marsilio Editori

by Paola Perfetti – Ph. Courtesy Santoni Press Office
December 18th, 2014

Santoni? They are “Makers of beauty“.
This is the title of “The philosophy of male footwear according to Santoni”, the new volume in the “Mestieri d’Arte” series published by Marsilio Editori and developed by the Cologni Foundation for the Métiers d’Art in close collaboration with Santoni.
Santoni is well known as one of the most prestigious Italian artisan businesses of world.
The twelfth title in the series explores from the inside the extraordinary history of Santoni: an example of excellence in Italy’s manufacturing industry, of which footwear is one of the jewels in the crown.

The 241 pages-book is a journey in craft of luxury men’s footwear. It is illustrated, in all its complexity, in the perceptive and faithful account of Andrea Guolo, a journalist of specialist expertise, and the engaging pictures taken inside the company in the Marches by Susanna Pozzoli, a sensitive and accomplished photographic artist.

A richly and meticulously outlined historical and technical background introduces the interviews to Andrea Santoni, the founder, to his wife Rosa, his long-life partner and the soul of the company, to their son Giuseppe, who carefully and lovingly took over his precious charge, and finally to the artisans who, under the family’s leadership, have made this extraordinary enterprise so great.

In his introduction to the volume, Franco Cologni writes: “This magic tale unfolds in the exceptional shoe factory of Andrea and Giuseppe Santoni, both master craftsmen in their own right as well as entrepreneurs. The shoes produced in Corridonia (the heart of the footwear district of the Marches) are coveted and admired throughout the world. Over several decades, the Santoni family has knowingly recreated a Renaissance cobbler’s workshop with a modern twist.”

The images penetrate the heart of this reality, which is both business and workshop, exploring the different departments with designers and artisans at work, their surroundings and tools, the materials and conveyor belt processes. Craftsmanship, expertise, passion and technique, as well as the humanity of its players, emerge in a story all the more fascinating for its truth, the perfect example of dedication to work and to the passionate pursuit of beauty. For the first time, a successful Italian company, known the world over, highlights the voices and faces of its artisans: an important and unprecedented tribute to the value of what Santoni considers its “human capital”: a wealth of knowledge, skills, abilities, loyalty to the company, worthy of being preserved, recognised and showcased. For Andrea and Giuseppe Santoni, shoes are and remain a “family affair”: “This is what our family represents. Our operators are not simply numbers but individuals whose different skills and characteristics contribute to making all our shoes unique, deeply attached to our region, and as authentic as the traditional craftsmanship which has been nurtured here since we began.”

Makers of beauty.
The philosophy of male footwear according to Santoni
Written by Andrea Guolo
Photographs by Susanna Pozzoli
Marsilio Editori, Venezia, first edition: autumn 2014
241 pages
Available in the best Italian bookshops and the main on-line retailers

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