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Relaxing elegance

Loafers look their best in casual versions

by Gianpiero Di Bari
May 19th, 2015

Moccasins, also known as loafers or penny loafers, are definitely shoes that are synonymous with elegance.

Their story is uncertain. Legend has it that it all started in the ’30s, thanks to the intuition of John Bass, who was inspired by the footwear worn by Norwegian sailors on leave for his Weejun Loafer (Weejun is an abbreviation of Norwegian and Loafer is someone who loafs around).

Bass decorated his shoes with a diamond-shaped tooled tongue, which the mischievous said resembled women’s lips, into which American college students in the ‘50s inserted a penny – hence the name penny loafers.

Worn by the most famous actors of the silver screen and European royal families, today’s loafers take the form of the more rounded models by Alden, or more pointed, American-style ones by Rancourt & Co. In France it is J.M. Weston that dictates the rules of elegance, while in England it is the handmade loafers of Edward Green.

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