A view into our world at Suzanne Lovell, Inc. and the ideas that inspire us daily.
When two Italian brand powerhouses get together, the end result is, no doubt, gorgeous. Such was the case when Rubelli, the prolific Italian company founded in 1858, and Santoni, the famous shoe company which has been around since 1975, blended.
The idea came about when Giuseppe Santoni and his wife set forth to decorate their St. Moritz mountain house. Falling for Rubelli fabrics, Santoni started to think that perhaps introducing these amazing fabrics to his footwear designs would be a smash hit. Starting with the iconic polka-dot silk velvet that Gio Ponti created for the company in 1934, Santoni quickly realized that he was onto something!
Now, there are 48 models for both men and women which effortlessly merge Santoni and Rubelli. Nicolo Rubella, the great-great-grandson of founder, Lorenzo Rubelli, says they never considered shoes until approached, even though they've dressed both homes and bodies.
Rubella's fabric comes from a mill in Cucciago which is near Como, Italy. Even though they've ventured into other realms such as lighting and furniture, footwear was an "adventure". For Santoni, learning to use this fabric was a challenge. "Working with upholstery fabric is a great deal more complicated than leather, as it is neither flexible nor resistant", says Santoni. Luckily, they quickly learned to adapt their technology and use different needles.
The point is to make "objects of desire" and to create more growth and exposure to both brands.' We think they're off to a great start!
Travel through the quaint countryside of Mallorca to the village of Inca and you'll find a hidden gem!
Carmina, named after his wife, is the shoe-making company of 78 year-old Jose "Pepe" Albaladejo Pujadas. He's the family patriarch who lives and breathes shoes, he rarely misses an early morning where he dons his white lab coat and oversees operations at his beloved "factory". The family's shoe-making tradition began nearly 150 years ago when Pepe's grandfather, Matias, opened his own small workshop. Learning a unique method for attaching the sole and using a special instrument called a "last" earned him praise in shoe construction for amazing durability. Still used today, this technique allows the shoe to be resoled when necessary and worn for years and years. Indeed this method is instrumental in the construction of high-quality shoes whereas other expensive shoes aren't able to be resoled properly.
2 generations later, Pepe realized that people would pay more for quality. He never wanted to be a part of the mass-produced shoe market, shoes that need to be thrown away as soon as their soles wore out. In such, the factory is 100% "hands-on". Skilled workers specialize in a job: lining, attaching, polishing or inspecting. Pepe still makes vital decisions along with his 3 daughters and 1 of his sons. The factory is the spot to place orders, there are samples galore; and someone from the Pujadas family is always around to help with the critical decisions such as calf boot vs. loafer and alligator vs. lizard skin.
The shoemaking industry initially came to the Inca Valley in Mallorca out of necessity. The first shoes were called "porqueres" and they were vital for working the fields, and made out of old tires or discarded clothing. Like years ago, everything today is made by hand and designed in the mind. Pepe stands true to his belief that you have to feel and touch in order to create something to be worn again and again.
Just a couple of years ago, the thought that a machine could make high-heels would have sounded absolutely crazy to almost everyone. But here we are in 2015 and technology has been pushed so very far!
Using one of our favorite printers, the sPro selective laser sintering (SLS) machine by 3D Systems, well-known architects were put to the task of creating pairs of structural shoes using solely 3D printing. Rem Koolhaas' company, United Nude, was behind this collaborative project and exhibition which pushed technology boundaries above and beyond! If nothing else and if they prove "unworkable", these are conversation pieces which showcase amazing creativity and construction!
Now through February 15th, you can view the "Killer Heels: The Art of the High-Heeled Shoe" at the Brooklyn Museum. Did you know that high-heels aren't a "new" invention? The first heels were actually worn by men as they were intended to show privilege, power and status. Early heels were presents among wealthy Venetians in the 7th Century. Made of silk and called "Chopine", these footwear were meant to keep these aristocrats' feet dry from the overflowing canals.
160 shoes, both historical and contemporary are on display... on loan from The MET, among others, to give visitors a comprehensive view of the evolution toward our present day high-heeled footwear. From 16th Century platforms in Italy to the stilettos gracing today's runways and Red Carpets, this is perfect for every shoe lover!
Christian Louboutin. “Printz,” Spring/Summer 2013–14. Photo by: Jay Zukerkorn
Image courtesy of: BK Daily News
Image courtesy of: Nordstrom Blog
Image courtesy of: Architectural Digest