This volume has been produced by the Fondazione Cologni dei Mestieri d’Arte in close collaboration with Santoni, one of the most prestigious Italian artisan businesses of world renown. It sets out to tell the inside story of an extraordinary case - history of consummate excellence in one of Italy’s flagship manufacturing sectors. Thanks to the perceptive and faithful account of Andrea Guolo, a journalist of specialist expertise in the field, and the engaging pictures taken inside the company in the Marches by Susanna Pozzoli, a sensitive and accomplished photographic artist, the craft of luxury men’s footwear is told here in all its technical complexity, its art and poetry. It will delight the many connoisseurs and enthusiasts but also a wider general public who appreciate beauty and the culture of craftsmanship. There follows a richly detailed historical and technical background, which includes compelling interviews with Andrea Santoni, master craftsman, his wife, Rosa, life-long partner and soul of the company, his son Giuseppe, who carefully and lovingly took over his precious charge, and finally with the artisans who, under the Santoni leadership, have made this extraordinary enterprise so great. It is the epic adventure of a unique creative and productive model which has made Santoni the jewel in the crown of a large manufacturing district. These pages reveal the skill, expertise, passion, and technique, not to mention the humanity of its players, in a story all the more fascinating for its truth, a story of exemplary dedication to work and a passionate pursuit of beauty. For the first time, a successful Italian company, known the world over, highlights the voices and faces of its artisans. It is an 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, recognized and showcased. The story captivates the reader by revealing all the secrets of this artistic craft, undertaken in keeping with tradition but also with an innovative spirit, design technique, and outstanding manual skill. The poetic force of 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... and you can almost hear the noise of the factory, the music of gestures, the soundtrack of craftsmanship, experiencing all its exciting beauty and the allure of an object well-made, with wisdom, lovingly crafted to perfection.
The Fondazione Cologni dei Mestieri d’Arte is a private non-profit organization founded in Milan in 1995 by its President Franco Cologni. Its mission is to promote a range of cultural, scientific, and educational projects which aim to protect and foster the arts and crafts. The Mestieri d’arte and Ricerche series (published by Marsilio Editori), aim to piece together the history of these outstanding enterprises up to the present day, examining both the great tradition of Italian expertise and new interpretations of contemporary craftsmanship. Together with the Swan Group it has designed and published the magazine Mestieri d’Arte & Design dedicated to the excellence of the “Made in Italy” hallmark. Its internship project Una Scuola, un Lavoro. Percorsi di Eccellenza actively supports the training of young people in high-end craftsmanship and their integration into the labor market. Since it was founded in 1975, Santoni has pursued its vision, carefully honing a cultural heritage of Italian craftsmanship and excellence, initially with Andrea Santoni and now with his son Giuseppe, who has steered the brand to its present status as an international icon. Over time, they have preserved the most valuable features of the authentic “Made in Italy” brand—its quality, passion for detail, and painstaking handmade production. These are the aspects that distinguish Santoni from its competitors, making it unique within the restricted circle of the most famous luxury brands. A modern mentality applied to age-old expertise and upheld by Santoni’s master shoemakers, transforming an artisan enterprise into a quality brand to be found in the best boutiques and single-brand stores around the world.
Andrea Guolo, born in Turin in 1972, is a professional journalist specializing in the history and economics of fashion, with particular reference to the leather goods and footwear sectors. He is the editor and special correspondent of periodicals MDP-La Conceria and Lineapelle Magazine. Since 1998 he has worked in the global economy of the so-called “leather area” (footwear, leather goods, clothing, furniture, car interiors) following markets and reporting on major international events in the industry (fashion shows, trade fairs, events). He is the author of numerous articles and professional publications and in 2011 won the prestigious Guido Vergani Reporter of the Year 2011 Prize for his successful investigations into the footwear industry and counterfeiting.
author: Andrea Guolo
title: Makers of Beauty The philosophy of male footwear according to Santoni
publishers: Marsilio Editori - Fondazione Cologni dei Mestieri d’Arte
photographs by: Susanna Pozzoli
size: 22h x 28 cm coffret and softcover
languages: 2 different editions, Italian and English
EU ISBN: 978-88-317-1891-2
printed in: Venice, Italy in 2014
distribuited by: Marsilio Editori: http://www.marsilioeditori.it