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An 18th century Italian silk weaver is launching footwear

By Don-Alvin Adegeest

Oct 27, 2020

An 18th century Italian silk weaver, Antico Setificio Fiorentino, is using its looms to launch a new collection of contemporary footwear.

The Florence-based company was founded in 1786 and provided silks to Italy’s noble families. All that history and artisanship has now crossed over to a new category, namely shoes, starting with the silk ribbons and trims the weaver is so well-known for.

In collaboration with Studio Eleven on design, “a collection as timeless as the fabrics that tell the story of centuries of opulence in princely courts,” has been launched.

Each model features grosgrain trim and detailing, and silhouettes that marry comfort with style. Styles include closed-toe damask ballerinas in three designs, using a slip-last construction typical of great Florentine and Tuscan manufacturing. The sandals and loafers in Damasco Uccellini, one of the noble designs of the Antico Setificio will appeal to international buyers with a keen eye for exclusive, handmade products.

Antico Setificio is part of the Stefano Ricci group of brands since 2010 and is operated by the Ricci family directly. Inside the mill, highly skilled weavers use mechanical and semi-mechanical looms dating back to the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The finest machines still in operation include the Orditoio (a vertical warper), built from an original design by Leonardo da Vinci.