From the day that Guido Guidi, Giovanni Rosellini, and Gino Ulivi hung a sign on a small building in Italy in 1896 as Conceria Guidi e Rosellini, until today, the name Guidi is synonymous with high-quality shoes, boots, and accessories. We were intrigued and wanted to learn more about their process. This is what we learned out those famous Guidi shoes.
One of the key elements of any Guidi product is the leather. The high-quality leather that is tanned today much in the same way it was when it all began in 1896. However, a few years back, Guidi announced an addition to their tanning process. They developed a new process using vegetables that allows for them to produce leather that is darker in hue than usual. Because of this new process, they’re able to save both water and energy because they won’t require any additional dying subsequently.
The process from skin to tanned hide is slow as it takes a few days for the skins to soften. From there they are cleaned, then tanned, dyed, and dried. At this point, they’re ready to be turned into shoes. While their shoemaking process isn’t particularly unique, what makes a Guidi shoe special is both its production by hand as well as its quality elements. The elements vary by finished product, in particular, the type of leather used.
This attention to detail ensures that their shoes are extremely durable as they’re meant to be worn in the open air (in the early days, by shepherds and farm workers) and with proper care will stay waterproof and resistant of wear. In part, this is a reason they use different types of leather for different products. For example, leather from horses for durability, from bison to be hard-wearing yet pliable, from donkey to be durable but soft, and from others including kangaroo.
Many designers and shoe companies are able to saturate the shoe market because of their production capabilities. This isn’t necessarily something for which Guidi has strived. Rather, each piece of their footwear is handmade. While they still have an impressive amount of product on the market around the world, Guidi is able to maintain its level of handmade quality. One of the reasons for maintaining its handmade approach is that they prefer to have each of their customers walk away with something unique. No one will find a completely identical shoe to their own.
Modern Before Modernity
Look at any pair of Guidi shoes over the course of their time in production and you’ll notice that not much has changed with their basic design. Its modern feel was apparent long before modernity became a known style. In this regard, they can be considered classic, yet couple this with their modern appeal and you have touched on what makes them timeless.
Beyond the Shoes
Guidi’s line, through the years, has expanded to include accessories and other items that bear the Guidi name as well as its level of sophistication and high quality. The basic accessories, of course, include bags, wallets, and belts. More recently they ventured into other arenas of design including furniture. As you’d expect, the results are fantastic and include their Italian design and also some of the most beautiful leather you’ll ever experience.
Are you ready for your own pair of Guidi shoes? Or, do you already have your own? If you’re a lover of all things Italian, you might want to also see our picks for luxury Italian furniture.