Let us focus now on Mario Bemer brand. How would you define yourself aesthetically speaking?
I would define myself as classically modern and refined.
From your point of view, what are the advantages/disadvantages of the Italian shoe compared to the English one? Is the current tendency a mélange of the two? How could one create a perfect shoe by taking the best out of both?
I believe that the advantages and disadvantages of the various schools of interpretive style are extremely individual and contingent on one’s personal habits and tastes. In my case one can notice tendencies of both English and Italian style. I do not believe in a perfect shoe. With time there is always an adaptation, even if minimum, of any product.
Justin FitzPatrick noticed a certain quality of the soles of your shoes. Although made in a Goodyear system, their flexibility is worthy of a Blake shoe. How did you manage that thing?
Our sole is the end product of experience as well as a deep knowledge of the technical structure. Technical knowledge is not something that can be acquired by buying a brand, much less by wearing a cobblers’ apron.
The greater flexibility may be surprising, but it is the result of an interpretation and broad comprehension of the materials and the phases of production, along with a pinch modern technological amelioration. I can interpret the same sole in different ways with a few targeted accouterments; depending on what characteristics the shoe needs, nonetheless always maintaining the artisan quality.
How big is your studio and how many people help you design the shoes?
My shoes are exclusively conceived and designed by myself. We are located in the heart of the artisan neighborhood of Florence, l’Oltrarno. Our Atelier features a retail area, a “made to measure” parlor, the laboratory and office. In my laboratory I am assisted by one of our historic collaborators, Mr. Seiji Miyagawa, who vaunts over 15 years of experience of bespoke shoemaking, and who from the beginning has followed me in the actualization of our new project. His undisputed manual skill, combined with our exclusive foot measuring procedure, places Mario Bemer as one of the top bespoke shoemakers, both for the excellence of the craftsmanship as well as preciseness and comfort.
I have to admit that the shoes from the RTW collection have a completely different design than what exists on the market. Tell me more about the RTW collection. How does a Mario Bemer shoe come to life?
All of our products, both the RTW as well as the MTO follow the Goodyear procedure. The materials that we use, some of which are crafted just for us, go from the best calfskins, (vegetable tanned) suedes, and Cordovan, not least of all our exotic skins, crocodile, ostrich, elephant, hippopotamus, and sharkskin among others. Finally we like to consider our RTW more similar in characteristics and details to a bespoke rather than a classic RTW.
What is your favorite model from the RTW collection?
What elements do you think are the ones that make your shoe unique and what audience are you addressing to?
Our shoe was created for an elegant yet informal man, refined and modern, a man who wishes to be distinguished without being ostentatious. The elements that define Mario Bemer’s uniqueness are the elevated flexibility combined with an immediate sense of comfort, all nonetheless maintaining a traditional Goodyear workmanship. The design, the selection of materials, as well as the combination of colors, along with the burgundy eyelet on each of our creations, make sure that the recognition of a Mario Bemer is unmistakable.
To be continued …