A professor at Turin’s technical university, the Politecnico di Torino, left her career in academia to make shoes

“Here’s a couple of lines to describe why I chose BRUNO, of all names. It’s a dedication to Bruno Munari, who is often my source of inspiration, not so much for his art but for that mixture of research and experimentation that makes (my) BRUNOs structured, minimalist shoes. Either way, it is simply a tribute. I mean, at the end of the day, they’re just shoes,” designer Miriam Bicocca modestly and playfully explains on her Facebook page. She set up her new footwear brand just a few months ago: Bruno is the name.

Besides the tribute/inspiration, there’s also a wonderful story behind it. At the age of 34, with two daughters and trained as a designer, Miriam decided to leave her job as a professor at the Politecnico di Torino to learn how to make shoes. She did this by learning the trade first-hand from one of the biggest footwear craftsmen from Turin, Beppe Rondinella of Calzolaio Carlo Alberto.

After starting an Instagram account to showcase and write about her works in progress, and a Facebook page to begin making a name for herself, Miriam went online with her website a few days ago. The site shows the first styles for you to admire, all very minimalist and entirely handcrafted using top quality vegetable tanned leathers.

“I do everything myself, from start to finish. I design, cut, sew, hammer, tack, pull, push, punch, staple, knot, fasten, stick, smooth, polish and, finally, finish,” she says.