From a small workshop in the Tuscan hills to the entire world.
In 1946 in Tuscany and throughout Italy, the re-building following the devastation of the Second World War had begun.
In a small workshop in Vinci, atop the green hills just a few kilometers from Florence, two brothers began making shoes. Their names were René and Valerio Borgioli, small-time artisans working hard from morning to evening at their work tables, manufacturing entirely by hand, slowly learning the profession as they went along and dedicating the necessary care and time to each work phase.
In time, the Borgioli brothers started to make a name for themselves.
Their shoes, made with the best Tuscan leathers, were becoming more and more sought after. What had been a tiny artesian business was growing and in the 1980s, with the arrival of the second generation, it blossomed into a company in all respects: gone were the days when it was just a workshop and four busy hands. The Borgioli brothers have since become Fratelli Borgioli, manufacturing on behalf of some of the most prestigious fashion brands as well as being their own brand, which is widely recognised both throughout Italy and abroad for its shoes par excellence.
Despite expansion, a now international distribution network and a brand recognised by all those truly passionate about Italian shoes, the level of quality has remained exceptionally high. Quality has, in fact, always been the “compass” that has guided the company.
For Fratelli Borgioli, the Tuscan-made status of their shoes takes priority over their Made in Italy stature. Everything, in fact, is made just a stone’s throw from the company’s main headquarters. Simply take a compass, position it on the boat-shaped town that is Vinci and draw a more or less 30-kilometre circle. All that is required to make a Fratelli Borgioli shoe can be found in that piece of land steeped in history: the raw materials and, above all, the know-how necessary to make use of them and best manufacture them, considering that it can take almost 200 steps to make a single shoe.
Today, Urbano Borgioli, the son of founder Valerio, and Giacomo Fioravanti, Urbano’s niece, are at the forefront of the company. We are in our third generation, thanks to Italian excellence that stays true to the past (René and Valerio’s workshop is still there, alongside the tools that they used to use) yet looks towards the future, towards new markets, e-commerce and communication via social networks, but without ever compromising in terms of quality; the fact that it is possible to order customisable and made-to-measure shoes online is a good example of this.
On the subject of the past and future, Fratelli Borgioli launched a shoe-designing competition in collaboration with the Polimoda Fashion School in Florence to mark this anniversary and celebrate 70 years of business.
Zhang Jiawei, a young Chinese designer was crowned winner of the competition after designing a shoe made from marbled leather (a homage to Tuscan marbles) featuring two intersecting sevens on the vamp. The shoe, re-baptised the 70th shoe was on display to the public, alongside the new collections at Pitti Uomo in June.