A tradition that has its roots in the Campania region, with a high level of craftsmanship

The history of the Capri sandal has roots in the distant past when the Emperor Tiberius arrived in Capri with a pair of rigid-soled shoes with leather bands; legend has it that the fishermen of the island followed his example to move more easily on the cobblestones of the streets. Although they became famous and fashionable in the sixties, when Hollywood divas fell in love with the island and the Amalfi coast, still today the function of these sandals is to walk in comfort through the narrow streets of Capri. A symbol of the island, it is still the most coveted “souvenir” for tourists. But true Capri sandals are only those produced in Capri, Positano, and in the Campania region, given the expertise that local artisans there have refined over time. A know-how that fascinated Sergio Compagna in the eighties and that prompted him to look for local workers to create a line of bejewelled sandals with attention to detail, materials, and workmanship. “It is long, slow and precise work” – he explains – “because the leather soles are cut and milled by hand, the gem stones are set one by one. My passion for this product was born when I saw these craftsmen at work, putting the seeds (the nails, ed.) in their mouths so as to have their hands free to nail the upper to the sole. An operation that struck and amused me at the same time. Those hands that seemed to ‘fly’ over the product fascinated me”.

Sergio Compagna has “exported” to the north of Italy this taste for the Capri sandal, which remains the core business of the brand, selling models to artisans and clothing boutiques, also with the possibility of making tailor-made and customisable products with brooches and jewel decorations. “If the typical Capri sandal is the flip-flop or has the small triangular, upper, we have added for Spring/Summer 2022 other proposals with gladiator laces or a double velvet or suede band in a wide range of colours, among which stand out the tones of the sea”. To enrich the summer production, a seasonless women’s line of ballet flats and slip-ons with softened leather bottoms, uppers in tartan fabrics or in leather, embellished and customised with brooches, has recently been developed. Also new is the winter series dedicated to men which consists of loafers, college boots, and desert boots, to be chosen with leather or box sole. In this case too, the production is highly artisanal.

Flavia Colli Franzone