With his brand A1923, Simone Cecchetto explores the properties of leather and footwear construction

Handmade with awl and thread: this is how Simone Cecchetto, alias ADiciannoveventitre/A1923, shapes his leather, the raw material for all his shoes. However, he says that he doesn’t feel that the label of ‘craftsman’ is right for him, if by this we mean those who work shoes in the name of tradition. “I move away from real proportions” – he specifies – “my shoes are provocations with non-reassuring volumes. Elongated, rounded shapes that one would not expect to find in an artisan’s workshop”. Yet Simone Cecchetto, more artist than craftsman, does everything by hand, helped by two other people, therefore a small zero-kilometre production, manipulating and shaping the material so as to showcase imperfections and small defects, which become strengths to be celebrated. “Whoever wears them finishes my work” – he explains – “by living in the shoes and, thus, participating in the completion of my work”.

A job that Cecchetto started in 2006, after collaborating as an assistant to the designer Rick Owens for whom he was researching leathers for both clothing and footwear. Today, he works with some prestigious shops such as LuisaViaRoma in Florence and Antonioli in Milan.

Simone Cecchetto was present at Pitti Uomo with the new Cuoio di Toscana project ‘Do not handle with care’, to send the message, through his creations, that Tuscan leather, of high quality and sustainability, takes on more beauty and value thanks to its natural veins and imperfections. As a profound connoisseur of the subject, Cecchetto would like to convey this passion for leather to young people to bring them closer to the manufacturing of footwear because, he says, “it is still considered a dirty job, instead we must teach young people to use the material in a different way, to explain to them that there are much deeper concepts related to leather, which come from art, history, antiquity, and how animals were worn”.

Flavia Colli Franzone