My trip to Louis Vuitton's Manufacture de Souliers was such an eye-opener. Everyone who knows me well (and even not so well!) knows how obsessed I am with shoes. Visiting this shoe workshop for just a few hours was definitely not enough time for me. I could have stayed for days! I now want to while away my summer in Italy just cobbling away at shoes aplenty. Who wants to join me??
Below are a list of just a few things I learned while at Fiesso:
1) Venice was the centre of trade of Europe between west and east, which at that time meant pretty much the whole world, so it was really one of the first modern global cities.
2) Venice has always been where the best women's shoes were made as it was the centre of aristocracy and society for more than 1000 years, with the most amazing luxury goods and fashion coming through. The aristocracy had their summer houses along the river and brought their artisans along with them. When the artisans saw how much more space they had there, some decided to stay. And when the volume of shoes they had to make grew too large for their little workshops to handle, they moved just outside of Venice in the area where LV's shoe workshop is today.
3) Obviously there was no pavement back then and since the floor was just mud, women wore chopines, which were basically shoes with stilts built into them (I want a pair!!). Google them. Very cool!
3) Minimum number of steps to make the simplest pair of shoes? 150! Let's not even get started on how many steps it takes to manufacture a pair of heels.
3) LV is one of (If not, the only? Need to double check this fact!) the few houses that manufactures both men's and women's under the same roof.
4) Louis Vuitton's shoes are 100% made in Italy. Every single part.