by Andrea Guolo, photos Susanna Pozzoli

The craft of luxury men’s footwear is illustrated in the perceptive and faithful account of Andrea Guolo and the engaging pictures by Susanna Pozzoli.

“Makers of beauty. The philosophy of male footwear according to Santoni” is the new volume in the “Mestieri d’Arte” series published by Marsilio Editori and developed by the Cologni Foundation for the Métiers d’Art in close collaboration with Santoni, one of the most prestigious Italian artisan shoemakers of world renown.

The twelfth title in the series explores the extraordinary history of Santoni: an example of excellence in Italy’s manufacturing industry, of which footwear is one of the jewels in the crown. The craft of luxury men’s shoes is illustrated, in all its complexity, in the perceptive and faithful account of Andrea Guolo, a journalist of specialist expertise, and the engaging pictures taken inside the company in the Marches by Susanna Pozzoli, a sensitive and accomplished photographic artist.

A rich and meticulously outlined historical and technical background introduces the interviews to Andrea Santoni, the founder, to his wife Rosa, Santoni’s long-life partner and the soul of the company, to their son Giuseppe, who lovingly took over his precious charge, and finally to the artisans who, under the family’s leadership, have made this extraordinary enterprise so great. The photographs explore the different departments with designers and artisans at work, their surroundings and tools, the materials and manufacturing processes.

Craftsmanship, expertise, technique, as well as the humanity of its protagonists, emerge in a story all the more fascinating for its genuineness, the perfect example of dedication to work and passionate pursuit of beauty.

For the first time, a successful Italian company highlights the voices and faces of its artisans. This is an important and unprecedented tribute to the value of what Santoni considers its “human capital”: a wealth of knowledge, skills, abilities, loyalty to the company, worthy of being preserved, acknowledged and showcased.