(Bespoke Italian Master Series) *STEFANO BI, Special Order, (Goiser) Welted, Split-Toe Norwegian: 42.5D
Size: 42-42.5 [US.9-9.5] [UK 8-8.5]
Styles: Collectors Shoes/Object d'Art, Custom-Bespoke-Maas, Derbys, Norwegians
True Norwegian (Goiser) Welted Split-Toe Norwegian
In 1989, Stefano Branchini and his wife Patrizia Grossi, created the brands Branchini Calzoleria, Stefano Bi and Holiday, which were to become the future brand, Stefano Branchini, and, later, yet a new firm, Stefano Bi, founded in Ferrara, Italy, and producing largely hand-made shoes. Today, Stefano Bi, under the umbrella of Louis Vuitton LVMH of Paris, produces shoes for a number of high-end brands, including Berluti, Stefano Bemer, Christian Dior, Givenchy and, of course, Louis Vuitton itself, most of these offering shoes in the Euro 1400 plus category and, frankly, few as well made as Stefani Bi’s own branded shoes. This is particularly true of this present pair. The incredibly complex and labour intensive, hand sewn Norwegian-welted shoes shown here, much be thought to cost significantly more. The superlative quality of the leather, a warm tan colour calf, the hand raised apron and split-toe, the hand-set-nail reinforcement of the toes and the perfect finish of the interior, even to such details as the braided laces and their charmingly individual tassels, suggest that, while built on a standard last, this was a “one of”, special order shoe. At least I have not seen another such pair from this maker, ever!
The term “Norwegian” is used promiscuously to refer to several styles of shoe, notably the “Split-Toe Norwegian” with its outward turned moccasin-like apron and joining at the toe, and among Italian shoemakers, of a variety styles with decorative double sewn welts. Unlike in the present shoe, the sewing is mostly non-functional and conceals construction even as rudimentary as Blake Stitching. Very few of those are the true complex Goiser/Norwegian construction, wherein a split reverse welt or the top leather are turned outward and sewn to the street sole, as shown here. This is the most complex of all shoe construction techniques and very few such shoes are produced in the world. Originally intended to shed water, this welting is as beautiful as it is functional.
Size Details:Size: UK 8.4E…..US 9,5D…..Continental 42.5D, for the medium width foot.
Superb! Neuwertig! All original and modestly worn. Bottoms show trivial wear, tops none.