Italigente Shoes Göteborg

Focus on: A year ago we launched Italigente. A Swedish initiative to produce Italian toppskor, which led many to raise an eyebrow. The company’s founder, Magnus Ericsson, talks about the year and its goal to transform our approach to shoes.

Magnus Ericsson belongs to the fifth generation Shoemaker family with roots in Kumla. At the age of 16 he began his international career in a shoe store in Zurich, later studying footwear design and manufacturing in France. After several years working with mass-produced shoes all over the world wanted to Magnus back to shoes with genuine feeling.
Design and brand always get focus. We would also like to talk about the quality, origin and the environment, which is the basis for making stylish shoes. The name itself conveys our values. To be Italigente and to choose Italigenta products, “says Magnus.

The goal has since been to create an international brand with starting point from Milan. Production takes place in Montegranaro, a small mountain village in the Marche region, South of Bologna. The small factory has since 1972 been manufacturing a range of well known brands.
“They are living with a huge passion for shoes. We Swedes are extremely good at seeing things from a commercial perspective.The factory possesses a superb craftsmanship and together we create an internationally viable concept, “says Magnus.

Magnus describes Italigentes style as a cross between the Anglo-Saxon and Italian:
–First, there’s the classics like Alden, Crockett & Jones and Church’s, whose form is often quite formal. Then there are the more extravagant Italian brands like Santoni, Cecare Paciotti and Silvano Lattanzi. We want to be in between. Serious shoes with clear Italian origin. That’s how you dress in Milan, serious and business, but with a little twist.

How does the then Italian shoes against the British?
“It’s hard to compare. It is dangerous to focus on construction, and believe they are a question of right or wrong. The important thing is the fact that the shoes give the wearer the right feeling.

Italigente manufactures most of its shoes on double leather soles with a vertical Blake seam you stitch on passing through the sock and shoe’s upper. One more stitch then go through the edge (side), sock and outsole. But the main feature of good quality believe Magnus is the choice of material and how long the shoes has been read.
“Our shoes may be on reading for a week. Mass-produced shoes heats up and cools down immediately. A shoe that has been read in a week get a much rounder and smoother form. Those who try the handmade shoes understand directly what it is about. It says “swosch” when the shoe sucks while in the foot. By working slowly, we can also use natural materials and water-based adhesives. Materials that create better climate inside the shoe and gives overall sense. Compare that to going to a beautiful oak parquet floor, against a plastic. It’s about feeling.

In terms of the whole production of a pair of shoes from Italigentes Crown Collection includes over 200 individual processes that are designed after over 150 years old tradition. It limits production to about 250 pairs of shoes a week. It may take time, according to Magnus a prerequisite, which reflect both the brand’s design identity. As much as this is a project to offer stylish and good shoes hope Magnus to alter our approach to shoes. A work that even extends to the Swedish children’s shoe brand Plucky, where Magnus is part owner.
–Unfortunately, many have grown accustomed to constantly buy new cheap shoes. One accepts that they hold for half a year and then discarded. I believe and hope that consumption will change. That more consumers will seek new options where higher quality and a longer product life cycles are becoming increasingly important. Children grow out of shoes, and I’ll be glad when a sibling can take over a beloved shoe, or when they are being sold on eBay.

It is impossible to lose if Magnus obvious passion for the material and quality. In something of a siding tells Magnus how a Swedish law, which entered into force in 1919, regulated the level of saltiness that would ensure quality leather sole. Overall, the interview is as much about Magnus business idea as to why the bark of mimosa, chestnut and oak wood is the best material for tanning leather.
–The main reason I wanted to gather all the production in Italy was because they have a unique knowledge about the material and not the least finish. Anything from completely organic produce sole leather which has almost completely waterproof properties to the production itself. This is knowledge that is likely to be lost. Trends has replaced tradition without anyone really knows why. It might be so when the image becomes more important than quality, speculates Magnus.
–Actually, it should be the other way around. But when knowledge is lost, there are no arguments left. We knew as much about shoes in Sweden for 50 years ago. Only in Kumla, Örebro, there were 250 shoe factories. And in the Göta Tannery in Alingsås, Cordovanläder for men’s shoes, but today there are heritage does not remain.

It is not easy to create a romanticized image of the craft?
– Basically it’s about how important it is to have good shoes.There is no product that improves our well being so as a pair of comfortable shoes. Many are sadly accustomed to constantly use warm and cushioned sports or leisure shoes as being mass produced in Asia. I remember when we celebrated that Reebok shipped 4 million pairs of shoes in one month in 1988 from Korea. It’s hard to fathom how much the shoes actually is. It had never been without fierce marketing, a hard upper painted to hide defects, very adhesive and synthetic materials.
“There are obvious advantages if the interest in the environment and origin of consumers is growing. It is important to reach out with the knowledge of which materials are the best to arouse a greater awareness. Unfortunately lacks many of today’s shoe stores this knowledge, says Magnus with the reason of this organised a course in shoe design for Misternuros dealer.

Several seem to share Magnus passion for shoes. Interest in Italigente has been great, especially internationally. Today the brand is sold in places such as Germany, Holland, Belgium, Switzerland and Japan. The idea is to continue to establish themselves slowly to find the best shops. In spring are New York and Los Angeles on tour. Magnus takes a positive view of the future and hope that Italigente will continue to inspire a more stylish and more thoughtful consumption.
-In the future it will be prestige in who made the shoes. Where, when and how. I firmly believe that an increased interest in style, running in parallel with a responsible consumption. Conscious consumers want to buy better stuff that lasts and is worth to cherish above cheap throwaway. With a rainy day that forces more retailers to see if its range creates the favorable conditions for us, concludes Magnus.

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