Italian Shoes: A Tribute to an Iconic Object

Image of Italian Shoes: A Tribute to an Iconic Object
Release Date: 
February 27, 2018
Reviewed by: 

Calling all shoe freaks, fetishists, shoe dogs, collectors and aficionados, this is the book you have been waiting for! Consider this the love letter to shoe lovers as well as to the art and craft of shoe making. It is a portrait gallery of some of the most imaginative and superbly crafted shoes ever produced in Italian factories.

You might be expecting to see an astounding visual cavalcade of that one piece of wearing apparel that seems irresistible to so many, but what you will see is a sort of metaphorical presentation of each shoe compared to a possible inanimate object such as a staircase or then possibly to a tree or flower and then maybe even a gust of wind.

Each shoe occupies a full page and each comparison appears opposite on a full page. The examples being a Caovilla serpentine strapped sandal compared to a spiral staircase, a trainer with star appliques compared to a circus, or an all feathered shoe compared to a bunch of parrot tulips.

The prospective reader should be made aware that there are, of course, the usual suspects in terms of brands, but the majority of what is shown is representative of brands that we in the United States are mostly unaware of and certainly have never seen. The interesting facet of the book is that it covers classifications from baby shoes as well as women’s and men’s and then additionally from trainers and sandals to the most elaborate stilettos.

The awkward aspect of the book is that it is bilingual, Italian and English, but once again this is a case where the translation to English becomes a bit clumsy and too literal in its translation. There is no nuance to the translation at all. Despite the brief text, the translation might cause a bit of confusion for the reader in a way that they might have to reread certain passages more than once to achieve full understanding.

Italian Shoes: A Tribute to an Iconic Object is everything you might expect and then again nothing like you were expecting in a book devoted to shoes. The book serves as narrative about all facets of the shoe business of Italy and how the photographer has imbued his art into the subject of shoes. The visuals are beautiful though hardly arresting in their detail. It might be best to classify this book as strictly a coffee table edition rather than an intellectual pursuit.