Santoni: lightness, karaoke, ice cream sandwiches and excellent results
Few classy family brands celebrate their success with such a light hand as Santoni, which staged a clever presentation Sunday inside the latest cool restaurant in the Giacomo group – Giacomo Rosticceria.
Founded in 1975 by Andrea Santoni and family owned ever since, Santoni posted a 12% increase in turnover in 2017 to 82 million euros. Its secret: classy, hand-made shoes that reek quality with just a soupçon of a modernist twist.
Waiters positioned behind a marble bar held up examples of Santoni’s latest footwear – superbly darkened classic monks, though finished with saddle stitching or moccasins trimmed with woven leather rope; perfectly judged ultra-soft crocodile lace-ups with a brilliantly aged patina; or new thick-soled tennis sneakers in mixes of putty or ecru. Behind them, wooden mules rotated inside the roasting oven; while outside in a garden a wacky local duo, the iceScreamers, sang. Guests lunched on roasted ham mixed with Gelati Santoni, created for the occasion by master Paolo Brunello. Though quite frankly, serving ham and ice cream in the same bun was an avant-garde step too far.
“Santoni’s DNA is very special. It’s hand-made with culture. And based on virtuoso Italian artisans,” said CEO Giuseppe Santoni, son of founder Andrea. He now employs 600 people, many of them in his native region Le Marche, the center of Italian shoe production. Santoni even has its own school for training new shoemakers.
Giuseppe oversees a brand with 15 fully-owned boutiques; another 15 more held by franchises, and a marque that retails in some 1,000 sales points worldwide.
“We like to chose a unique angle of Milan for each of our presentations. And this place and its food is unique, so we can help people discover something new in Italy,” explained Giuseppe, dressed in a hand-made windowpane check linen suit from his personal Italian tailor.
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