24th July 2018
The becoming of the big brand- Stefano Bemer.
Once, during an interview, Stefano Bemer said he first saw his destiny through a hole in one of his shoes, as he wondered who could fix it since he lived in a small town with no cobblers. He was eighteen years old then in 1983 and he embarked on the journey that destiny had planned for him – and kept going until his premature death, in 2012.
He learned to fix broken shoes and to make new ones working side by side with old Florentine craftsmen. He even went to London to the workshops of the historical company John Lobb Bootmaker.
In three incredible decades, he went from being a shoemaker in San Frediano – the Florentine district – to creating custom handmade shoes with the help of three talented Japanese assistants. The three workshops he opened in Florence attracted international celebrities such as actor Andy Garcia, singer Julio Iglesias, architect Paul Tange, and designer Tanaka Ikko.
In 2013, the Bremer brand was acquired by Scuola Del Cuoio Di Santa Croce and to mark the occasion, the new owners opened a new workshop inside the deconsecrated church of San Niccolò.
There is something terrifically old-fashioned about Stefano Bemer–the by-the-bootstraps career path, the cool dedication, the modesty that comes with mastery. So it was perhaps no accident that another master of his trade, Daniel Day-Lewis, spent ten months apprenticing with Bemer in 1999 and 2000. In all, it takes 38 to 45 hours of work and a minimum of two fittings to produce a bespoke pair of Bemer shoes. Delivery time is two to three months, and the price $3340 for the first pair, is less than you would pay at a top London shoemaker.