Zenobi Plain Front Derbys Made In Italy
Zenobi Plain Front Derbys Made In Italy
Brand Name: Zenobi
Item Type: Shoes
Made In: Italy
Condition: Brand New
Material: Upper material: Leather; Sole material: 50% Leather, 50% Rubber
Material manufacturer: F&D
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It was in 1946 when Alfonso Zenobi faced his first long journey from Puglia, a region in Southern Italy, to Bologna in Emilia, in Northern Italy, a well known city for its wealth and academic culture.
Alfonso, skilled craftsman of shoes, shoemaker or "scarpaio" in Puglia dialect, was dreaming of a land that could give the right appreciation to his work, a deserved consideration for an experience, a manual ability and a technique that wasn't enhanced in the right way in a country culture.
Bologna, land of doctors, university students, rich and wealthy farmers, where the footwear culture was already rooted, would have awarded, instead, the right value to a piece of our clothing that can't be classified as "accessory" at all, but as essential to assure man an extremely important function for the development of the entire person: walking.
Alfonso Zenobi, in fact, was absolutely convinced that a good pair of shoes performs more duties at the same time and that, since it takes care of a part of the body � the foot � fundamental for the balance of the human body and for its mobility in space, it is really in the first place, in the list of the articles that forms someone's clothing.
The craftsman had outlined an own personal belief: "Jacket, trousers, shirt, scarf, jersey, coat, blouson, tie, foulard, belt, hat; each of these articles has a specific function, more or less important, in someone's dressing. The shoes, according to Alfonso Zenobi, place themselves ahead of all these. The shoes enable us to walk and run, besides protecting us from unfavorable climatic conditions.
The shoes never leave us, they always accompanies us, in any season and in any weather, and stay with us most of the day.
You can go out without jacket, without scarf, without hat, but you can't go out without shoes." These personal considerations gave Alfonso Zenobi the belief that the shoes should not simply be a "dress" for the foot, but should have features, which were not requested, to the same extent, to other clothing articles: comfort, duration and elegance.
This basic belief has constantly accompanied all the evolution of the Zenobi production and still today represents the central thread of the company.
In his modest lab in Bologna, Alfonso Zenobi worked for several years, soon establishing himself for the carefulness in making his own products, true masterpieces, whose he was very jealous of. He loved to personalize them for his clients, so that they could distinguish themselves by wearing his creations.
The appreciation and the approval of his clients represented an important encouragement for Alfonso to carry on in the direction taken. His creativity developed day by day, together with the search of technical solutions that could continuously improve his manufacture.
The satisfaction in personalizing every shoes, in "dress to measure the foot" of his clients, got Zenobi also an increase of work.
While Zenobi was enjoying more and more the gratification of success, and noticing the progressive comprehension of his artisan culture among his clients, increased from day to day, the first difficulties, which highlighted a productive capacity now become inadequate, emerged.
In the early 80's a fundamental episode in Zenobi's life happened: the encounter with Wang Yinton, a craftsman of Chinese origins, from the Zhejiang region, who boasted a long familiar tradition in the footwear field. He remained literally fascinated by Zenobi and his artisan techniques.
Wang arrived in Italy in 1970, bringing with him all his family.
In those years the Eastern presence in Italy was still exiguous and the Wang family was one of the first families emigrated from China and regularly integrated in the labor community.
Mister Wang went often to Zenobi's workshop to observe the manufacturing of shoes and soon a beautiful friendship between them was born.
Zenobi was attracted by the incredible interest of an individual, so culturally distant from him, in his manufactured articles; and Wang was fascinated by that craftsman who made with his own hands beautiful shoes, with meticulous working processes, using absolutely simple and natural raw materials.
Wang was gratified by that friendship and spent most of his spare time in Zenobi's lab. He often offered his help to run some errands and he willingly gave a hand for little necessities, always animated by a big curiosity. Zenobi, driven by his great esteem for Wang, asked him to work permanently in his lab.
So a fellowship quickly was born between them and it brought to the constitution of a company and to an important development of the artisan activity.
Alfonso Zenobi, with the contribution of his new partner, felt stronger and freer to experiment and develop new techniques and styles. The manual ability of Wang was also remarkable and able to achieve very high parameters both in the finishing touches and in the search of raw materials and aesthetic motifs, which already characterized the qualitative standard of Zenobi's shoes.
In a word, a winning pair had been formed: the two of them almost competed in improving technically and in suggesting aesthetic solutions which, though basing on a sophistication of a classic and balanced conception, didn't disdain bold and always in evolution solutions, surprisingly different and unmistakably unique.
With the development of the activity, the two craftsmen, now become partners, searching more spaces and qualified workers, decided to move to Tuscany, to Monsummano Terme (PT), a town that boasted, and still boasts nowadays, an important tradition in leather industry and in particular in the footwear field.
The move to Tuscany, in the projects of the two craftsmen, would offer the opportunity to place the company in an industrial appropriate area by facilitating the procurement of raw materials, and recruitment of qualified workers.
Zenoby bought new machines, enlarged his workforce and equipped itself with advanced tools, to allow, most of all, quantitatively greater productions; but the development of quantity wasn't accomplished at the expense of quality.
Hands remained the most important tool for the production of Zenobi's shoes.
Thanks to major investments were born the first Zenobi Collections Zenobi. Their great success and the achievement of the footwear industry was necessary intake of new skilled workers and new machines.
Progressively the concept of beauty and the aesthetic taste emerged together with the concept of quality and utility. The Zenobi's shoes were being enriched with decorations and details that embellished them and had the goal to distinguish them from other manufactures, more or less known, that the market offered in those years.
Zenobi's artisan production was therefore establishing itself, not only for the quality of hides and manufacturing, but also for the care of details and for the aesthetic stratagems that, at the same time, enhanced the beauty of the artifact and attested its high artisan content.
Also the making of absolutely unique exclusive colorings, carried out through hand plugging, places itself in this aesthetic development of Zenobi's product. The shoes, intended as a leading element of male elegance, had to find the right combination with the suit worn and to mach itself with another accessory of common use, the belt.
In the meantime, the new company had to face important financial efforts, necessary to support the investments made.
The dimensional jump had demanded, in fact, new and bigger spaces.
Unfortunately after a few years, when the program of investments started by Zenobi and Wang wasn't finished yet, Wang fell ill seriously and passed away prematurely after few weeks. Alfonso Zenobi, now alone, without the support of his old friend, the one who managed to set off his creative gift and his manual ability, found himself in big difficulties in running an activity, now remarkably grown both from the commercial point of view and, most of all, in terms of financial effort. So the tireless craftsman, in order to not dissipate the corporate assets, built over the years, eased the entry of new investors, with the promise to keep alive both the Zenobi know how and his conception of style.
Nowadays the Zenobi brand is known and esteemed in the main worldwide markets and, in particular, in those countries who appreciate the most high quality shoes, such as Japan, Europe and China.
Zenobi, keeping his origins and the obsessive search for quality, ranks in the very first places on the market, awarding both the memory of his founder and the effort of those who worked on this project.
The Zenobi shoes keep offering themselves as a luxury product, meant for a very demanding, elite client, who seeks in the shoes distinctive marks too. For the next future Zenobi announces changes that, on one hand, will involve the distribution of the product, with the opening of exclusive stores, and, on the other, will involve the productive area with the beginning of controlled manufacture.
We thank all the clients who buy Zenobi's products, since because of them it will be possible for us to keep the values of this tradition alive.
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