How we love a capsule collection here at Wallpaper*. Give us half a chance and we’ll be on a sartorial mission to edit, update, distil and colourmatch our wardrobe, upping quality and minimising quantity until we arrive at the perfect tone-and-texture reduction of versatile shoes, suits, undergarments, shirts and trousers. So we jumped at the offer to team up with Italian cobbler Alberto Guardiani to create our own capsule foot wear collection, marking 30 years of the brand’s menswear range.
The company was founded in 1947 by cousins Luigi and Dino Guardiani, with second generation Alberto launching his brand and first men’s shoe collection in 1981. The marque, which strikes a perfect balance of traditional manufacturing and classic lines with contemporary styling, innovative materials and fashionable details, now has boutiques around the world – in Milan, Naples, Rome, Capri, Budapest, Doha, Dubai, Moscow and Riga.
To respect the heritage, craft and design ethic of this international brand, and to make sure our shoe project never felt pedestrian, we avoided just pinging over a few sketches to Italy, instead asking Wallpaper* fashion director Sébastien Clivaz to exploit his contacts book.
Clivaz signed up London tailor Thom Sweeney; Swiss technical fabrics outfit textiles.com/" target="_blank">Schoeller; and graphic designers Revenge is Sweet to collaborate on the project. And our spring/summer 2012 capsule collection slowly came to life. It comprises two stylish designs, a lace-up and a suede/canvas loafer, each available in green, blue or black. The shoes deftly merge traditional cobbling values and modernity, thanks to the use of resilient, water-repellent materials and the bold graphic identity of the shoeboxes. Certainly, the crowd at Florence’s Pitti Uomo trade fair seemed impressed when we launched the collection last year.
Now Alberto Guardiani Wallpaper* shoes are available to buy online at AlbertoGuardiani.com and TheCorner.com and also in a number of stores worldwide, including Colette in Paris, Selfridges in London and The Swank in Hong Kong.
Which pair should you buy? Well, if you count yourself a true capsulista, the answer is, of course, all of them.