Lead designer Michele Torresi on his time with Pantofola d’Oro, the value of teamwork, and protecting the brand’s heritage
Every day our team is hard at work creating new designs to add to the Pantofola d’Oro collection. The main challenge? We want to protect our heritage and reference our archives, but we also want to bring new features and details into our products.
Michele Torresi has been working for us for over 5 years. As a lifelong fan of the brand, Michele’s job is to keep developing Pantofola d’Oro’s story. Now, we’re finding out his.
What did you do before joining Pantofola d’Oro?
I've been a shoe designer since 2001. Ever since I started, I knew that I wanted to work with footwear brands and companies that had a history, who valued quality, and that I respected. So before joining Pantofola d'Oro, I worked with Santoni, Fabi, G-Star, Lotto, Merrell, Tod’s Ferrari, and Versace Collection. These companies had a strong team culture as well - which is something that I view as an essential aspect of work.
So as lead designer for Pantofola d’Oro, you’re part of a team. Why is that important?
We need to be a close team because if we don’t feel like a family, we aren’t able to put so much love and care into our shoes. I think that our balanced approach to work, research and having fun together comes out in our products. And it also helps us to keep the feeling that we’re still an artisan company based in a small town in Italy.
You’ve designed a lot of new football boots since you joined Pantofola d’Oro. Can you tell us a bit more about how you take an idea that you have in your head, and turn it into a real football boot?
When I’ve had the design approved, the team in our factory make a wooden mold and then we create a first prototype. The prototype is reviewed by Fabio, our production manager. Together, we'll go through every design in detail and we usually make a couple of versions before the final sample.
Because our office is right next to our factory, we can create a new shoe in as little as one to two weeks. Although that’s when we’re using an existing outsole. When we’re designing a completely new football boot upper and sole construction, we’ll take several months, and get everything perfect. Such as the Superleggera Leather Football Boot - which is now a signature boot in our collection.
What makes Pantofola d’Oro such a special brand?
We’re a special brand thanks to our history and our team. Our small team is proud of having a rich heritage, and the fact that our shoes have been worn by some of the greatest footballers of all time.
We pride ourselves on the skills and excellence of our master craftsmen who are still using the same handcrafting techniques that we used back in 1886, when our factory first opened.
I think that our customers find Pantofola d'Oro special because they share our passion for celebrating football’s history and our values around quality craftsmanship and attention to detail.
I’ve had customers tell me how much they love the smell of our real Italian leather, and how we blend heritage styles with modern technologies. They tell me that they love how our shoes are lightweight and durable.
What’s next for Pantofola d’Oro?
We’ll continue seeking inspiration from our archives, researching modern fashion and sports shoes, and developing new styles to keep developing our range of products in a way that ensures we’re protecting the distinctive look and feel of the Pantofola d’Oro brand.
In 2020, keep your eyes open for more women’s fashion shoes, shoes made from organic canvas, and even slip-on leather sneakers. In the near future, we’ll also be trying other materials - including fabrics made from recycled plastic.