During Pitti Uomo week, I had the amazing opportunity to attend some Fashion Seminars that focused their topics upon Bespoke Fashions in Italy, specifically Florence. The Seminars were put on by Palazzo Tornabuoni, in cooperation with a close family friend, Natasha Garland.
The First seminar was a coffee and introductory talk with Inger Christoffersen. Inger was this amazing woman who is vice President and Managing Director of Macy’s overseas buying offices. She is also now a professor at Polimoda (amazing school in Florence that would be the only grad school I’d attend).
Here is the short Bio about Inger in our Bespoke Seminar Packet:
"A professor with the graduate programs of the Fashion Institute of Technology and Polimoda in Florence, Inger brings her thirty-seven years of retail experience as vice president and managing director of Macy's overseas buying offices to offer a unique global perspective of the fashion industries trends and the role of Bespoke fashion in today's economic climate."
Secondly, our group was able to attend an Artisan Studio of Saskia Wittimer. Saskia is the owner or ‘Made To Measure Shoes with Saskia’, which is this incredibly little company she started. This company is one of the best custom-made shoe shops in Italy.
Saskia has had about 300 customers since she opened about ten years ago, but majority being people of royalty or high statuses from around the world. Depending on the pair of shoes, it takes several months to construct, but well worth the wait.
Here is the short Bio about Saskia in our Bespoke Seminar Packet:
" Saskia Wittmer was born in Berlin and after having attended Steiner schools, she decided to pursue her childhood dream. It was a dream that had her gazing in shoemakers' windows rather than playing with dolls. She learned the trade from a master shoemaker in the Hamburg countryside; then she moved to Florence where she worked for a craftsman, learning the secrets of the trade, for three years. Now with her own shop, Saskia designs, cuts and stitches shoes, mainly for men, but also for women - especially fabric shoes to match dresses or moccasins. She uses the finest skins and materials (calf, kid, kangaroo, ostrich, alligator, elephants, shark, camel, perch and tripe) that she selects herself. Each pair of shoes is different, made to match the client's personality and destined to last for a long time- comfortable, beautiful and above all, unique."
Here are some photos I was able to take while attending Saskia’s shop: