Last Thursday, I had another interesting trip with Luciana from CNA (artisans' association) in Fermo. This time, we visited Bruno Parmigiani who began making shoes for men under his home in 1976. Until 2000, Signore Parmigiani made shoes for others and didn't have a brand himself. That changed when his daughter, Monia and her husband, Andrea (selected, so Monia tells me, because of his interest in making shoes...!!), took over the business (now called Calzaturificio Termical) from her father and made his name the brand - "Bruno Parmigiani".
The business now has it's own premises across the road from Signore Parmigiani's home. Although machines are used to stitch, glue, cut the leather soles, etc, the shoes are virtually hand-made as there is always someone (Andrea or his father-in-law Bruno) carrying out the various tasks at the machines, one shoe at a time.
Andrea tells me everything is used and/or recycled. The form (which used to be wooden) is made in plastic to their design specifications. Later, when the style is no longer made, the plastic forms are sent back to the manufacturer where they are melted down to make new ones. Even the heels are made from compressed leather that has been shaved off the soles.
They make about 100 pairs of shoes per day - 99% mens' shoes although they have recently introduced a casual moccasin for women in suede. The shoes cost €75 - €85, are all leather and very elegant. If they don't have a client's size, they will make them within a week and send them to the client.