A Living
legacy

bag in the shadows

CRAFT AND CREATIVITY

It has been more than 120 years since Alessandro Berluti put his name on the House’s first pair of shoes. From the very beginning, Berluti has stood apart through its unique combination of technical skill and creative flair, firmly grounded in bespoke know-how. And although some things have changed with the times, that artisan spirit remains the same. For every new chapter in the history of Berluti, we continue to challenge the boundaries of craftsmanship and to transform the rules of style.
shoes in the shadows
THE ALESSANDRO SHOE
In 1895, Alessandro Berluti sculptured the shoe that would come to mark the starting point of Berluti: the Alessandro shoe. This lace-up dress shoe is cut from a single piece of leather with no visible stitching — an approach that demands skins without even the slightest of imperfections. The result is a shoe that fits with unmatched comfort and longer lasting leather. The understated elegance of the Alessandroshoe continues to capture the attention of new generations. Through the years the House has made several reinterpretations, making the Alessandro an emblematic shoe and the purest expression of Berluti style and craftsmanship.
pair of shoes

A MODERN MASTERPIECE

Before becoming the world’s most acclaimed pop artist, Andy Warhol was a successful commercial illustrator, celebrated for his advertisements for shoe brands. Privately, Warhol had a fascination with feet and shoes, an obsession that continued to influence him throughout his career. Therefore, it came as no big surprise, when Warhol stepped into Berluti in 1962 to order a pair of bespoke loafers. The task of bringing Warhol's sketch to life fell on the young Olga Berluti.Her creation, with radical and unconventional lines, thrilled Warhol.

Olga had also picked leather that contained a visible flaw, and she told the artist the hide had belonged to a particularly defiant cow that loved to rub against the barbed wire fence. The shoes truly captured the rebellious personality of the artist who declared that from now on he only wanted leather from defiant animals. Today, the Andy loafer is an icon and a House classic in our Permanent Collection. It sums up the collaborative spirit between Berluti and our customers: you are the artist, and we provide the craft to bring your vision to life.
colours mix

TRUE COLOURS

According to traditional etiquette, one is not supposed to wear brown shoes after 6 o'clock in the evening – but black ones. But what about yellow, purple or green? In 1980s, Olga Berluti defied the colour rule by inventing the Berluti patina.



No longer were men confined to black or brown. Berluti introduced shoes in a wide array of colours, a style feature that has been a House trademark ever since. Produced by hand by expert colourists and replete with essential oils, the technique gives the shoes distinctive colours, vibrant with life. The patinas also add a distressed appearance, creating an impression of leather that has evolved with time.



Discover more

crocodile skin
Naturally, Berluti also offer patinated bags, belts, and accessories.
Exceptional leather

LEATHER LIKE NO OTHER

The key to the unique patinas of Berluti is Venezia leather. This exclusive material owes its existence to the genius of Olga Berluti who first developed it using natural and mineral tanning. This process results in supple leather that makes it possible to bring forth colours of unusual depth. Apart from Venezia leather, bespoke and special order options of ostrich, alligator, shark, lizard and shagreen are available for our customers. All rare leathers are selected according to strict rules for preservation of the species.
Master examines leather
Patinated Venezia leather is a House innovation that gives distinct life to Berluti shoes and leather goods. Each piece becomes unique through its colour, reflecting the personality of the owner.
Venezia leather bag

VENEZIA LEATHER

But producing patinas that gleam like Japanese lacquer required a suitable base. Olga Berluti also deserves credit for inventing Venezia leather, a leather so supple and fine that it permits all kinds of creative audacity. Its special tanning, exclusively developed by Berluti, gives a shoe a particular flexibility and adhesion. It is a full-grain, uncoated leather made from select skins of exceptional quality. The shoes are cut from the noblest sections of the leather, eliminating all defects.
Alessandro Berluti

ALESSANDRO BERLUTI

The Founder (1865)
1865

Alessandro Berluti was born in 1865 in Senigallia, a small village in the Marches in Italy. At age 19 he left his home to seek his fortune abroad and ended up in Paris. As the 19th century drew to a close, the French capital was transforming itself, embracing the future with open arms.

Alessandro worked as a bootmaker for ten years, making bespoke shoes for clients such as Isadora Duncan, Elizabeth Arden and Helena Rubenstein. His keen eye for shape and passion for working with wooden lasts earned him a reputation as a talented bootmaker. In 1895, he used his skill to create the whole cut Alessandro shoe, marking the beginning of the House of Berluti.

Torello Berluti

Torello Berluti

The Entrepreneur (1915)
1915

In 1922, with the Roaring Twenties gathering speed, Torello Berluti enthusiastically plunged himself into the craft of bootmaking. From his father Alessandro, Torello inherited the taste for perfection. With an aesthetic eye and a profound love of shoes, he approached his work with the sensitivity of a sculptor.

Before long, Torello's bespoke shoes were synonymous with elegance and modernity. Torello opened the first Berluti workshop-boutique on Rue du Mont-Thabor in 1928, later relocating to 26, Rue Marbeuf, near the Champs-Élysées.

Talbinio Berluti

Talbinio Berluti

The Innovator (1964)
1964

Talbinio began to learn the family trade at the age of 14, at the same time that he embarked on his architectural education. He worked with his father and helped modernize the House. As a young man born in the post-war period, he was driven by an urge to change and innovate and to give Berluti an international dimension.

In 1959, Talbinio launched the first Berluti ready-to-wear shoe collection, opening the door to a younger and more contemporary audience. “The spirit of the House lies in the craftsman’s respect and the artist’s disobedience.”

Olga Berluti

Olga Berluti

The Artist (1968)
1968

Since the 1960s, Olga Berluti has added innovation and artistic flair to the House. With her youthful vitality she helped transform the shop into a creative drawing room where clients could enjoy conversation in good company – Jacques Lacan would chance upon Roman Polanski and Yves Saint Laurent, Pierre Bergé and Karl Lagerfeld.

In the 1980s, she developed Venezia leather and the Berluti patina, introducing colour in the world of men’s shoes. In collaboration with Andy Warhol, Olga designed the Andy Loafer, an iconic Berluti shoe with a fixed place in the Permanent House Collection.

Venezia leather bag

I don’t want to make men
beautiful or handsome,
I want to
create
attitude.

Haider Ackermann

The show of the Fall/Winter 2017 Collection marked a new chapter of the Berluti story, with the new creative director Haider Ackermann behind the creations. His vision with the first collection is to reintroduce the notion of "nonchalance" to superb-quality clothing for men. Because he loves living clothes, and by that he means clothes worn by someone who cares to make them his own. The Fall/Winter 2017 Collection is comprised of signature pieces where luxury resides in the smallest details, in the extreme quality of materials and in the contrast of vibrant and profound colors.
CREDIT: MARK ABRAHAMS