Late in the 19th century, tucked away among the rolling hills of Tuscany, Guido Guidi opened a tannery under his own name with the intent of providing the highest quality leather possible. The tannery established itself by producing an array of leather goods including bags and accessories. Through their rigorous, multi-day process of procuring and cleaning hides, followed by an equally intense process of tanning, dyeing, and drying it, Guidi’s products eventually defined a new benchmark for leather goods. Accordingly, it wasn’t long before they became the go-to supplier of leather for fashion houses like Margiela and Prada.
As successful as Guidi has been as a supplier, that’s not what they are best known for. Today, the name Guidi is synonymous with high quality footwear (a product they didn’t begin offering until 2004). The business, which has been passed on through the Guidi family, is now operated by Ruggero Guidi. Ruggero, who has become obsessed with the shoemaking process, stumbled across the idea of using his family’s leather for shoes after observing the tacit beauty of worn down, heavily used shoes and boots. In fact, antiquated footwear has served as the inspiration for the brand’s method of object dyeing, meaning that they dye the product as a whole after it has been assembled rather than before. This ensures that the soles, threadings, and upper of the shoe, assembled completely by hand, all coalesce into a seamless final product.
Although Guidi’s silhouettes have not changed much since their inception, the brand continues to experiment with their production process to give their customers a reason to come back. For example, Guidi has done away with using plain dye and has instead turned to vegetable-based dyes that give each piece an earthy finish. As today’s consumers turn towards high quality and sustainability, Guidi will only become more prevalent in the discussion of high luxury footwear.
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