nonnative × GUIDI
CENTER ZIP BOOTS “BIG DADDY"
A look at GUIDI, the revered leather and shoe brand from Tuscany
The exclusive collaborative boots with nonnative are released on Saturday, June 11
Among the many high end brands to come out of Italy, GUIDI retains a rare sense of true artistry. The entire manufacturing process and unique aesthetic is shaped by their passion for preserving an artisanal way of production. So who are GUIDI and what makes them special?
GUIDI was founded as a leather tannery named GUIDI & ROSELLINI in the scenic town of Pescia, Tuscany in 1896. This region of Italy is home to many skilled craftsmen and is famous for its art of leather tanning and shoemaking dating all the way back to the Middle Ages.
The family-owned business is now headed by descendent Ruggero Guidi, who has produced exquisite leathers for fashion houses and designers all over the world.
Parallel to his work in leather production, Guidi developed a personal hobby of collecting old hiking boots. Fascinated by their history and structure, Guidi started to experiment by recreating these boots using his own leathers, combining traditional manufacturing methods with new technologies. The tannery expanded their products to include handcrafted, artisanal shoes in the early 2000’s.
There are countless high quality tanneries and leather brands in the world, all with their own unique history, methods and products. We take a look inside their tannery in Tuscany.
Textures that change over time
Leather before dyeing is called "Concia Bianca"
In contrast to the typical image of shiny, formal Italian leather shoes, GUIDI’s shoes are characterized by their distinctive, lived-in quality. The original “object-dyeing” technique means that the whole shoe is assembled from natural brown, oil-tanned leather or off-white, vegetable-tanned leather, before being placed in a drum where they are tumbled and dyed as a whole.
In conventional shoe-making, the leather parts are dyed first, resulting in a difference in color between the leather upper and the sole. The object-dyeing process not only produces a uniform color but also the unique soft, textured finish, which adapts to the wearer’s feet over time.
Sewing the uppers
Another important aspect to GUIDI’s shoes are the lasts - the wooden molds that form its unique shape.
Almost every shoemaker’s lasts are a closely guarded secret, it takes a lot of time and effort to determine exactly how the shoe will look and fit, and in turn, how comfortable they are to wear.
GUIDI handles the entire shoe-making process from start to finish, which ensures the high quality of each and every item. From the first cut of leather to the final three-dimensional shape being formed takes around two hours. Each step is overseen by more than ten craftsmen working by hand and machine.
The edge of the upper is sanded down, to be bonded to the outsole
Creating products that last for decades
Part of the Goodyear welt construction process
GUIDI shoes don’t come cheap, but can be worn for decades if properly cared for. The Goodyear welt construction means that the sole of the shoe can be easily replaced if they become worn down.
Although many shoemakers have resorted to using ready-made heel blocks, GUIDI still employs the traditional method of layering thick pieces of leather with glue and nailing together, to create classic stacked heels for every shoe.
GUIDI does not operate its own stores. Instead it builds relationships with and delivers to select stores around the world, sustaining the prestigious brand they have crafted. The authentic, heartfelt and painstaking production process and resulting end product is unmatched, and has captured the hearts of shoe lovers around the world.
The authentic, heartfelt and painstaking production process and resulting end product is unmatched, and has captured the hearts of shoe lovers around the world.
nonnative × GUIDI
CENTER ZIP BOOTS
“BIG DADDY" HORSE LEATHER
This marks the second time that nonnative have collaborated with GUIDI on the BIG DADDY model, named in reference to its silhouette which evokes the image of a child wearing their father’s shoes.
Characterized by their large round toe and voluminous forefoot, this version also features a Norwegian welt construction with increased water resistance and chunky VIBRAM soles, adding robustness and durability.
The reverse-side horse leather upper offers a coarser suede than that of cow leather, which adds to the boot’s rugged, casual image. The boots are offered in nonnative original GRAY and SAND hues.
Released exclusively on COVERCHORD and at vendor on Saturday, June 11.
nonnative × GUIDI
CENTER ZIP BOOTS “BIG DADDY" HORSE LEATHER