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Discover Barbanera

We would forgive you if you cringed a bit upon hearing that there’s a new Italian shoe brand named after a pirate. But hang in there. The ugly swashbuckling styles you are bracing yourself against will not appear. Instead Barbanera (Italian for “Blackbeard”) presents a tasteful collection of Italian-made shoes with a heavy English influence.

The company is the product of two pairs of brothers. Frontman Sergio Guardì says that his style icons are Blackbeard and Beau Brummell. In most Barbanera shoe designs, it’s Brummellian influence that wins out.

Most Italian shoes are constructed using Blake stitching, on elongated, pointy lasts. They look aggressive but a bit dainty. Like a shoe that might start a fight and then run away from it before things get too dangerous. Barbanera instead uses Goodyear welting, which is the English standard, and soft rounded lasts. Along with classic wingtip and cap-toe models, they also make rock-n-roll-ready boots that John Varvatos would be proud to have designed if he weren’t busy making car commercials these days.

Barbanera’s Tuscan factory turns out a fine English shoe, with a bit of an outlaw soul hidden underneath the surface. We are happy to bring Barbanera back to North American shores, on assurances that their stay here will be more peaceful than their namesake’s.

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