A focus on leather and classic craftsmanship gives one collection an understated, luxurious look.
IT was during my trip to Florence in 2006 that I bought my first pair of Tod’s shoes, in black and made of calf leather, at its boutique in Via de’ Tornabuoni. I wore it to the end of its day.
It was one of the most comfortable shoes I had worn and that’s where Tod’s strength lies. This Italian luxury label is known for its footwear and its Gommino is stll considered by many as a great driving shoe, although it might not last that long if you wear it on rough, uneven surfaces daily.
Tod’s story began in the early 1900s when Filippo Della Valle founded a small shoe factory. But it was in the 1970s when his grandson, Diego, took over the family business and turned it into an industrial company that Tod’s started making its name as a top footwear brand.
Today, Tod’s SpA is the operating holding of a Group with Tod’s, Hogan, Fay and Roger Vivier. And while the company has gone to produce ready-to-wear, its aesthetics follow its footwear: practical, luxurious and simple.
ODE TO LEATHER
For Spring/Summer 2020, the brand presents the classic modernity of clean lines with high-quality materials made by artisans who create cosmopolitan products.
Leather takes centre stage, and is tie-dyed or cut into cascades of sequins. Pony skin is woven into macrame and pleats are created soft like satin. Blouson jackets are sharply structured and cosy overcoats come in leather. There are touches of zebra print, which add a dash of vibrant eccentricity to the collection.
The palette juxtaposes natural leather hues against graphic black and white, softened by muted pastels or given definition by accents of bright colours.
In short, the clothes resonate the styles of its footwear and even if total looks are hard to carry — one can’t wear leather every day, especially in a tropical country — the looks are streamlined and beautiful, with neither frills nor drama.
IN THE SHOE
The focus for accessories is on the art of saddlery. San Crispino stitching, the kind that is often used on desert boots, accentuates the tapered silhouette of kitten heel slingbacks and slip-ons.
Round-toe loafers in metallic leather and zebra-print pony skin reconfirm one of the brand’s signature designs.
The iconic letter T, taken from the Tod’s archives, is featured throughout the collection. It appears on fastenings of handbags, driving shoes and buckles; emphasising and giving character to the Tod’s brand. The new T, the brand says, stands for Tod’s, tradition, talent and time, which are the expression of contemporary individuality.
Since it started, Tod’s has stood for Italian craftsmanship, one that’s understated and excellent. This experimentation is intrinsic to the Italian way of doing thingsand shapes the future with tradition, whether in arts, crafts, cinema or costume design. And when it comes to fashion, Tod’s remains an Italian icon.