My name is Tommaso Melani. I’m CEO and founder of the company that carries the name of Stefano Bemer, the unpaired Florentine shoemaker. After his inauspicious passing in 2012, with the support of my family business (Scuola del Cuoio, established by my grandfather in 1950 inside the Monastery of Santa Croce and specialized in the production of handmade leather bags), I have taken over the guidance of the brand with a precise idea and strategy: empower the capacity of production of the bespoke service, create a training program and revert the virtues of the bespoke service into a state of the art Ready to Wear. This is our (developing) story.
Stefano Bemer started his company in 1983 with a goal no less ambitious than creating the perfect Italian shoe. Through his curiosity, he taught himself the infinite variations of shoemaking by repairing shoes at first, attending courses and workshops and then mastering his own technique in the way it’s recognized and appreciated today. Thanks to Stefano’s commitment, the brand name has been more and more associated with the highest standard of Italian elegance and quality and, nowadays, stands as a synonymous of both style and refinement.
Although many would say that his story is an example of accomplishment, for us this is just the beginning. It’s no secret that Stefano trained Daniel Day Lewis to the art of shoemaking for ten months in his workshop. But what many failed to learn about it was what brought them together (and what made me decide to step up and make an offer to continue Stefano’s (ad)venture): perfectionism.
DD Lewis and Stefano shared the same passion for their respective forms of art: one would not play a role but rather “become” his character; the other would not make shoes but rather give stuff and matter to his ideas. If you have seen the former acting and the later making shoes, you know what I am talking about. It would have been a shame if Stefano’s large inheritance of designs, styles, original construction techniques and ideas, as well as the team of super talented craftsmen that he had selected and trained during the last 15 years of his career, would have been dispersed or, even worse, turned into a merely commercial venture.
In late September 2012, few months after Stefano’s passing, I met Cristina, his companion and actual associate designer at Stefano Bemer, and I explained the vision I had, made of training, finest bespoke shoemaking, unparalleled Made to Order and Ready to Wear perfect creations, and she believed in it! I then selected an old chapel to house all of our operations (speaking of sharing a vision: it turned out that Stefano himself had tried to find an agreement for the same exact building a few years before…) and, since then, we have been working towards new achievements.