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Tod's Gommino shoe, an icon celebrated in Hong Kong

A well-made shoe that is beautiful and comfortable, and how it became popular all over the world

Tod's Gommino shoe, an icon celebrated in Hong Kong

Claudia Astarita

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Not many people are aware that the Italian fashion house Tod's has taken inspiration from the driving shoes in the 1950s to create the popular Gommino shoe.

As recently reminded in an interesting piece published by the Hong Kong daily South China Morning Post, Tod's President and CEO Diego Della Valle's "initial thought was that people needed a well-made shoe that was as beautiful as it was comfortable, one that could be worn for casual, refined and professional settings alike. He developed a concept that eventually evolved into the shoe we know and love today, with its trademark 133 rubber pebbles".

Considering the popularity of the Gommino model, the South China Morning Post decided to investigate on how this landmark shoe is made. What they learnt is that "each Tod's shoe can require up to 35 pieces of leather", which are meticulously hand-cut into specific patterns to get ready for being assembled.

Once this process is completed, artisans create the holes that will later feature the Gommino's iconic pebbles. Pebbles are usually 133 and they have the same colour of the chosen leather. What is new today is that models have been updated and can be available "in a range of materials and colours, with differing details that nevertheless confirm to the signature design".

Once the entire shoe is crafted from hand, time become ripe for "cutting, stitching or polishing - ensuring that each part of the finished product is as perfect as possible".

On completion, concludes the South China Morning Post, "every single pair of shoes is inspected once more, and any shoe with the slightest flaw is rejected and discarded. The resulting Gommino moccasin enjoys its immense popularity for a reason - it's a design that is as comfortable as it's chic, available in editions that range from stylishly trendy to effortlessly timeless.

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