Hard to believe it’s been a year and a half since Michael Toschi first mentioned a very exclusive project he would be undertaking to both celebrate and preserve the art of the handmade shoe. Now, Michael Toschi is not the only shoemaker in the world offering a benchmade shoe, but as a shoe company first, they see firsthand the true artisan shoemaker slowly fading from the landscape in favor of machines.
The project was called "Vecchia Mano" which, in Italian, literally means "old hand". We wrote about the launch of the program last January, but never published photos (we have iPhone photos of every model but have not shared them for fear of reprisals from angry Italians [we base that stereotype solely on movies we’ve seen]).
The shoes have been available for purchase solely through invitation-only events hosted by Toschi’s top retailers. They retail for $1,600-$2,500, and having owned 2 pair now, the biggest problem with them is that they are so nice, I am afraid to wear them if I know I will be walking on anything other than carpet or rose petals.
The pair above are from the Venezia line (our favorite due to the contrasting soles & stitching), and they are a gift to our top Michael Toschi shoe customer. Toschi’s biggest fans are a small, but growing, group of aficionados that include former & current Presidents of foreign nations, music moguls, and professional athletes. These happen to be a size 15 for a future baseball Hall-of-Famer, and we hope he will wear them to his induction. Who is the lucky guy? We’re gentlemen…we would never kiss-&-tell.