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The Gommini dates back to the late 1970s, at about the same time Tod’s was founded. Diego Della Valle, a third generation shoemaker, left a career in law to help his father manage his shoe manufacturing company. When Gianni Agnelli, a primary shareholder of Fiat and a notorious playboy, wanted a pair of shoes, Della Valle designed the world’s softest, most luxurious driving moccasin with 133 rubber pebbles on the sole. Gianni Agnelli, being voted by Esquire as one of the five best-dressed men in the history of the world, wore it everywhere, and the rest was, well, history.
Diego Della Valle
The original Gommini moccasins from luxury label, Tod’s, have the trademark 133 rubber beads on the sole, each bead sewn onto the leather sole by hand. This also means that once the beads are worn out, resoling is not an option. All the leather pieces on Gommini moccasins are hand cut, sewn and finally polished by hand to obtain that famous sheen in Italy by skilled artisans.
The ‘Gommini’ (roughly translated into ‘little bits of rubber’) became the most coveted shoes by Italy’s elite, for both men and women. Even as a major luxury label, Della Valle still retains values of generations of fine craftsmanship. Till this day, the famous moccasin is still made with same intricacies as it was 35 years ago.