Italian panache and quality runs through the new Nico Zappiello collection as the designer continues to take inspiration from the passage of time
Article by Rupert Watkins
Having founded his own shoe brand in 2018, Nico Zappiello is bringing all his decades of experience in shoe making to his latest collection. Looking to bring the best of Italian artisanship and leather working heritage to the US, Nico’s 2019 collection builds on the success of his initial shoes, expanding the range in a more casual direction.
The latest collection sees both a Chelsea and a desert boot added to the Nico Zappiello range, he has seen suede become a very popular option over the past year. One of Nico’s earliest designs, the low cut Ritmo Chelsea boot proved to be a big seller and is now with his latest collection available in suede, “it was a very classic shape on the foot but it also bought something a little different to the market” he remarks, “in my latest collection I wanted to build on this idea of giving a little twist to the classics.” Reaching back to into Italian history, the detailing in his latest Meridian boots and Presto sneakers is inspired by the gladiators of ancient Rome – there is certainly something rather Game of Thrones about the stitching and heel on the Meridian boot. The crust leather on the Presto sneakers is also hand painted, making each pair slightly different and adding an artisan flourish to a casual weekend shoe. The further trend – even in office wear – to less formal dress is clear as Nico Zappiello increases its loafer offering.
Finding the fine line between comfort and elegance is tricky, though the shoes are made in Italy, Nico has used his detailed knowledge of the US market to refine the lasts he uses, working closely with his three workshops in Tuscany. For all his shoes he also uses softer leather than can be broken in easily and quickly adapts to the customer’s feet.
With his love of history and architecture, Nico has always been keen to create shoes that stand the test of time; indeed this passion in the passage of time is reflected in many of the names Nico Zappiello models carry such as Presto, Meridian, Crono or Tempo, “I want to make shoes that are worth investing in, taking the time over and caring for” he remarks, “a good shoe is timeless.”
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Whilst Nico’s leather uppers trainers have hardwearing rubber soles, his other more formal shoes and boots continue to use blake stitched soles – easy to break in but when made with high quality Tuscan leather, hard wearing. Currently, Nico Zappiello lifetime resoling – where the shoe is sent back to Italy to be repairs and renovated on its original last – is only available for Nico’s existing top line Timeless model of shoes.
There’s little doubt menswear is changing – both in and out of the office – earlier in March (2019) Goldman Sachs announced a loosening of its dress code. With men also increasing prepared to consider more colour there is a balance to be struck between comfort, elegance and individuality. The Nico Zappiello latest collection is a stylish way to bring a little Italian quality and flair into your wardrobe.