Giovanni is born and bred in Milan, and still spends most of his time there. We caught up with him on his return from Paris, where he worked as a Human Rights Advocate, pursuing his career in Emergency Education. During his trips back and forth overseas, Giovanni often takes his Velasca shoes with him ― he owns three pairs at the moment ― and he is one of our oldest customers. He was there for the first weeks when we started the company. His life goal is to do field work for a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO).
Hi Giovanni, why Velasca?
I’m always on the lookout for high-quality, handmade, and reasonably priced shoes. Shoes that aren’t extraneously classy and fit my style. I’m kind of an alternative person when it comes to clothes. I need youthful, classic shoes. Velasca is also great because I can buy the shoes online–which was handy when I was living between Oslo and Paris for some time. Super cool.
Is word of mouth helping to spread Velasca?
Once I was at dinner with family friends and unprompted someone brought up Velasca at the table. I knew Velasca from the very beginning and have been very close to the brand. In Milan, Velasca’s name is getting around more and more.
How would you describe Velasca style in a sentence?
Alternatively traditional. An homage to classic style to suit both businessmen and more sporty dudes.
What’s the last book you read?
I’ve just started reading ‘I racconti’ by Julio Cortázar, a South American author.
Where will you go this summer?
To Tuscany, both the hills and seaside. I imagine myself camping or traveling around in an old van, pursuing the local wineries.
Where do you wear your Velasca shoes?
From shopping at the supermarket, to just popping around the corner to work in the morning. I can wear them pretty much anywhere. When I was working in Paris, I constantly received compliments on my Velasca shoes.
How do you match them with your clothing?
In contrast to many fashion-conscious guys out there, I love matching blue trousers with black shoes. This works especially well if you have the right color socks to make the blue and black work together. Socks are super important. If you know how to wear them, you can match clothes that you’ve never thought of matching before, maybe even cuffing your pants a little bit. You can wear them either with a suit or with blue jeans.
What does living made in Italy mean in your everyday life?
Knowing that I’m wearing something entirely produced in Italy, by artisans’ hands and supporting an undervalued Italian tradition, is very meaningful to me personally. I’m super proud of having Velasca shoes because I share the same values as the company. Plus, I know the shoes are high guilty; they won’t break down tomorrow morning or something.
What new Velasca shoes would you like to own?
A brown Oxford with laces of different colors. I already have a Derby and a Ganassa. With those I could complete my personal collection.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
Doing fieldwork in a developing country, guaranteeing the right to an education for everyone.
Photos by Velasca