Italy has long held its reputation as being amongst the greatest producers of footwear and is oft argued to be the best. It is in Italy, that Alessio recently formed his alliance with an artisan who strives to preserve the old world methods. A process of shoe making that is diminishing to the point of extinction and may soon be forever a thing of the past. X has refined distinct signature techniques over the years. If he does not find an apprentice, his legacy will be limited to his body of work. A body of work providing a view, a reflection, of a master who has honed his skills and developed unique methods of unmatched construction, which can be seen in (but not limited to) Carpe Diem, M.A+ and now in Layer-0.
We were fortunate to have our production fall in a window, where he was able to focus on fabrication, without the annoyance of an imposed deadline. Free from the burden of such concerns, we see an elevated methodology. Though every article he produces is executed with absolute attention to detail and a pouring of his heart into the pieces; there is something special to be seen when passion is unadulterated by any given unknown in an equation, which converts the process of love into labor. In his quest for efficiency in the process of hand making shoes, this craftsman has been known to sit with a hammer and a mouth full of nails. The danger of swallowing the steel spikes is imminent. It has happened before he says passively whilst producing the next nail from between his lips. It is this type of mad dedication that wins my respect. He goes on to the threading. The hairs of wild boars are bound by hand producing short threads, which are then individually knotted together, one after another until enough to bind the upper to the soles is produced. It is this abysmal affection for his calling that wins my adoration.
Now in Layer-0, we see a new last and the stalwart hand applied to the rugged designs of Alessio Zero. The last from which the shoes are constructed is reminiscent of the work of Altieri. The leather for the toecap soaked, molded, pleated, trimmed and secured in a procedure of restrained increment: resulting in a rigid toe box without the aid of plastics or metals. A familiar elegance is manifest in Alessio’s expressly robust design sensibility and it is a noteworthy marriage. Alessio has also taken post production treatments to a new level (i.e. heavy application of liquid film along sole and upper baseline, which provides a beautiful effect that frays away with wear). Below is the exemplary selection of footwear we received, boasting the evolved silhouette of Layer-0 footwear including offerings in exclusive leathers.
•White canvas over leather 1.6 ankle boot. Also available in black canvas over leather•
•Reverse calf 1.6 ankle boot•
•Horween crackled horse 1.6 boot•
•Guidi heavy pig leather 2.0 derby•
•Guidi smooth calf leather band derby. Available in red/brown (shown) and green/grey•