January 27, 2018


At Peter Nappi, it is of the utmost importance to us that every product that bears our name meets the highest possible quality standards. Our tradition of shoemaking stems from Italy, and with that comes Italian descriptors and jargon that may not be familiar to some of our clients (or digital passers-by!). Today we’re talking shop--read on to get familiar with our process!

A shot from our factory in Italy.



Made In Italy: To be fair, this seems self-explanatory at first glance. However, we want you to fully understand why we make our shoes in Italy. First and foremost because we started this brand to honor our heritage: Peter Nappi (the grandfather of our founder, Phillip) came to America as a shoemaker from Vietri de Potenza, Italy. His father and grandfather were shoemakers, as was his brother. Making shoes the Italian way is in our blood, and we intend to hold on to tradition as long as possible. In addition, the level of responsibility and quality we’ve found with our partner factories in Italy is, in our opinion and so far, unmatched. Quality is non-negotiable, but equally so is respectable, responsible treatment of the craftsmen and women who make our shoes. We have found the perfect mix of these requirements with our partners in Italy. 

Washed Leather: Washed leather shoes are processed in water before sewing to create a worn in, vintage look. There are no chemicals involved, just regular old water!  Washed leather develops a beautiful patina and forms to your feet with wear for the perfect fit. 

TIP: Washed styles naturally run small due to natural shrinkage of the leather during the washing process. We recommend sizing a full size up in these styles for maximum comfort!

Italian Lasts: The “last” is the structure around which we construct a shoe--you may have seen our collection of lasts if you’ve ever visited our Studio in Germantown. Good shoemaking is impossible without a good last, and Italian last makers are the best in the world. We use a few different lasts for our existing styles, so you'll notice the same fit across several styles.  

European Cut: Intentionally designed with a slim cut, to fit like a glove. Although styles will feel snug at first, the leather we use will conform exactly to your width, in-step, and subtle uniquenesses with wear. If you don’t quite have the patience to break in your shoes or boots, we completely understand--we offer complimentary stretching if more room is desired. Though we can adjust the width of the shoe with our stretchers, we cannot adjust the length.

Curled Toe: A nod to the past, the upturned toe is a design feature typical of Italian footwear. Though the flair looks dramatic while the shoe is on display, the shoe flattens on your feet and feels just the same as any other shoe due to the lightness and flexibility of our vero cuoio soles. This feature not only provides flexibility in the instep, but also helps the shoe break in more quickly.



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