It was a late spring day in 1945, and Venice had only recently been liberated. A young woman stepped elegantly from her gondola and hurried towards the Palazzo Dandolo. Sidestepping through the discreet entrance to the Danieli hotel, she sauntered expectedly up the 14th century staircase, but stumbled by a window overlooking the Grand Canal. Her velvet covered slippers fell from her feet, floating gracefully toward a marble column at the base of the stairs."Fifi, Bellisissima!" The dark haired young man with shining eyes called out her name from the steps above.

The rest, as they say, is history.

~Henri Colt


The shoes go back a long way...

The rest, as they say, is history.

In 19th century grew the cold taste of poverty in the Italian countryside. It was in these lands, and in that era the shoes were born. The women made these creations while juggling their other duties. They used recycled materials, working with precision and care. The shoes arrived in Venice for a new chapter in their history. The gondoliers loved them because of their special features: being non-skid, they are perfect for grip and stability, without damaging the beautiful paint of their symbolic watercraft. The shoes contain history, culture and tradition and at the same time a sense of contemporary.


The shoes are a century old craft tradition unique to the region.

Now as in the past, the soles are made of canvas jute sacks and cardboard. To be hard wearing and waterproof, they are completed by welding bicycle tires onto the bottoms (today some models are a pre-molded version) and the uppers of velvet, along with other classic fabrics.

Fifi's are individually crafted by skilled people who painstakingly assemble the materials and sew with strength using the blanket stitch, the symbol of fine tradition.