Founded in 1895 by Italian Alessandro Berluti, Berluti is a manufacturer of shoes and boots, especially known for its unique leather finishing of calfskin, kangaroo leather, alligator skin and other exotic leathers. Designed in 1895, their most iconic shoe is the Alessandro, a lace-up shoe made from a single piece of leather (ergo: wholecuts). Famous wearers of the Alessandro include Pierre Bergé, Jean Cocteau, Alain Delon, Dean Martin, Andy Warhol, Frank Sinatra, Robert De Niro, Harvey Keitel, Yves Saint Laurent, Marcel Proust and Roman Polanski.
In 1993 the LVMH group acquired Berluti. In 2012, Berluti acquired renowned tailor house Arny’s (which also features on Wikiconic) and launched its first prêt-à-porter menswear collections.
In 1992, Alessandro’s granddaughter, Olga Berluti, founded the Swann Club, named after the main characher of Marcel Proust’s novel ‘À la recherche du temps perdu’. It consists of an assembly of hand-picked Berluti customers who dine in a prestigious location to end up having their shoes ritually shined with champagne – by scarcely clothed models. So the story goes. But as always in life: those who know don’t tell and those who tell don’t know.
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