Doucal’s was born in 1973, when the Giannini family starts the company in Montegranaro, in Marche region, the cradle of the Italian excellence in the shoe industry. The second generation of the Giannini's, charmed by the inventions and the manual skills of the old craftsmen, has gone on along this path, safeguarding the “hand-made” together with the use of contemporary approaches.
For SS23 the Doucal's reinterprets its traditional values – with an eye firmly set on the future, artisanal techniques are fused with innovative sustainable practices.
We spoke to the brand about its upcoming SS23 collection, skate-culture inspirations, what's next for the brand, and more.
What is the concept behind the SS23 collection?
The concept behind Doucal's SS23 collection is the blend of traditional values with an eye to the future, mixing artisanal techniques with innovative sustainable practices. The aim is to move away from the trends on the market by emphasising our craftsmanship essence.
Please tell us more about why you decided to bring back the iconic Clifton loafer?
The decision to bring back the Clifton was to underline the inspirational concept of the new collection and to restore tradition through innovation, as it was one of the leading models of the 1980s.
You mention being in opposition to the ‘ugly shoes’ trend, why are you opposed to this and what does Doucal’s do to stand out?
Doucal's was conceived with the mission of creating quality footwear that lasts over time, in line with what is now known as slow fashion. From here was born the concept of ‘Slow Sneakers’, a clear opposition to fast fashion trends. Quality and attention to detail are the fil rouge that unites the entire collection, characterised by footwear suitable for every moment of the day.
Refined design, selection of materials, and customization of details combine with the softness and lightness of Doucal's shoes, which have made Italian taste the pillars of its success. We believe that elegance and minimalism are the best ways to create a refined look for every occasion.
What made you tap into 70s skate culture for the Hugh sneaker?
The new model takes its inspiration from 1970s skate culture: freedom of movement, lightness, speed, and colour. The inspiration came from photography, more precisely from the book Locals Only: California Skateboarding 1975- 1978 by Hugh Holland. Locals Only recounted the birth of a subculture born in a time of drought for California, when empty swimming pools and dry canals became perfect places for young people who wanted to surf the asphalt with skateboards that were nothing more than pieces of wood on wheels – handcrafted and unique in colour and shape.
This is where Doucal's began to take inspiration for the debut of the new Spring-Summer 2023 footwear. Thus, the inspiration for independence and freshness became more and more evident in Doucal's mind, leading to the new genderless Hugh trainer, evoking the colours, freedom of movement and lightness of skate culture.
Please talk us through the main influences behind this collection – were there any that were non-fashion related?
In the new collection you can feel the lifestyle you admire in the most beautiful Italian cities, almost maritime, a hymn to the different Italian beauties characterised by warm colour nuances.
What are the key pieces that you are most excited about from this collection and why?
Probably the choice of colour palettes and the quality of the materials made to stimulate both the visual and tactile senses.
What key element would you like people to take from this collection?
The key element of the collection is a return to the simplicity and beauty of tradition, always through a stimulating and innovative approach. The aim is to go back and appreciate the essentiality and quality of the product.
What's next for the brand?
For next spring-summer, we are launching a new genderless trainer named Hugh, inspired by 70s skate culture, as told by US photographer Hugh Holland. Thus the inspiration for independence and freshness comes to consecrate the new shoe, expressing the combination of the classic codes of Made in Italy charm with the innovation of modern times.
Equipped with an ultralight rubber sole and a super-soft unlined suede, the shoe comes in different shades ranging from Californian ocean blue to taupe, to the more vibrant colours that embrace the summer season, such as tangerine, yellow and bright green.
In conclusion, next year we will be celebrating 50 years since the opening of the company and there will be many novelties.
What are you looking forward to at PITTI?
For us, PITTI is a time for the public. The most important thing for us is to see our products appreciated by them. It repays us for the hard work behind the making of the collection and for all of us it is a moment of pride and satisfaction.