My new article for Cool Hunting.
L’F is a line of unisex shoes from Licia Florio and Francio Ferrari, a fashion designer (Florio) and artist/photographer (Ferrari) who also live together. Wanting to create something together the couple came up with L’F, which is comprised of one style for men and women. The shoe comes in combinations of up to three colors, with various details available like studs and hooks. The fresh take on a classic, says Ferrari, was something that could “fully represent our identity.” We caught up with him to preview the Spring 2013 collection and talk more about the brand. Check out the interview below and the first line of L’F unisex shoes online where they sell from €215.
How was your collection born?
We started by hacking some bowling shoes, but eventually they all looked bad. So we decided to focus on something more elegant like a classic brogue—we removed tongue, laces and we started to wear them. We saw that we liked it and our friends started asking were they could buy them. So we entered the world of Italian footwear production, previously unknown to us but very fascinating. We got to work with talented craftsmen—genuine people with dirty hands, but who are able to create the masterpieces that everyone knows.
You are not a heritage brand—how did you want to approach an iconic object like the brogue?
We chose irony. Ours is a very serious shoe in terms of quality and production, 100% handmade in Italy by shoe manufacturers that make shoes for large international brands. They’re very comfortable shoes you can wear all day. However, the colors and materials and their combinations allow us to be fun and give our customers the opportunity to have fun every day. Then we took out the laces and in some models we filled the holes with removable studs, which can be swapped in and out.
We think that people should be brave with accessories, not only with our shoes. We noticed that L’F wearers pay much attention to socks (without the tongue they’re more visible) and tend to shorten their pants hem, to show their styling. We’re happy when our customers have the chance to have fun!
Who wears L’F?
We discovered we have a very wide target, without age limits. It often happens that mothers buy our shoes, and then their daughters steal them. Licia’s grandmother is a big fan of ours, but she just wants the studded ones.
What’s new for the next season?
Spring 2013 is our second official collection—we continue to work on the same model and reinvent it more and more, working on materials and soles. We have four soles: one white and one black “tank” sole, one sports Vibram sole and a sole with a band of microfiber between two layers of leather. In some models we included a hook taken from mountain boots, where you can put rubber bands instead of strings. Then there are different variations of pastel colors and metallic leather monochromes, purposely for fashionistas. We are aiming at extreme yet elegant shoes to give the wearer more fun and joy.