The Shoe Snob Blog

January 23, 2014

Written by , Posted in News

The Loafer’s Loafer by Scarpe Di Bianco

Scarpe Di Bianco

Scarpe Di Bianco

Back when I used to work for Nordstrom, there used to be this Ferragamo loafer (pictured below) that was pretty much discontinued but that must have been the most popular loafer of the 80’s & 90’s as we always used to get these old boys coming in asking for them and then complaining when we used to tell them that they no longer existed. They looked just like these (as you can see the resemblance from below). Let me rephrase that: they were just like these but infinitely different. Ever since I have started to design shoes I have noticed comments from people that say, ‘oh, one of your models looks exactly like so and so’s shoe.’ Now there is a famous phrase, ‘everything under the sun has been done.’ You really start to realize this when you are actually designing things. It’s really hard to do something different without going overboard or do something similar to what exists but tweaking it, without everyone saying that it is the same as someone else’s.

Now to the untrained eye, those who know this loafer by Ferragamo personally would probably call this Scarpe Di Bianco version a copy. But I wouldn’t, not even close, as there are so many things that separate the two. Things that I am beginning to realize only people who truly understand patterns/design can see. Everyone else just see’s a replica. To me, SDB took an existing pattern, tweaked a few of the features that you can on a pattern and took what I feel was a quite ugly shoe and made it into something very attractive. That for me is the beauty of shoe design: how one small change can make a massive difference. And to me, this example proves it. And well done on SDB for doing so as I really like the above, but absolutely hate the below. Maybe I will just have to put my own touch on it! (ha, just joking!)

Ferragamo Loafer

 

 

  • I see that the area between where the wing ends and the heel counter begins, has been made smaller by SBD. There are also very minor but additional details around the edges of the brogueing. The SBD kilt appears to be a little bit shorter, narrower and contoured. Also the Ferragamo shoe is much more open and shows a lot more sock, whereas the SBD has extended this just a little giving the shoe a much cleaner look. The most obvious is the color. Ferragamo is the standard black, where the SBD is a beautiful color with some nice burnishing on the toe. The heel counter on the SBD also lines up with the heel, making the shoe “flow” a lot better in my opinion.
    Now, what details did I miss?