To slip a pair of Tod’s Gommino driving shoes on is to step into luxury. A shoe that bridges the gap between the formal and the informal, it is relied upon as much – if not more so – today as it was when it was first introduced in 1978, after a young Diego Della Valle accompanied his father on a business trip to the States.
"In Italy in those days, men and women dressed up on the weekend," explains Della Valle, the founder of Tod’s, "but in America, they were so relaxed. Sadly their weekend clothes were not so nice to look at though, so I thought, 'Let’s make shoes for them that are causal, but also well made and stylish.'"
The result was the Gommino driving shoe, so called because of the 133 pebbles, or gommini, on each sole. Taking its cue from driving shoes of the 1950s, the understated design combines classic Italian style with the comfort of a modern shoe. A celebration of artisanal skill, it takes over 100 steps to build a Gommino, with some models consisting of up to 35 individual pieces of leather, each one of which is stitched together by hand.
Today counting A-listers from Eddie Redmayne to Jon Hamm, and from Anne Hathaway to Freida Pinto, as fans, the unisex design is the last word in understated polish.
Oscar-winning actor Eddie Redmayne turns to his Tod’s often, teaming them with everything from off-duty denim to chinos for more formal functions.