Ugo Rangoni was a leather salesman in Florence, Italy. In 1937, he founded a company on a simple premise: Shoes should be made using the best materials possible. And Ugo Rangoni knew how to find the best. He also found a willing audience. The Rangoni recipe of "quality plus comfort
" proved so popular that in the early 1940s the company created the Amalfi line for American
buyers, becoming one of the first Italian designers to export to the United States. U.S. sales had surpassed one million pairs per year by 1973, the year Ugo Rangoni died - leaving the company to his son, 18-year-old Niccolo. Niccolo Rangoni remembers those first years of responsibility in the family business as challenging ones. But it's the challenge today that keeps him passionate about building on his father's legacy. "In the fashion business, every season you start from scratch," he says. "You are constantly creating a new product, a new look. Once you have that in the blood - it's very difficult to give up." ENGINERING: How can a shoe this elegant feel so good to wear? The answer lies in seven decades of superior craftsmanship. The designers use cushion features in every Amalfi shoe, and most made using "California construction" or "Sachetto construction" styles. These "true moccasin" constructions mean each shoe is made from the inside out, with the upper and insoles of the shoe sewn together to form one piece. The result is a shoe that's as easy on the feet as it is on the eyes. CRAFTSMANSHIP: Since its beginnings in the 1940s, the Amalfi line has offered a full wardrobe of styles - from classic flats like the Oste to cutting-edge fashions for the modern woman. But what's consistent across the line is their insistence on the finest of leathers and materials. Many of the finest tanneries in the world are located just miles from the Rangoni headquarters in Florence, Italy - and it's from these that the leather for Amalfi shoes originates. Amalfi is committed to using only the finest materials in their shoes' construction: interesting textures, surprising prints, and leather from the finest tanneries in the world. With each shoe in the Amalfi line, Rangoni seeks a perfect marriage of quality and comfort
. That's also why they continue to offer shoes in a full range of widths in an era when most manufacturers are scaling back. If the shoe fits, you'll wear it. And Rangoni shoes are made to be worn.