In the La Mancha region of Spain sits the small town of Almansa, home of Spanish shoemaking culture and the backdrop to Magnanni’s family-owned shoe legacy.
After being started in 1954 by Sebastian Martinez following the end of World War II, Magnanni’s roots began on the first floor of Sebastian’s home where his team made shoes at night in order to properly budget the city’s available power.
The company later transferred into the hands of master artisan Pascual Blanco Martinez, the son of Sebastian. Pascual thrived on the meticulous nature of turning a sketch into someone’s favorite pair of shoes. Through this process he established the contemporary look for which Magnanni is now known. Pascual Martinez also became the father of six children; one girl and five boys. Through the years, shoemaking stayed at the heart of the family’s time together. Each sibling would grow to fill a fundamental role in the success and reputation of Magnanni.
In the 1990s, the third generation of Magnanni began to take their place within the company’s ranks. Miguel, the eldest of the children, began expanding the hand-painted patinas and signature look of a Magnanni design. He took an approach to the process that reflects a painter’s canvas and paints. Miguel’s study of color has led to their signature colorways that reflect the landscapes of Spain. He now oversees a team of master artisans that handpaints Magnanni’s signature patinas – making each pair unique.
After spending their college years studying in the US, sons Sebastian and Pascual began expanding Magnanni’s presence globally. Sebastian maintained growth and markets within the EU expanding their retail partnerships and opening Magnanni’s flagship Paris store, fittingly across the street from the Picasso Museum. Pascual relocated to the US to lead operations for Asia and the western hemisphere as well as launch Magnanni’s website that is home to many limited quantity designs.
The youngest son, Luis, joined the family business in what is seen as the most respected and important positions – the designer. Under the wing of his father, he learned the craft beginning in his early twenties and fell in love with the beauty behind each design. Luis makes hundreds of sample designs each season that are then paired down to a select group that are released. Many designs are exclusive to their website may see as few as 14 pairs ever made; one of each size available. This has made collecting more like curating when looking at your closet.
Bologna construction is the foundation of what makes the Magnanni dress shoe superior in terms of flexibility and comfort.
Through the generations, the family has refined the Bologna construction process to allow for mass production of the laborious artisanal technique. By wrapping the foot in a glove-like leather lining, Bologna construction eliminates the notion of a traditional “break-in” period allowing the shoe to respond organically to the volume and expansion of your foot.
Under the third generation of ownership, Magnanni has continued to expand their offerings each season and showcases the limits of artisanal shoemaking and the expertise gained from a family legacy of shoemaking. Luis is continuously exploring new ways to innovate the shoe industry and modernize classic shoe making. There is a style to be favored no matter where your allegiance to shoes lies:
– For the true connoisseur, Magnanni Seleccion is the pinnacle of shoemaking. Three generations of study have gone into the final product of this high-end collection. Overseen by Magnanni Designer Luis Blanco and constructed by our Master Artisans. Seleccion displays unrivaled technique and attention to detail.
– For the aesthetic enthusiast, the ‘Artesano Stitch’ has become an icon of quality and style for Magnanni. Due to the tutelage needed to master this technique, only two artisans sew each pair by hand. The stitch is a strong design statement created by linking the sole to the upper with double-needle threading. The technique uses a waxed thread to close the seam securely by hand along the edge of the sole’s ‘wing’.
– For the man-on-the-go, Magnanni’s DIVERSA collection is the dress shoe reimagined, merging classic craftsmanship withcomfort technology. DIVERSA provides all-day comfort with an air sole that mimics the look of an artisanal style.
– For the aficionado of casual fashion or streetwear, the third generation of Magnanni brought sneaker styles to the collection. From elevated high-top styles to slim silhouette low-cut designs, the selection of casual offerings has an option for every occasion. Need a black velvet cup sole for a tux? Magnanni has you covered.
The Blanco family have brought the craftsmanship of Spain to the forefront of the shoe-making world. The designs are elegant, the hand-painted patinas make them unique, and the ability for the third generation to oversee each step of production brings a level of care that is seldom found in modern global business.