Alessandro Berluti crafted his first pair of shoes in 1895. Each shoe was cut from a single piece of leather, featuring a simple lace-up design and invisible stitching. The Alessandro Shoe—and with it, the Berluti fashion house—was born. The brand has been beloved by the fashion-savvy for over a century, and it enjoyed a certain notoriety once Andy Warhol walked into a Berluti shop in 1962 and, sketch in hand, ordered himself a pair of bespoke loafers. Other notable celebrities with an affinity for these slick shoes have been Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Robert de Niro, Yves Saint Laurent, Marcel Proust, and most recently, by the darling of the indie film circuit, Timothée Chalamet.
Berluti defied traditional etiquette, fighting tired notions like the expectation that men never wear brown shoes—only black—after six o’clock in the evening. Envisioning an array of bright colours to challenge the status quo, the brand began dreaming up footwear in yellows, purples, and striking greens. This has become something of a trademark for the fashion house, as has its unique, distressed patina. The secret, says the brand, is in the use of Venezia leather. Other lavish options include ostrich, alligator, lizard, and shagreen, which can be specially ordered for bespoke creations.
Berluti expanded its vision with the launch of leather goods and accessories in 2005; bags, wallets, and belts entered the mix. And finally, in 2012, the crisp Berluti aesthetic was expanded to apparel. Under the current leadership of creative director Haider Ackermann, runway and ready-to-wear collections in the years since have been offering some seriously Euro-chic options for men.
This year’s Spring/Summer runway show was staged at the breathtaking Monnaie de Paris on the banks of the river Seine. In a courtyard flanked by neoclassical architecture, models sported items from Ackermann’s second collection, which, in the spirit of Berluti, oozes a kind of…well, money. Bieges, creams, and sand-tones called to mind the sun-baked beaches of the French Riviera.
Black pieces, punched up by those glossy Berluti dress shoes or pool slides, make it easy to transition this collection from a sunny day at the coast to fine dining and a cool club.
The use of colour in this collection is sparse and deliberate; a soft, canary yellow jacket is a particular standout.
Elsewhere, a saturated shade of jade makes us rethink pastels as a staple for hot weather; it’s a trend we’ve been seeing across the board for the coming balmier months, and we’re all about it.
That being said, a little hint of a paler palette never goes astray with warm-weather apparel, and we love the use of lavender and a pale, dusty rose hue, infusing this collection with a touch of funk and fun. The sheen of those lavender pants is perfect for when the weather is too hot for the classic patina of Berluti shoes; let another piece do the shining.
To view more of the Spring/Summer collection and to shop Berluti’s ready-to-wear collections, visit the website here.