Flexibility and relaxation in the world of high-end shoes – The Gommino is a moccasin discovered during a trip to the United States by Diego Della Valle, inspired by a shoe initially useful for race car driving.
Diego Della Valle, The United States And The Driving Shoes
A Family Affair
Above all, Tod’s is a family affair. And before the house adopted this name in 1978, it was the grandfather and then the father of Diego Della Valle, Dorino, who transformed the small shop into a factory.
Diego Della Valle interrupted his law studies in Bologna, and then in his twenties, asked his father to join the family business. His father accepted. And he, who already made shoes for prestigious houses, sent his son to New York in search for new buyers.
In 1975, Diego Della Valle started making regular trips to New York. It was during one of these trips that he had the idea of the mythical Gommino moccasin
The Rally Meeting
Diego Della Valle was 24 when he attended this life-changing car rally. In the United States, he pinpointed the shoes worn by these racing drivers. Shoes with a sole studded with rubber nodules. This effect has a very specific function – to prevent the feet from slipping on the pedals.
For now, for Diego Della Valle, this would be the basis of a moccasin. His idea? Make this very special driving shoe – a Portuguese-made shoe and driving shoe with a rubber sole.
Convinced that having the heart of his company there, he wanted to make it a chic shoe without fuss. Extremely flexible, giving the sole an unprecedented lightness, the specific technique and assembly that form the shoe by a set of folds are inherited from his father’s shoe workshop.
Sewn with best leathers, benefiting from the artisanal know-how of the Italian shoe bastion – perfected and patented, Tod’s know-how becomes synonymous with a technical shoe, and a distinguished classic.
But if it is clearly a high-quality piece, the moccasin with 133 rubber studs does not receive the visibility that Diego Della Valle dreamed of.
The Tod’s Gommino became an Icon
Diego Della Valle then had the idea of sending the icons of his time, a pair of Tod’s moccasins. The first to receive it was the CEO of Fiat, Giovanni Agnelli.
Diego Della Valle offered him a pair of Gomminos. A few days later, he wore Tod’s and gave an interview to an Italian television program. Immediately, the house takes off.
From then on, wearing a Tod’s moccasin amounted to taking a share of Italian elegance, a bit of the phlegm of a dandy man like Giovanni Agnelli. A shoe that inspires Dolce Vita – A shoe that tells the story of the family, the osteria and the sun of Italy.
And since, elegance is timelessness, and elegance sounds like comfort – the Gommino ultimately becomes the standard in this area.
Born from the American dream of Diego Della Valle, his powerful aesthetic in the elegance of sportswear, the mocassin gained a chic aura when Diego offered his cult shoe to other icons; Cary Grant, Steve McQueen or Audrey Hepburn and Lady Diana!
Tod’s spirit was born.
The Gominno preserves the heritage and the craftsmanship that has become quite rare. At the origin of this driving shoe, was already a moccasin imagined by the Amerindians. In coarsely sewn skin, it wrapped the foot like a mitten.
Centuries later, when Diego Della Valle took it over, Tod’s Gommino continued to be cut in one piece. Without any seams, the leather that makes up the stem, extends into the sole. Only the tray on the instep is an added piece.
This assembly requires hand tricks more relevant to the know-how of the glove than that of the shoe. Diego Della Valle himself often says that the Gommino is: “a pair of gloves for the feet. “
Timeless and minimalist, at the time it was considered an accessory for a weekend in the Hamptons or Saint Tropez. From 1996, throughout the old patterns, Audrey Hepburn, Cary Grant and Steve McQueen, the Gommino became a full-fledged piece of elegant uniform.
Today, there are nearly 2.5 million pairs of Gommino’s on the feet of customers from around the world. Limited series and special orders are helping to renew and enhance the brand to rediscover other aspects of this perfect classic. Each new season is the occasion for new variations of leather, colors, finishes.
For example: 2020, a Gommino perched on top of a heel.