Rome wasn’t built in a day

My next set of design samples from Italy didn't arrive this week so I spent most of my time sorting out photography quotes and planning my 'look book' layout. In fact, my visit to the bank this morning was probably the most ‘newsworthy’ event this week - mainly due to my business banker's surprisingly sleek court shoes! Clearly, this doesn't make for a particularly fascinating blog post though - so instead, here's a little run-down on the trip I made a few weeks ago to Italy, to visit the workrooms where my first habbot collection will be brought to life.

I've been on many of these sorts of work trips in the past, but never for my own shoe brand, so a lovely little cocktail of excitement and fear was building up in my belly during the flight over! (Nothing that a glass of in-flight bubbles and movie marathon wouldn't take care of).

It was an extraordinarily busy week and also a wonderful one as the Italian craftsmen I’m working with had prepared very well for my visit – god bless them! (You can never be sure what to expect from 16,000 km away!) We worked from dawn ‘til dusk (almost) perfecting the prototype sample patterns, visiting tanneries, sourcing zips, trims, embroidered labels, even making a trip to the shoe box maestro! We visited no less than three leather sole makers as the signature treatment I require seams to be a little difficult to perfect – but we got there in the end!

I managed to remain calm throughout this whole process with the help of regular espressos, the odd cigarette and the “reassuring” comments from the craftsmen such as this one offered to me in broken English by Giampaolo … “Arnie, relax – Rome wasn’t built in a day” (seriously, he really said that!)

As I expected, it was really hard work … but very rewarding, and enormously exciting to see it all coming together so well! I only wish I had taken a few pics of all my escapades as it would make for much more interesting blogging! (Next time I might pack Dan and he can put together a little movie of the process).

After my week with the craftsmen, I spent my last day in Florence before heading back to Rome on Saturday for my flight home. I could have easily fallen into bed and slept all day, but thought I’d better hit down-town Firenze for a few hours just in case inspiration struck …. And it did – in the form of a pair of brilliant cobalt brogue boots I bought from “Lorenzo’s” shoe store, and the window of Martelli’s glove shop.

Annie Abbott blog

…. glove love

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