Unboxing Basil from Silvano Lattanzi

King shoe of the universe. If you have a little interest in dress shoes, even very little, you at least heard of this brand. The reason is so simple and to the ground, its retail price starts from 8000 USD!

When we thought John Lobb, Edward Green and Gaziano & Girling are the most expensive ones, Stefano Bemer jumped out, then French ABC (Aubercy, Berluti and Corthay) stood up. The bespoke shoemakers in England smiled. Here entered the universe shoe king, Silvano Lattanzi.

Why is its price so high? Historical reason. When I know a lot about this industry, I know the surcharge of this price is astronautical. In US market, Church’s has long been regarded the best shoes in the world, then Silvano Lattanzi entered the luxury department stores. What is its selling point? Real handmade. We all know that in US this industrial country, they have a almost religious worship to hand made things, and the market director directly set the price up to 7000 USD. There is no shortage of wealthy people in US, they only fear you don’t have super expensive products to sell. Although the price did not make Silvano Lattanzi the best selling shoes in US, the price is anchored successfully.

The price guarantees not too many people can afford them which further adds the glamour to this brand, and more people would love to own one pair, if not two!

Silvano Lattanzi has a great influence on a Chinese shoe brand, WM1978 Beijing. The founder CAO Wei got to know this super expensive brand and eagerly wondered why it was so, and he went to the shop in Hangzhou to inspect the shoes, even visited Mr. Silvano Lattanzi in Italy.

The peak does not last long, the pursuit of this brand has diminished and people is more interested in Gaziano & Girling or Antonio Meccariello. And its store in Hangzhou closed many years ago.

There are some dead stock on the net, so I grab this one.


Very characteristic shoe box. I always think this flower is a symbol of the city, Florence, but no sure its origin. I have seen this flower on another Italian shoe brand, Borgioli, Neither claims they are made in Firenze.

Just ignore the white sticker which was placed on to meet the requirement of Chinese regulation. The original sticker has logo on top, and many useful information on the bottom.

Model name is Basil, leather is black Vitello. Product serial number is 68/20051, and size is 5.5.

The leather of Silvano Lattanzi is highly praised by its purveyors. Vitello means calf in Italian. But from which tannery is unknown.

I consult so many people about the size, they all told the I need to be size up, so I chose 5.5 comparing to my regular and very confident UK5.

Open the cover, the shoes are well covered by copy papers.

On the copy paper you can find Zintala, not Silvano Lattanzi anywhere. I have introduced the reason in this article, Mr. Silvano Lattanzi founded his company in 1971, and the company name is Zintala. Later, it pushed the highest level of collection in brand Zintala, Silvano Lattanzi bearing the founder’s name.

The pictures on the copy paper are quite impressive, it is the skeleton of human foot. I think it tries to emphasize Silvano Lattanzi knows feet very well.

Shoes are laid vertical.

There is a small pamphlet under the shoes, quite tiny, unfolded to see several models.

On the last page, it is the locations of boutique around the world, we can know where the Hangzhou shop was.

There are shoe bags buried in the bottom. The string of the bags has tassel at the end, very charming. And a pair of substitute shoe laces.


Black cap toe swan neck oxford.

The design is exactly the same as Swan from Carlos Santos I own.

Even the curve of the swan neck is identical, maybe this is optimum? The same curve can be found on Fawsley from Edward Green.


This toe shape is very unpopular nowadays. My take? Well, it is not temporary for sure, old. In the meantime, the silhouette is not very streamlined. Still it represents an era of Italian shoes which influenced the world badly.

Can I accept them? Of course I can. My preference on last is simple, not sharp, not too elongated, that is enough. In fact, this pair is still somehow elongated, which is what Italian shoes stand for. The good thing is the toe is wide enough and offsets some.


Normally I don’t comment on leather quality for new shoes, because there is no crease and a layer of wax covering. This pair is a sample so there are creases.

The cracks are only the dry out wax. The coating on the leather is obvious but fineness of the leather should be good.


This may be where the story goes sad. If you are looking for why its reputation fades, this is clearly one reason with others.

Most fashion houses do not have competitive products, however their budget on marketing is never a shy. So they can hold their price. But you cannot see marketing of Silvano Lattanzi anywhere. We have to come to the product itself, and the welt does not say a good enough word for its jaw-dropping price.

I feel bitter in my mouth when checking the welt, density is not impressive, stitches does not match the fudge.

I never put too much emphasize on craftsmanship, but at this price, the requirement must be very different, especially at this era that Japanese bespoke shoemakers lead the exquisite touch, Silvano Lattanzi was crushed by the wheel of history.

Waist of the welt is rounded, the stitches are very close to the upper.

Upper Stitches

I feel most brands are on the same level at this particular detail.

Out Sole

Crust colour leather sole is my favorite, and Silvano Lattanzi uses oak bark tanned leather from Tannery Martin from Germany. Square waist, very understated.

Hand Lasting

How to tell whether the shoes are machined lasted or hand lasted? I think the heel is where to look at. If there is significant gap between upper and heel block, it must be machine lasted, if no gap at all, just like this one, it is hand lasted.


I am not sure whether this is an iconic feature of Silvano Lattanzi, but this pair has a small piece of crocodile leather on the arch area. The model name and size are written at the front of half sock lining which is unique, I love them.

There are many bumps on the middle sole which is the symbol of handwelting.

The back seam is not very common, the seam is from the bottom to the top then covered by a very tiny slice of leather. I doubt its durability.


The goddess who was unreachable is defeated by time.

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