News & Runway

MAGNANNI, DESIGNER PROFILE

For three generations, Magnanni, a family-owned company based in Spain, has been expertly crafting men’s footwear.  Every facet of the business – including design, purchasing, production and distribution – is overseen by a family member.  The brand’s design approach is based on three core principles: a commitment to producing handcrafted footwear in an increasingly mechanized world, a rigorous process for selecting quality leathers and materials, and the application of distinctive new designs and hand finishes.

The company’s founder, Sebastián Blanco Aldomar, started working in Spanish shoe factories at the age of 12, and at the age of 44 decided to open his own company. The company began in 1954 with just five employees in a factory located in Almansa, Spain, on the ground floor of a house. In 1956, Sebastián Blanco partnered with Antonio García Pastor – and Blanco y García S.L. was born. The company’s products were registered under a new brand: Blangar.

In 1989, the third generation of the Blanco family began to take its place at the head of the company. Miguel was the first member of this generation to join the family business. He was soon followed by Pascual, Sebastian, Luis, Rocío, and Julio.

Magnanni employs the Bologna construction method.  The foot is wrapped in 360 degrees of leather, making each shoe flexible and comfortable. The upper part of the leather is lined with a normal leather lining and the lower part of the leather, where the foot will rest, is lined with a soft leather insole. The upper lining is connected to the insole by a row of stitching on the underside, so it is much less likely to come into contact with the wearer’s toes. 

The brand is sold at a number of department and specialty stores, and their shoes retail for between $225 and $875. Magnanni recently had an event at Bergdorf Goodman in New York City where, despite the economy, the men proved they love their shoes just as much as the ladies by purchasing over 50 pairs of custom made ones (the custom versions started at $450 and were expertly worked by Miguel Blanco).

Customers at the event chose the color and style of their shoe which came from Spain in natural unfinished leathers.  The highly skilled artisan expertly worked by hand under the direction of the client. 

When asked to reflect on the event, Pascual Blanco of Magnanni said that the footwear brand “crafts footwear for the man who understands that the way he dresses is an expression of his personal style and taste.  He is a man who is open to new experiences.  He is curious, cultured and dynamic. This event was a tremendous success because customers are looking for items that are truly exceptional, which is what we have delivered for more than 50 years.”