Never have I been attracted to white soles on shoes and boots. I was not particularly attracted to Loro Piana Open Walk shoes the first time I saw them. It was in Capri, in October 2019, in the window of one of the many luxurious boutiques on the wonderful island. Actually, this wasn't the first time I'd seen the Open Walks. You know when you see something and you don't pay special attention to it, but it remains etched in your hypothalamus ... I had already seen those shoes, I had seen them on the beautiful people in Downtown New York, I had seen them on executives from the north of Italy, even seen them on Sergio Loro Piana, who was probably one of the most elegant men ever created.
Sergio, now deceased, conveyed feelings of relaxed dandyism, those same feelings that one seeks to imitate, but is now almost impossible. Sometimes we have no choice but to resign ourselves; no matter how many style articles we read, style is born, not made.
Sergio, not to say that I knew him personally, but I suppose the shots will be fired, was a non-stop businessman, a 24/7 guy by and for his brand, Loro Piana, a flagship of Italian exclusivity and luxury. And as such, he needed a break, a relief for his feet; You can't walk all day in dress shoes ... No matter how comfortable they are; they take years off your life.
In addition, the businessman was the classic guy who knew how to enjoy his work and his little breaths of fresh air, those same breaths that allowed him to participate in one of his passions, sailing.
Sure, you leave a couple of meetings and go run to play paddle tennis; he did the same with his boat, and it's true that nothing is better than white soles to wear around a boat.
Sergio Loro Piana (right) with his brother Pier Luigi Loro Piana (left).
Sergio and his brother did something to use in some circumstances and in others, creating the Open Walk. A kind of ankle loafer in suede with a white sole in temperature resistant rubber.
The Open Walk and its summer edition, Summer Walk -more loafer, less boot-, are today the most exclusive shoe.
This is where the purists and deniers will come out and say no, that a Ready to Wear It can never be exclusive, that's what Bespoke shoes are for.
Obviously, they will not lack reason, but I go further; the price - not just anyone can afford it - already makes them exclusive, and above all, the personality, essence and power of influence that Sergio endorsed and that he has managed to transmit in his shoes.
You don't believe me? Go see for yourselves some of the new collections of shoe brands. See any similarities? Coincidence? I don't think so. This shoe design has come to stay.
Often, when it comes to firms of the renown of Loro Piana or others of similar depth, there is a tendency to pay homage just because, because they have earned the right to create what they want and how they want. My opinion at the beginning regarding the Open Walks was in that line. In the line of if instead of having manufactured them Loro Piana, Perico Palotes had made them, very probably this article would not exist, nor would those who own them show them with such pride. Yes, the brand effect is there, why deny it, and although at first they were not entirely pleasant -visually speaking-, I was able to see those kinds of things that I suppose, Sergio, I was looking for. Pragmatism and zero pretense. He wasn't looking to be more elegant with the Open Walks, he was looking to be comfortable; elegance was innate, it was not a matter to be given too much importance.
All this made a dent and was grabbing my attention. Furthermore, un shoe that arouses detractors and unconditional lovers in almost equal parts, must always be taken into account.
Now that I own a pair and have tried them, I attest that the sensations that one feels when wearing them are those of stepping on a cloud. A feeling that I anticipate is not bad at all. I can definitely assure you that I belong to the second group, that of unconditional lovers; what I don't know is if that entitles me to be awarded the label "Beautiful people from Downtown New York" ...
Open Walk Loro Piana
Sandstone Color (D044)
Loro Piana Open Walk
Chocolate color (H026)
Loro Piana Open Walk
Color Yerba (5J83)