Within craftsmanship and more specifically, sartorialism, a proclivity for tradition exists – where things made under any methodology other than the traditional ones are automatically met with a degree of scepticism – their quality is called into question.
In many respects, this protectionist style of thinking aids the industry – elevating products of integrity above mass manufacturing and distinguishing this in the mind of the consumer. It is for this reason that Goodyear construction has remained the acme of shoemaking since its inception – now a shining beacon of artisanal quality.
However, could this continual indoctrination surrounding the superlative qualities of Goodyear construction in some way stagnate the evolution of shoemaking? Gianluca Bocache thinks so – instead prescribing to an altogether different approach – favouring Blake and Blake Rapid construction.
Prima facie, Gianluca’s take on shoemaking may appear at odds with the staunch traditionalism and timeless classicism extolled by Bocache & Salvucci in their designs and branding – perhaps sullying shoemaking tradition in some way. But due to nothing more than a deep-seated stigma (which often errs on pretension), Blake Rapid construction is considered a compromise on quality – producing inferior shoes to those made under the more renowned auspices of Goodyear welting.
However, whilst Gianluca’s pioneer-esque approach in making bespoke shoes under Blake and Blake Rapid construction, may be met with scepticism from many of the world’s shoemaking savants, the rationale behind it is sound – firmly entrenched in delivering a shoe of superior comfort and wearability. Because Blake and Blake Rapid construction require fewer layers in the soles, the shoe can be lighter and the sole consequently more flexible. And whilst an argument on durability certainly exists, Gianluca proffers that shoes made under his respective Blake methodologies are easier to resole –and crucially – aren’t prone to suffering damage on the upper during this process, as is often the case with Goodyear constructed shoes.
Aesthetically, both Blake constructions conceive a shoe of splendidly slim proportions, as the welt rests almost flush with the upper – paving the way for Bocache & Salvucci’s ineffably elegant silhouettes. Blake construction in particular is incredibly slim as there is no midsole needing to be stitched along the shoe’s exterior.
To Bocache & Salvucci, operating at this nexus of tradition and technology makes sense on one front in particular – in satisfying the needs of a modern clientele – from the noveau riches right through to the aristocratic. After all, they harbour similar desires – for shoes that are rich in beauty and equally so in comfort. And so, this notion of Blake and Blake Rapid inferiority is somewhat archaic. Instead, shoes should be judged on their merits – devoid of stigma surrounding construction methodologies – lest we stagnate the evolution of shoemaking and therefore fail to enjoy the fruits of innovation.