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Interview with Emanuele Briganti of GuidoMaggi

GuidoMaggi provides handmade luxury Italian Elevator Shoes for men. Their designer Italian-handmade height increasing shoes will increase your height with a hidden insert. Whether it's casual, sneakers, dress or formal, they help you achieve new heights of style. MenswearStyle recently got chance to sit down with the brand’s CEO to find out more.

When was the GuidoMaggi brand born?  

"GuidoMaggi has a long history of shoemaking. My great-grandfather was in fact Guido Maggi, and he was a master shoemaker who handcrafted shoes and boots for the Royal House of Savoy. About a half a century later, this tradition has been enthusiastically resumed by myself and other family members. But our focus has been on revolutionising the world of footwear with an innovative new product. We discovered there were no high-quality shoes that could increase height with an invisible heel, that were also handcrafted entirely in Italy using the finest materials. So, we combined the inherited passion and family tradition with technological innovation. By focusing on aspects such as comfort and design, our image has gradually strengthened and we’ve become an internationally sought-after and esteemed company. Through our online boutiques - guidomaggi.it for the Italian market and guidomaggi.com for the rest of the world - we sell our handcrafted elevator shoes directly to customers in over 90 countries."

Why did you decide to introduce the elevated feature to the shoe?  

"Like all success stories, it stems from a first-hand experience. When I was 20 years old, I was a model in Milan. But unfortunately, I was never given the opportunity to walk on the catwalks because I was considered too short (I’m 175cm, just under 5 ft.9). I discovered that my height wasn’t considered ‘good enough’ and it was limiting my career. So, I started looking everywhere for shoes. I bought lots of them, but they didn’t give me the results I was looking for: most were from Asia, made with poor quality materials, were uncomfortable and didn’t look great. The shoes broke after a few weeks and everyone noticed the ‘trick’ because they were simply made poorly. Then it hit me: why shouldn’t elevator shoes have dignity and style? Because of this personal experience I realised that there are many men of short or medium height who want shoes that can discreetly increase their height without sacrificing comfort or quality craftsmanship. So today we’re able to offer shoes made from the finest leathers, the highest quality materials, and completely manual production techniques, including Goodyear seams and patina processing. I personally choose the materials and leathers; from full grain Tuscan leather to luxury exotic leathers, such as crocodile, alligator and python; and from the genuine leather soles to the latest technological fabrics, so as to guarantee complete comfort and durability."

Explain in detail how a GuidoMaggi elevator shoe is made  

"Our shoe lift system is completely invisible so that nobody will notice it. It also allows for better posture, as it’s meticulously tested by a team of orthopaedic doctors. There are three main benefits of our elevator shoes: a boost in height and self-esteem, luxurious and elegant style handcrafted in Italy, and of course, incomparable comfort."  

What is it that has made the brand a worldwide success? 

"GuidoMaggi’s handmade shoes have been a success thanks to the superior quality of our innovative product. We’ve made a break from the mass-produced products of Asian companies, making shoes with the finest leathers and the highest quality materials, using traditional craft production techniques (such as Blake and Goodyear stitching), as well as delivering fashionable designs."  

As well as Milan and Lecce, you have recently opened a showroom in Tokyo  

"Yes. With our company having benefited from e-commerce as our main sales channel, we also wanted to create exhibition spaces where visitors could look at and try on the shoes in our luxury collection. Our style advisors are on hand in our showrooms in Milan-Brera, Tokyo and Lecce to offer customer advice and fashion suggestions."

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