In Pics: Italian artisan crafts 24-carat gold shoes, targets high-end Gulf market | world-news | Hindustan Times
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In Pics: Italian artisan crafts 24-carat gold shoes, targets high-end Gulf market

Vietri, from Turin in northern Italy, hopes to attract shoppers from wealthy Gulf countries with his blue or black suede moccasins with stitched gold-plated uppers.

world Updated: Mar 28, 2017 19:38 IST
AFP
A picture shows women shoes with gold dust patterns and Swarovski crystals made by artisans for A&V Fashion, on March 16, 2017 in Turin. Antonio Vietri, founder of A&V Fashion made a crazy bet: selling 24-carat gold plaited shoes targeting customers of the Gulf countries.
A picture shows women shoes with gold dust patterns and Swarovski crystals made by artisans for A&V Fashion, on March 16, 2017 in Turin. Antonio Vietri, founder of A&V Fashion made a crazy bet: selling 24-carat gold plaited shoes targeting customers of the Gulf countries. (AFP)

Filthy rich and already boast enough glass slippers to win a dozen princes? Italian shoemaker Antonio Vietri has the thing for you: 24-carat gold shoes.

Vietri, from Turin in northern Italy, hopes to attract shoppers from wealthy Gulf countries with his blue or black suede moccasins with stitched gold-plated uppers.

“These are the first shoes in the world in 24-carat gold,” he told AFP. “The particularity of these shoes is that gold is not simply applied, it is not like an accessory or a button. Gold is an integral part of the shoe”.

Antonio Vietri, artisan and founder of A&V Fashion, shows men shoes as part of his collection "Gold". (AFP Photo)

Small strips of gold are woven by hand and sewn with leather to ensure the moccasin uppers are comfortable.

Vietri is just one of a wave of “Made in Italy” producers seeking to tap into the high-end Gulf fashion market, particularly in oil-rich states such as the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

Antonio Vietri, artisan and founder of A&V Fashion, shows a man shoe as part of his collection "Gold". (AFP Photo)

His men’s gold line was launched in 2016 “after eight months of studies and attempts,” Vietri said. The women’s followed this year.

“The difficulty was in finding the right balance between the strength of the gold and the flexibility of the shoe,” he said. “If the shoe is too light, the gold will bend. If the shoe is too heavy, it hurts.”

Antonio Vietri, artisan and founder of A&V Fashion, works on March 16, 2017 in his workshop in Turin. (AFP Photo)

Each pair of shoes, made with 230 grams of gold, is one-of-a-kind and is made to measure using 3D foot scanners.

They retail for up to 25,000 euros ($27,000) for the men’s collection, and 30,000 euros for the women’s line. The price includes delivery by helicopter, and the shoes are presented in a black lacquered box.

A picture shows a woman shoe with silver dust patterns made by artisans for A&V Fashion. (AFP Photo)

Vietri also does a traditional line with prices starting at 250 euros, and another in which shoes feature designs by international artists.

The luxury collection features silk pumps embellished with gold or silver and customers can decorate their chosen model with pearls or diamonds.