At the end of the 1800s, when the cultural and natural scenario followed mainly in the footsteps of the so-called "Grand Tour", John Richardson Barrett, the owner of a well-known tannery in the East End of London, decided to take a trip to Italy, a country he had heard so much about in the social circles he frequented habitually.
During his travels the need arose for a new pair of shoes, more appropriate for Italian summer weather, and in Parma "Tanzi e Zanlari", master shoemakers with a shop that was quite renowned in the Emilia region at that time. Barrett can boast with almost a century in the business and is one of the oldest and most prestigious footwear manufacturers in Italy and abroad.
Barrett is actually one of the few companies to produce completely handcrafted shoes using the finest materials and techniques. The company always has available for its production line a store of over 80 lasts and more than 3,500 styles, including both vintage and current collections, manufactured with traditional techniques: Norwegian, Blake-Rapid, Goodyear, loafer and, of course, the "slip-lasted Bologna", which has pride of place in the catalogue, promising exceptional softness and flexibility.
The slip-lasted Bologna is now the unique heritage of a handful of companies because it is so complex to produce: the shoe is made off-last and lasted subsequently. To achieve this, the leather and model must fit absolutely perfectly. After about three weeks of lasting, an ultra soft leather insole is applied, followed by a hide sole. To-date no construction technique in the history of classic, high-end footwear manufacturing has equalled the quality and refinement of this technique.
Norwegian, Goodyear welted, Blake Rapid, Bologna