Having landed in downtown Florence, the young Berlin girl, peraps the only woman cobbler in the Western world, inspiration and enthusiasm by shoeing VIPs. Saskia Wittmer has lived in Italy for 14 years after training with a veteran of John Lobb's London workshop. "The shape is a little Italian maybe, the techniques English and there's something about the functional sole that's German," she says. Having spent time in Bemer's studio, she went solo in 2000. The German shoemaker Vivian Saskia Wittmer caters mostly to men in her ground-floor atelier (where she draws the draperies for those who’d rather not display their feet), crafting shoes with such precision that it can take six months to make a pair.