Rebel – why?
My name is Gigi Perinello and I am a rebel by nature. I have been selling raw materials for shoes for 35 years to all the main Italian and European shoe factories and brands; I have been speaking with producers, analyzing prototypes and patterns, giving suggestions and solving problems, even very empirical ones, bordering on a cobbler (honor to them).
Yet, after so many years of enthusiasm and passion, I had an extremely strong stimulus of repulsion. I have seen all the big brands slowly passing on their production to countries with low cost labor and selecting poorer and more harmful materials. The supreme goal had become cost reduction and quality and well-being had been definitely placed in the background.
The system has gradually degenerated and the general lack of transparency is a sign: only a few explain what materials they are selling to you. Even the recent green boom smells a little of camouflage: all at once everything has turned into bio, eco-friendly, natural… Not to mention the made in Italy – all the more abused term – that often refers only to the very last stages of production (the law itself allows that).
- when paying the price for a pair of shoes, no matter low or high, the quality you get is inevitably low, probably much lower than you imagine.
- it is more and more difficult for the purchaser to understand if a shoe really has quality inside as compared to the promises. Both because shoes are a complex product, full of hidden parts, invisible to the naked eye; and because it is nowadays vital, in any case, to save. And not only the purchaser wants to save, but also and above all the producer does; and these two things are connected.
Aside: next time we meet, remind me to explain to you the “pressure cooker rule”, if I ever mentioned that to you.
When I founded Ragioniamo con i piedi in 2008, I did not yet know what exactly I was walking into, but I was sure I wanted to go against the tide. My goal was not that much to sell shoes (I know much less stressful and more profitable businesses) as much as to try and prove that it is still possible to:
PRODUCE ON A SMALL SCALE
to preserve the fair dimension and quality level
ACCEPT THE CHALLENGE OF QUALITY and of the ever-evolving quality
SHORTEN THE SUPPLY-CHAIN
by rebalancing the price value
REDUCE HARMFUL CHEMICALS harmful to the body and to the environment
RECOGNIZE THE VALUE OF LABOR AND OF MONEY
belonging to the producer as much as to the purchaser
FOCUS ON THE WORD-OF-MOUTH
as the most honest and rewarding advertisement,
that is conveyed only once satisfaction has occurred
REBUILD TRUST RELATIONS
between gentlemen, each with a face, a name, a heart.
If, in all this, you have recognized something that seems desirable to you, then let’s start to imagine which, among our next streets, is going to be the street where we will have the chance to meet.
Or you can start to browse these pages and, if you like, you can accept a bet: we do not ask you to believe a priori, we simply ask you to try; and to assess yourself if, just as I believe, this task not only is desirable, but is ultimately convenient. Enjoy your browsing and, above all, enjoy your fit.