30 • Expert: Sculptor Who Works on the Art of Shoemaking

Release time:2022-12-13 Content sourced from: Page View:
Sergio Rossi, an Italian luxury footwear brand, is now part of the Lanvin Group and also a valuable member of Fosun’s Happiness segment. As an artisan making shoe lasts for Sergio Rossi, Lorenzo Pistocchi is responsible for giving a refined structure to the final product based on the design drawing, witnessing the creation of every piece of “ready-to-wear artwork”.

As shoes are made to be worn, a last which is made for shoemaking is the soul of a shoe. Each last is meticulously crafted by designers and artisans.

Loved by international celebrities such as Rihanna, Taylor Swift and Paris Hilton, Sergio Rossi offers gorgeous and comfortable shoes and the secret lies in its shoe lasts.

Despite the fact that women’s footwear almost invariably features a high and thin heel, Sergio Rossi shoes are not only stunning on the foot but also comfortable to wear as most of its shoe lasts are designed with a relatively high arch so that the shoe uppers can perfectly fit women’s foot dimensions and contours.

Italian artisan Lorenzo has been working in the shoemaking industry for 32 years and is now an artisan making shoe lasts for Sergio Rossi. He is responsible for turning the design drawings into shoemaking tools — shoe lasts that are suited for mass production. Shoe lasts are shoes in the prototype stage and also the molds for shoes. From the toe shape to the shoe width and to the heel height, lasts play an essential role in giving a proper fit for shoes.

A Last is the Soul of a Shoe

“Mr. Sergio Rossi taught me a valuable secret of shoemaking decades ago that lasts are a fundamental element in giving the proper shape and the perfect fit for high-heels and also a defining factor in providing both comfort and confidence to female wearers,” said Lorenzo.

Design drawings are only general representations of ideas and styles. Therefore, it takes numerous trials, tiny adjustments and tests to technically transform a last based on aesthetic conceptions into an end product that is both good-looking and comfortable to wear.

Shoe last making is a very delicate process. For instance, only a difference of one millimeter can make or break the comfort of a shoe. To build a good last, it requires years of solid skills as well as knowledge about anatomy and balance of force.



Lorenzo usually works on a bench piled high with design files and tools. As most of his jobs need to be done by hand, his studio looks very much like a carpenter’s workshop heaped with various archived files for shoes and many hand-held tools. Previous molds serve as reference for current designs and a stimulus for future creation, constantly injecting ideas and concepts into new products.

Each Pair of Shoes is a Piece of Artwork

Lorenzo knows well that the way each element come together makes all the difference in making a pair of great shoes. These parts are like human organs, each of which has an intended function to serve for the health and wholesomeness of the entire body. The same is true for every element on a shoe which should be put together harmoniously in a way like an orchestra.

At Sergio Rossi's factory, it takes, on average, 110 steps to build a classic pair of heels and more for something elaborate. Behind each finished product, it involves hundreds of hours of mold designing and making, thousands of hours of skill building as well as tens of thousands times of evaluations, discussions and trials.

Sergio Rossi has been trying to strike a perfect balance between comfort and a gorgeous design. An archive for shoemaking is built upon the heritage from the time-honored history and tradition of Sergio Rossi and a massive amount of information, data and experience over the years. “Each time we draw ideas and experience from past projects, and file down those make-or-break details and learn from them. That is how we continue to make progress and stay ahead despite facing complicated and shifting demands,” said Lorenzo.

Craftmanship is not set in stone, it must be improved through continuous research and innovation. Lorenzo always seeks to connect with young generations to exchange ideas as well as to share and pass down the traditions of Sergio Rossi.

As an artisan making shoe lasts for Sergio Rossi, Lorenzo is not only an Italian craftsman whom designer Francesco Russo calls “Golden Hands” but also a sculptor working on the “art of shoemaking”. For him, each pair of shoes is not just a product, but a piece of artwork.