When in 1978 Diego Della Valle took over the business founded by his grandfather in the 1920s, he decided to rename it Tod's. At the time, the brand was not yet renowned. The Italian luxury label soon gained its reputation with the Gommino loafer and Gianni Agnelli. The shoe, a reedit of a driving shoe bought in a New York flea market, is a celebration of artisanal skill. In the brand’s Italian factories, it takes over 100 steps to build this luxury loafer consisting of 133 pebbles and 35 individual pieces of leather, each one of which is still cut and stitched together by hand. Gianni Agnelli, a friend of Diego Della Valle and head of the Fiat automobile empire, put the label in the spotlight by wearing Gommino driving shoes during a television interview. Sales took off immediately. Tod’s designs are worshipped by anonymous as well as celebrities for their timeless elegance illustrated by two of the brand’s flagships, the Double T loafers and the Sella Bag.
In 2013, Alessandra Facchinetti succeeded Derek Lam, joining Tod's as head of women's collections. The luxury brand then attracted new customers, seduced by the simple and feminine creations of the Italian designer. She also presented the label’s designs on the runway for the first time, which launched its success at Milan fashion week. Since her departure in May 2016, Tod's has not named her a replacement, choosing to give free rein to its creation studio.
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