On this blog I often talk about new Allen Edmonds shoe styles, but in this post I’d like to focus on a perhaps lesser-known beauty– our Verona II Italian-made bit loafer. Why write about a style that has been in our line for years? Because this shoe carries so much history and has a fascinating story that should be told.
This style of shoe, the bit loafer, has been popular amongst the Italian powerhouse fashion labels for decades. Since the 1950’s the bit loafer has been worn by international industrial elites, heads of state, chief executives, Hollywood directors, celebrity actors and sports stars, and even modern-day actors and rappers. The bit loafer is so iconic that it literally is art. The New York City Metropolitan Museum of Art inducted this style of shoe into its permanent capsule collection in 1985. Timeless and worldly in appearance, this shoe is like a chameleon, blending in to any environment.
Some of my favorite details include a smooth, flexible leather upper, a trimmed heel, and its subtle stitching. The result is a sleek wardrobe workhorse that takes its cues from the Italian art of sprezzatura or studied carelessness
Do you have an upcoming black tie event? Dress down the tuxedo with black Verona II’s worn sockless. Need to inject new life into a pair of khakis and a navy blazer? Pair them with brown Verona II’s. Want to dress up a pair of old jeans and button down? Throw on the Verona II in either color. The combinations of attire that go with the Verona II are endless. I haven’t found a business-casual to formal clothing ensemble that has issues with the Verona II.
The shoes have always lent an air of off-duty rakishness to the wearer, ever since the A-listers were seen donning them in the 1950’s. However, it doesn’t matter who wears them. You could be an average Joe and the shoes will still do their job. With a symmetrical bit tucked between the vamp and a sleek leather upper made of fine Italian leather, these shoes are the limousine of loafers: stylish, classic, and just slightly ostentatious, they communicate an appreciation for all things timeless and dapper. Maybe this is why they’re in the “permanent” collection at the Met in NYC. As said by one of the great fashion icons of the twentieth century, “Fashion fades, style is eternal.”
(Allen Edmonds Verona II)