More than the name of a footwear brand, Franco Sarto the man is the driving inspiration and passion behind the actual designs. Born in 1949 in Dolo, a small town outside of Venice, Italy, Sarto’s passion struck early. By the age of 14, Sarto was working in a shoe factory where his job was to sit on a stool and hand-last shoes with a hammer and nails.
By his early twenties, Sarto knew shoes and fashion were to be his life, so he packed up and moved to Stra — the center of shoe design for all of Italy. He quickly partnered with another designer and opened up a studio where they made models of their designs and sold the prototypes to visiting wholesalers and retailers from around the world.
It is Sarto’s start as a cobbler—and his passion as a designer—that makes him a rarity in the business; he designs his shoes both with the sweat and blood of a technician and the grace and beauty of a world-renowned fashion designer. To this day, Sarto hand sketches many of his designs and is well known for his drawings during public appearances.