April 21, 2017
By Kari Molvar | February 13, 2017 | Style & Beauty
With a new boutique opening in the Design District, Tod's combines Old-World elegance with a fresh street-style vibe that feels very circa now.
A glimpse of the exterior of the new Tod’s outpost in Miami.
If you have any doubt that fashion is a fine art on a par with painting and sculpture, consider the creativity and craftsmanship that are stitched into every item produced by Tod’s. Since the 1920s, the Italian leather goods company has been turning out masterworks prized by generations of style curators. More than 100 steps go into the construction of its shoes, for example—including the famed Gommino moccasins, with their signature 133 nubs on the sole; they debuted in the 1970s and propelled the family-run business into the luxury marketplace.
Similarly intricate workmanship yields the men’s and women’s ready-to-wear collections as well as Tod’s handbags and leather accessories—all proudly crafted in Italy and imbued with the blend of refined glamour and laid-back elegance that defines the house. It’s fitting then that the brand’s newest boutique is in Miami’s Design District—a global epicenter of art and fashion.
Conceived by the New York architectural firm Bonetti/Kozerski, the 2,400-square-foot space has many attributes of a contemporary art gallery. A “runway” of gray marble and mirrored surfaces cuts through the store, while some of the walls are clad in tanned vachetta leather for a dose of sex appeal. Other walls double as 60-foot projection screens and can fold like trunk doors to transform the retail area for special events. The shop will offer a number of limited-edition pieces—including a super-sleek platform sneaker, Double T mules, and handbags in exotic skins, as well as new riffs on the Gommino moccasin—along with a rotating selection of artwork, which was an important consideration for the president and CEO of Tod’s, Diego Della Valle, who owns a home in Miami and spends part of the year in the city.
“I have always been a supporter of the arts,” he says. “We have lots of plans to work with local and international artists in this new concept space.” Collaboration, in fact, is very much part of the brand’s path forward. Last fall, Tod’s teamed up with the Italian-born artist Vanessa Beecroft to stage an installation as part of the company’s fall runway show (imagine Karlie Kloss being sewn into a leather garment), and the Spring 2017 collection—which includes fresh twists on biker jackets, leather shift dresses, and classic men’s shirting—was presented in front of black-and-white images of timeless fashion icons like Lauren Hutton, Ali MacGraw, and Bianca Jagger.
And just for fun: A video loop of dancing feet and hands introduced the new Wave and Double T bags and loafers (and later surfaced on Instagram). Tod’s may be nearly 100 years old, but the brand feels entirely of the moment. Its success, both on social media and IRL, comes down to “interpreting quality and the Italian lifestyle with great coherence,” says Della Valle. “Looking always ahead—and never back.” Miami Design District, 139 NE 39th St., 305-576-8132
PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF TOD’S