Nothing says luxury like delicate Italian velvet slippers. Friulane slippers are a must have staple and an epic gender neutral replacement for stale ballet flats. Thin rubber soles are the foundation of these lightweight and deliciously comfortable shoes that are covered with luscious velvet or supple suede. Friulane became popular in 19th century Italy when, during the post-war shortages, Italians constructed their slippers from old rubber tires and recycled fabrics. During the 19th century, fruilane represented fashion born from necessity but these shoes hold an even more impressive history, finding favour with Italians from all generations and all walks of life.
Friulane officially made their debut in the 18th century, but Friuli Venezia Giulia region will tell you that the rubber-soled scarpets had long been walking the walk in the Friuli mountains where contadine, farmer and peasant women, were piecing together leftover strips of fabric and string to create shoes...And eventually, the pretty papusse arrived in the calli and campi of Venice where Friulian women would sell their handmade wares. And the rest is, well, history. The sultry slip-on became a sought-after favourite of la Serenissima’s citizens. The gondoliers loved the slipper because the sole left no scuff marks on the hand-painted gondola while protecting feet from getting soaked. And by virtue of the secretive Venetian nature, the elite adored the slippers for its facility to stylish stealth, making it evening easier to silently sneak away from meetings and to lovers. (1)
Who doesn't want accessories reminiscent of Venetian gondoliers? Not surprisingly, contemporary shoe brands around the world have adopted the stylish finesse of this Italian footwear and added a variety of personalized monograms, logos, embroidered designs, and embellishments that transform these minimalist flats into memorable statement slippers.
We're partial to the more traditional simplistic designs; we find the elegant form, complete with a subtle central peak, to so flattering and sumptuous that no added detailing is necessary. Walking through bustling city streets in friulane leaves us feeling modelesque on an urban runway while wearing them in our apartments makes us feel magisterial and our homes palatial.
Friulane are seasonless, timeless, and genderless making them the ideal gift for anyone on your list!