To shoe aficionados, the name Stefano Bemer is uttered in hushed, reverent tones. Known to the few, Bemer was indisputably one of the finest shoemakers on the planet, based in Florence and adored from Tokyo to Manhattan. But the secret was blown when it was revealed that Daniel Day Lewis’s year of retreat was spent learning the cobbler’s arts from Bemer himself.
Bemer passed away in 2012, but the company, now owned by Tommaso Melani, continues with staff trained by the maestro. Melani is a watch enthusiast, hooked since the age of four when he saw a Mickey Mouse watch in a store. “When I was 16, I got my first Rolex, a Submariner, and I started trading one watch to get another. I’m now into complications – but how many watches I have, I don’t want to know!” His day-to-day choice is a Patek Philippe Nautilus ref. 5712.