Boots Obsession

Fashion / Design / Performance By Federico Poletti
The unisex boot by Memento Duo

A new brand – Memento Duo – is turning the spotlight on the ankle boot, having come up with a unisex version with a slightly rock’n’roll twist. Memento Duo boots are a real statement. The shoe is taken as a declaration of anti-conformism, sensuality, but with all-Italian style and quality. Memento Duo sprang from the partnership between some friends, a group of people who contributed to the development of the project: the word “duo” stands first and foremost for the unisex idea and therefore an interchangeable product for men and women. Two also stands for the designers, or rather the fashion duo behind this brand: Vito Regano and Fausto Poli. 

How did the Memento DUO project come about?
Fausto Poli: Memento Duo sprang from the passion for boots, from looking at the market and making an analysis of the current situation. One day we were looking for a pair of ankle boots, but we couldn’t find exactly what we wanted and so we said: “let’s make them ourselves!” We started to do some research, discovering that the most “famous” boots were those made to measure in Chelsea, London in the 1960s for the young Mick Jagger, David Bowie, etc and that, strangely enough, the craftsmen who made those shoes were Italian. The idea of enhancing the Made in Italy label through an international-style product instantly attracted us. The strengths of Memento Duo boots are the choice of materials and the fact that they are unisex. More than their genre, the real character of an individual is expressed through their uniqueness and magnetism, so we figured it would be anachronistic to create one range of boots for men and another for women, but to generate a cross over that enables everyone to express who they are.
What were your experiences before this project?
Fausto Poli: I graduated in architecture and have always worked in communication and marketing as a consultant for companies in the luxury sector; Vito is a designer and is specialised not only in style but also has a deep knowledge of materials. This combination of roles will give us from next year the chance to make the collection even more complete and identifiable.
What does craftsmanship mean to you? 
Craftsmanship is a value to be rediscovered, especially now that our country is going through a time of such deep recession. Delving into the roots of our productive abilities means referring to the forces that created, years ago, the value of Made in Italy, sought-after worldwide. We have small workshops still able to work leather by hand, to cut and sew a sole, to treat leathers with natural products. Our samples are completely hand-cut by a master craftsman, hand sewn by seamstresses and assembled by experts using hammer and nails.
Our sole is sewn using a technique that had been abandoned and is called “Blake construction”, it consists in cutting a thin layer of leather with a scalpel and creating a groove that contains the seam, then the layer of leather is glued again to the sole to protect the stitching from the rain. On the upper of our boots there are always two hand sewn reinforcing stitches which are our hallmark: the II of our logo. 
What is Memento in your everyday life?
 Evolving while remaining true to ourselves, always comparing ourselves with what’s around us.
How do you renew a single product from one season to the next?
Through the use of materials, with the introduction of new uppers that are generated by playing with the original, with the interpretation of the product through new eyes. 
How and why did you develop the SEEN BY project?
 When we began to work on Memento Duo, we asked several friends to help us, each with their own skills. The investments were to be minimal since needs were many. We are a young label and we are surrounded by talented, up-and-coming people like us, who are battling to carve themselves a niche in the world. SEEN BY is the space in which anyone can work and get known through our channels by simply making an interpretation of our ankle boots.
For now we have worked with photographers like Alice Rosati and Alice Schillaci, with stylists such as Monia Salvini, with video makers like Gabriele Giussani, each one has been free to express their talent and personal vision. Our contribution consists of sharing our idea, which forms the basis of the brand.
A shoe for the contemporary man: what features should it have?
It should be excellent quality, and reflect the character of the wearer, increasing his power to communicate himself. 
A style tip you’d give a man
Always be well aware of one’s own body and age. Pay attention to colour combinations…trash is always just around the corner!
Always in your suitcase when you set off....
A white T-shirt and a pair of jeans.
The city or place to withdraw to and draw inspiration?
The sea or the desert, no specific place, but the colours of the sea and the dry smell of the desert have the power to free the mind from ordinary thoughts and leave it open to creativity. 
The figure you would like to endorse Memento Duo
Mick Jagger.