Tod’s Gommino and the Masters of Venetian Craftsmanship

a la une, EXCELLENCE, Fashion

by Alexandra Mas

In the vibrant heart of Venice, where the echoes of history resonate through winding streets, Tod’s embarks on an enchanting voyage, celebrating the essence of Italian craftsmanship and lifestyle. At the core of this narrative stands the iconic Tod’s Gommino, a timeless emblem of sophistication and artistic mastery.

Originating in the late 1970s, the Gommino draws inspiration from the classic driving shoes of the 1950s, seamlessly fusing heritage with contemporary flair. Its distinguishing feature lies in the sole adorned with 133 rubber pebbles, coveted by celebrities worldwide. Yet, beyond its allure, the Gommino embodies the unparalleled craftsmanship synonymous with Italian luxury.
tod's gommino over stained glass from the Artefact studio Venice
Tod's Gommino over Murano glass beads

Crafted from the finest leathers sourced from premier tanneries worldwide, each Gommino undergoes a meticulous process requiring mastery of over 100 steps. From hand-cutting the leather to delicately sewing each piece, artisans infuse every Gommino with their expertise and passion. With up to 35 individual leather components in a single model, each shoe becomes a testament to precision and dedication. Over the years, the Gommino has evolved, embracing new styles like the City Gommino with its robust rubber sole and the Gommino Bubble, a softer rendition adorned with oversized rubber pebbles in vibrant hues. Yet, perhaps the most captivating evolution lies in My Gommino, an exclusive customization service offering endless possibilities for personalization.

In a remarkable collaboration, Tod’s joins forces with eleven Venetian Masters to unveil a fusion of tradition and innovation.

Guided by the brand’s ethos, each Master crafts exquisite works of art that pay homage to the Gommino’s legacy while infusing it with contemporary allure.

Gommino by Tod's at the Bottega deli Mascareri, Venice
view of the Tod's Gommino and the Masters of Venetian Craftsmanship show

Mario Berta Battiloro represented by Marino Menegazzo, the Goldbeater, his wife and daughter manipulating gold foil. On the background screen prints by Gianpaolo Fallani and the Gommino by Federica Marangoni

This culmination is showcased at an exhibition during the 60th International Art Exhibition of Venice, a testament to Tod’s commitment to preserving and promoting Italian craftsmanship.

As guests arrive, they are greeted by an art installation conceived by Federica Marangoni, beckoning them forth with a crimson neon coil pulsating with vibrant energy. Leading through the door, the installation guides them towards a monumental Gommino profile. Along this journey, they encounter Marino Menegazzo, the last goldbeater, resurrecting an ancient Venetian technique that has adorned mosaics worldwide for centuries.

Among the artisans are Romuald Mesdagh and Alessandra di Gennaro, the solitary companion masters in mosaic, whose studio Artefact breathes life into stained glass, composing realistic portraits and avant-garde design concepts.

Tod's in Murano
Tod's biennale di arte Venezia 2024

“Italy boasts thousands of historical monuments, scattered even in the most remote villages. Our mission is to breathe life into these monuments, making them visible and drawing visitors to their storied grounds. Minister Gennaro Sangiuliano’s efforts, supported by private enterprises, appear promising. Together, we can achieve even more.

The master artisans of Venice are the beating heart of craftsmanship, embodying extraordinary professions with remarkable dignity. We are honoured to have orchestrated such an event”

Diego Della Valle

melted glass sculpture by Lucio Bubacco for Tod's
The Murano glass master Marino Beltrami pays homage to the Gommino with a meticulously crafted replica, while Lucio Bubacco intertwines one melted glass thread to symbolise the Tod’s artisan as a human face, embodying the mind and hands of the crafter in one sculpture. Matteo Seguso, a glass engraver, captures the essence of Tod’s craftsmanship, illustrating the tools used to create a Gommino in shimmering brilliance, unveiling a conceptual installation.
Witnessing the artisans crafting forcole are Piero Dri and Saverio Pastor, epitomising ergonomic design, and bespoke woodcutting for the voguing sport. Gianpaolo Fallani, a screen printer, illustrates iconic Tod’s elements, while Sebastiano Lunardelli builds a large lamp in walnut wood, a reminder of Venice’s cultural intersection.
wood and rice paper lamp by Lunardelli for Tod's
Murano glass engraving for Tod's by Matteo Seguso
Tod's event Arsenale, Biennale di Arte 2024

The iconic master Sergio Boldrin and his brother Massimiliano Boldrin from the Bottega dei Mascareri transport guests into a world of intrigue and poetry with their Venetian masks, renowned for numerous Hollywood collaborations.

Amidst this symphony of artistry, a milliner, Giuliana Longo, chooses to express her craft through an art installation. Using only natural fibbers, she creates a centrifuge movement suspended with inserts of Gommino dots, bearing the typical Tod’s colours of orange and beige.

la bottega dei mascareri for Tod's at the Arsenale, Venezia Biennale di arte 2024
la bottega dei mascareri and Giuliana Longo for Tod's, Arsenale Venezia Art Biennale

Massimo Boldrin working , over his head masks from la Bottega dei Mascareri and an installation by Giuliana Longo


Guests witness the harmonious union of heritage and creativity, celebrating the enduring allure of the Gommino and the artisans who bring it to life. The exhibition transcends a mere display, becoming a performative event where guests from across the globe marvel at the craftsmanship and innovation on display. From celebrities to dignitaries, each guest bears witness to the magic of Italian artistry, reaffirming Tod’s dedication to preserving the rich tapestry of Italian culture.

Through its collaboration with the Venetian Masters, Tod’s invites us to embark on a journey through time, where tradition meets innovation, and each step echoes with the footsteps of artisans past and present.