Thursday, November 16, 2006

Bonanno's or barefoot!

Bonanno's or barefoot! It's a Lifestyle.

Congratulations to Leslie from Dallas, Texas.
She submitted this really fun photo using her
Bonanno sandals which depicts our new slogan
perfectly: "Bonanno's or barefoot!
It's a Lifestyle."

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Welcome to my Blog

The title of my blog actually came from Lilly Pulitzer herself. When asked what sandals she wears, Lilly's reply was, "... It's barefoot or Bonanno's ..."

This is my first attempt at blogging. I've been a fan of several Preppy blogs out there, and hope by adding my twist on things, it will be equally fun and interesting ...

A little about myself:
In 2004, my husband Domenick and I left the corportate world and jumped feet first into the family business of hand-crafted sandals. My parents, Eva and Benny Bonanno, first made the classic whipstitched "Navajos" sandals along with shoe designer, Luigi Pacillo, for Jackie Kennedy, and her Palm Beach pals.

When my father passed away in 1987, my brother Stephen took over the family business and added his own designs, including the hugely popular "Emma Monogram Classic" which Oprah Winfrey featured on her "Top 10 O List" in 2002. Stephen also changed the name of the "Navajo" sandal to the "Classic Palm Beach," and began stamping his name on all the sandals. Dad would be proud.

To set the record straight ...
The Bonanno's are the Original!
We were the first to bring the whipstitch sandals to Palm Beach, but Dad never intended to mass market them. As a cobbler, he was content hand-crafting his sandals one pair at a time for his customers. If they wanted purple and yellow, with an unusually wide top, that's what he gave them. In those days all his sandals were custom made.

Shoes can not be patented, so when other companies saw Dad's sandals' popularity grow, they copied and mass marketed their version to big department stores. It's quite probable you would see the Jacks before you would ever see ours. Unless of course, you were in downtown W. Palm Beach at our family's shoe shop, the "Dixie Shoe Repair."

Today there are many copy cats out there ... Those sandals are made of part leather, part compressed leather particles, part vinyl and some are even all plastic and vinyl. I'm sure there are others brands I'm not aware of yet.

Some may tout they are the original, but I know the truth. I watched my Mom cut the patterns, hand punch hundreds of holes per pair, hand cut long strips of leather that make up what we call the whipstitch and create the tops of the sandals. My dad would then take the sandal tops and marry them to the leather soles, add the heels, sand and add the finishing touches to create a beautiful pair of sandals.

Not one of the companies I've mentioned above, can say their product is made of 100% leather, offer custom colors and sizing, provide hands-on customer service, or have an on-staff repair service available for your every sandal need. So I say to all those copy cats out there ...
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery! Thank you.