Scuffed sneakers were generally regarded as a sign of living rough – that’s until Golden Goose entered the sneaker market in 2007. Its artisanally distressed box-fresh skate- and basketball-style kicks made the worn-in look a signature aesthetic of the brand.
Venice-based couple Alessandro Gallo and Francesca Rinaldo started Golden Goose in 2000. But from 2000 until 2007, they were a fringe player in the industry. The Venetian area had skilled craftsmen who specialised in working with leather and hence one of Golden Goose’s biggest calling cards before sneakers were its leather jackets and boots.
The couple ran the creative and business side of the brand, and as a result, were constantly travelling. That’s when they decided they needed sneakers that weren’t like anything else on the market at the time – handmade pairs that shunned industrial processes and instead relied on the same level of craft and skill used to make formal leather shoes.
They turned to several formal shoemakers in and around Venice, but only one obliged. “Golden Goose was the first company that started the inversion of all these traditional manufacturers in the Venetian area who were formal shoemakers but then became sneaker makers.
“The way you make a pair of Golden Goose sneakers is the same way you make a pair of formal shoes. The sole is injected, the side completely glued within the body and every single sneaker is treated and