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Episode 3

Game Changers with Saskia Wittmer

Saskia Wittmer Artswork

One step ahead: A visit to custom shoemaker Saskia Wittmer in Florence

For about 20 years, Saskia Wittmer has lived and worked in Florence. Her desire to belong to the best in the industry led her to the city on the river Arno where the crème de la crème of shoemakers reside. After completing her training in northern Germany, she realised that it was only here in Florence that she could perfect her craft.

Saskia Wittmer shoes

It was not an easy path for a young German woman given that the custom shoemakers in Italy were almost all Italian and overwhelmingly male. Yet against all odds, shoemaker legend Stefano Bemer recognised Saskia Wittmer's passion and talent while she was in her early twenties and took her under his wing. Now twenty years have passed and Saskia Wittmer has worked her way up from being a laughed-at female apprentice to being in the league of the finest shoemakers in the world with her own workshop in the centre of Florence. Her customers come from all over the world and their nationalities are just as diverse as their wishes, which range from safari boots to elegant and classic Oxfords.

In this Game Changers episode, we follow Saskia Wittmer through a day in her Florentine workshop to see her bring dream shoes to life.