Combination of visionary and aesthete, Norman Vilalta’s beginnings in shoemaking is unique in that he never dreamed of becoming a shoemaker as a boy. Unlike most, he graduated from high school to study law after high school and went on to practice for 12 years. It was in 2002 when he turned 31 that he found himself at a crossroads – whether to go on to pursue a master’s degree in international law or to find his life’s purpose that he chose the latter and his quest to create beauty began. As he described to us during a long walk in Barcelona, shoemaking was the medium he ultimately found as his river for creative expression and he has not looked back since. His shoemaking journey began in Florence at the atelier of the late Stefano Bemer where he learned the traditional craft of bespoke shoemaking and honed his technique. Here he found that there was little advancement in the shoemaking trade with artisans reproducing tradition rather than pushing the envelope. Norman felt that he had to give back to shoemaking what he had gained and this led him to Barcelona where he established his own atelier under his own name, Norman Vilalta.
Obsessed with achieving perfection beyond the technical, Norman’s bespoke shoes are one-of-a-kind works of art infused with the personality of the client so as to be extensions of their owner’s identity. Norman is different from most shoemakers in that he is not shy about experimenting with new methods, technology and unconventional materials when his bespoke and conceptual work calls for it. Bespoke always starts with a blank sheet of paper when Norman discovers what his client wishes for his bespoke shoes to represent. While his bespoke work is beautiful, he is limited as well by the client’s choices. To satisfy his own need to create, Norman took his hands, heart and mind of a bespoke maker toward releasing his first ready-to-wear collection last year to critical acclaim for its high quality, innovation and unconventional designs. These are beautiful shoes infused with Norman’s soul with asymmetrical patterns, innovative patinas and superlative finishing typically reserved for bespoke. Prologue is proud to be working with Norman Vilalta to offer our own selection of his signature models along with several of our own favourites.