Meet Andrea Carrano Jr.
What is the background of the company?
"The Andrea Carrano brand was built right after the Second World War when the South of Italy and the North of Italy were divided. This is important because the South had the agriculture and the North had the industry, but at the time, they couldn’t work together. My dad smuggled leather from the South to the North to build his brand and, as such, was already ahead of the game when the walls came down. He started with handbags, jackets, gloves, and shoes and was soon a pioneer of the North as far as fine, high-end Italian leather goods were concerned. He noticed a huge market for this in the US, so he moved over and became the first to open on Fifth Avenue, Rodeo Drive, Balharbour, and more, and became one of the first Italian high-end leather retailers in the US — not just Italy anymore."
What can you share about yourself?
"I grew up in this environment, spending time in hundreds of factories, and I have a deep understanding of how shoes are made, what craftsmanship means, and how it reflects the people who wear Andrea Carrano shoes. When we lost my dad, the company went bankrupt and we had to leave Italy, move to the states, and make our own way. I worked in shoe stores, paying my way through NYU and worked my way up the dot-com ladder. But, I always knew I would get back to my dad’s shoes, because I believed in his vision — which is that the Andrea Carrano buyer is informed of what’s going on in the world and lives their life with care and informed decisions — from the food they eat, to the people they spend time with, to the shoes that they wear. So when COVID-19 hit, I had time to sit down and realize history was repeating itself — the war was happening again, essentially, and I could finally focus on bringing it back."
Why are you taking over the family business?"Companies that care about the quality of their goods just don’t exist anymore, everything is done with machines. That’s why I want to bring it back to our factory in Naples, where all of our shoes are handmade by experts who have done this their entire lives. Every leather is hand-picked. This is important for me, because it is important for the Carrano buyer."
How are you approaching it?
"The Andrea Carrano brand obviously has a sense of family, which inherently teaches a person a sense of care, and this sense of care is translating into what we’re doing now with the brand. It’s brought our family back together — All 6 of us kids are involved, including my mother and particularly my sister, who is a designer for our new high-end line."
"I believe the future of the company reflects the times, just as it always has, and just as fashion does — starting with my dad, and now, with me."
Andrea Carrano Jr.