Born in Sicily, Maria Gangemi has spent her lifetime developing a deep understanding of and appreciation for for the art of luxury, handcrafted shoes. Over three decades, she has worked across the realms of creative and merchandising – developing her relationships with luxury artisans and workshops in Italy, honing her knowledge of trends, and directing the look and feel of a variety of shoe lines and boutiques.
Maria has long returned from trips back to Italy with stories of the quality of materials and dedication of artisans to the craft of handmade footwear. It is her goal with M.Gemi to ensure that this art form stays alive and accessible – as an increasing number of brands look outside Italy for ways to cut corners and save on costs.
Maria’s past life includes tenure at one of the country’s most storied retailers – the original Filene’s, where she was the fashion director for footwear and accessories. Over the next 15+ years, she went on to serve as the creative director of two growing shoe companies, where trips to Europe served as inspirational fodder and an understanding of the difference that luxury craftsmanship represents. She then served as SVP of European Luxury for a leading online retailer, where she was able to deepen her luxury and premium brand relationships.
Today at M. Gemi, Maria is the driving force for the design and merchandise teams – every leather choice, every last, every color passes through her hands and gets her scrutiny. She sources, visits, and personally selects every one of the specialty workshops we partner with and speaks to every craftsperson who touches M.Gemi shoes – so it’s no surprise that her love for this art form is apparent in every pair.
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