For those of you who don’t know, I am fortunate enough to be one of the editors of Bearings – A Southern Lifestyle Guide for Men. I am particularly proud of the work in our most recent round of editions. Because of that, I thought I’d post two features here on my personal blog. Today’s first post will be devoted to our feature on Peter Nappi. Peter Nappi is new to the boot making world, but that does not mean they are inexperienced. Getting to handle some of these boots made me realize that these are some of the best in the world. Seriously… check out our feature on the company below, and be sure to sign up for the newsletter, out every other Thursday.
Old world craftsmanship coupled with the passion of an Italian artisan is usually associated with cities like Florence, Milan or Naples. While Nashville, Tennessee isn’t typically included in that list, a new boot and bag maker – Peter Nappi – certainly thinks it should.Despite being a young company, Peter Nappi is a family business with a strong leather heritage. The founder, Phillip Nappi, always had a passion for old-world, Italian workman style and wanted to develop a business that would create high-quality, hand crafted boots. As Phillip and his wife, Dana, moved forward with their plans, they discovered something in their family history that compelled them even further. Previously, Phillip had a limited knowledge of his family on his father’s side, but learned that his Italian born grandfather, Peter Nappi, made a living as a shoemaker after immigrating to America. This became the inspiration that would drive Phillip’s hard work, and appropriately the story behind the name.Today the Nashville-based family and shop works closely with expert artisans making all their label’s boots in Italy. We recently visited with Phillip in the Peter Nappi store in East Germantown to see the quality in their footwear. In addition to their handsome and well-crafted goods, we also discovered that the shop itself is an incredible space.For those that want the most personal and premium boot with the best possible fit, Peter Nappi offers a bespoke boot service. The brand also has seven “off the rack” models to choose from, which are all Blake constructed. This technique allows the profile of the uppers to be tighter with the sole, all while providing increased flexibility and lighter weight. The uppers of each boot are all either made with vegetable tanned leathers from Tuscany or Kudu leather tanned in Leeds, England. Because these leathers are treated naturally, their suppleness is hard to match. The lining of each boot is made from the same leather as the upper, which is an important element to Peter Nappi. Phillip told us that this shows it’s “part of our commitment to make sure all the materials of our goods are of the highest quality whether they are seen or not.”Also produced by Italian artisans, the brand offers five styles of bags in various leathers, colors and sizes – all produced by Italian artisans. With a priority on detail, the bags edges are sewn by hand. In addition to the models offered in the shop, they are also happy to custom design bags for customers.Housed in the old Neuhoff Meat Packing plant, their shop overlooks the Cumberland River only a few blocks from downtown Nashville. The space is filled with worn leather furniture from Europe, Parisian light fixtures, and of course, Peter Nappi boots and bags. Next to the leather crafting area sits a stage with a couple of guitars ready to be played. This is Nashville, after all.Peter Nappi is located 1308 Adams Street and beginning June 30, will be open Thursday to Saturday 1 to 5 p.m. or by appointment (email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a visit).