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Brand History & Legacy

The History of Tod’s Shoes

Tod’s shoes are popular amongst affluent men and women because of the rich quality and comfort they provide. Whether you’re looking for driving shoes or everyday loafers, Tod’s come highly recommended.

Are you keen to learn more about Tod’s and why they’re so popular? Keep reading to find out.

Early Beginnings

Tod’s was originally founded in 20's Italy by Filippo Della Valle as a small shoemaking factory. However, by the 50’s and 60’s, they solely produced private label shoes ‘Made in Italy’ for American labels such as Bergdorf Goodman and Saks Fifth Avenue. It finally reached its true potential when the founder’s grandson, Diego Della Valle became chairman of the company in the 70’s and manufactured shoes under their own label.

The Brand Name Came From a Phone Book

It’s clear that none of the founding members bear the name ‘Tod’. So, how did the brand come to get its name?

The Italian brand needed a name brand that’s easy to pronounce in any language (especially their American customers). Legend has it that Diego Della Valle found the name "J.P. Tod’s" from an American phone book. 

However, in 1999, Mr Della Valle dropped the first initials after the brand started to become known as ‘J.P.’ in America. 

ALSO SEE: The Best Designer Flats Out There!

Made in Italy

Della Valle made a promise to provide true quality Italian products. Unlike most designer brands, Tod’s does not create or assemble their products overseas where it’s cheaper, they own and maintain all of their manufacturing facilities in Italy. However, Tod’s includes luxury brands like Hogan, Fay, and Roger Vivier. 

All Tod’s Shoes Are Handmade

According to the label, it takes over 100 steps to make a single Tod’s shoe. Only quality pieces of leather are selected, they’re cut by hand, treated, and thoroughly inspected before being assembled by expert artisans. 

In fact, some of Tod’s best products take years to make because certain shades and textures are delicate. 

The Creation of The Gommino

Diego Della Valle became inspired by his travels to New York where casual style was popular (unlike Europe at the time). He then became inspired to produce a “beautiful, well-made shoe that could be worn in a professional, elegant, or casual environment.” Thus, the Gommino shoe was produced!

FUN FACT: The Italian word ‘Gommino’ means ‘rubber pad’ in English. The shoe was appropriately named because of the rubber nubs under the soles.

Fame & Fortune

Della Valle intentionally gifted a pair to Giovanni ‘Gianni’ Agnelli, a rich and stylish Italian industrialist who wore the shoes on TV. Naturally, boosting Tod’s sales. 

Tod’s also became widely recognised when celebrities such as Princess Diana, Princess Caroline of Monaco, Catherine Deneuve, Mick Jagger, Sharon Stone, Gwyneth Paltrow, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, Harrison Ford, and many others were seen wearing these (now iconic) shoes.

From Shoes to Handbags

Once their loafers became one of the ‘it’ shoes thanks to the rich and famous, Tod’s decided to explore luxury handbags in addition to their signature shoes.

In 1997, the ‘D-bag’ was the first edition of Tod’s handbags - it came in 5 different sizes. This bag was dubbed after Lady Di, hence the ‘D’ in the name. What’s more, Princess Diana even wore the bag publicly!

Today, it’s gone through a couple of upgrades and is once again popular amongst celebrities.

ALSO SEE: Princess Diana: Her Favourite Luxury Brands & Where To Get Them

Where To Buy Tod’s Shoes

If you’re looking for Tod’s shoes or other comfortable luxury shoes, shop Luxity. We’ve got an extensive collection of pre-owned designer shoes for both men and women. But don’t worry, every single item goes through a thorough authentication process - we’re the real deal! So, what are you waiting for? Browse our online selection of Tod’s shoes and accessories now.