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In 1968, Mario Giannini established an artisanal shoemaking workshop in the heart of Italy's Marche region. The workshop, named Ducale, crafted luxury items for an aristocratic clientele, drawing inspiration from the rich culture of art, craft, and trade nurtured by medieval dukes in central Italy. The success of the workshop led to the founding of Doucal's in 1973, a name that echoed the aspirations of an Italian man who admired the style and quality of British footwear. Mario Giannini himself ventured to Northampton, the British shoe-manufacturing district, to undergo a Goodyear workmanship project. There, he acquired the secrets of different construction methods and absorbed the essence of English style, which greatly influenced the European market during the 1970s. Infusing his small firm with the commitment and respect for work he witnessed in British factories, Mario ensured that Doucal's retained its quintessentially Italian identity, characterized by aesthetics, subtlety, and etherealness. The entry of Mario's sons into the company further propelled its growth. Within two decades, the small artisanal workshop transformed into a thriving Italian manufacturing industry, with Gianni overseeing style as the image and product manager, and Jerry excelling as the financial and commercial director. Doucal's footwear embodied English aesthetics combined with a unique Italian fit, thanks to a footbed featuring shape-memory foam that kept the foot cool and comfortable. This distinctive design element contributed to the brand's success in emerging markets.

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