Belvedere Shoes: A Father’s Dream
By Adeline J. Wells
Every brand has a story; Belvedere Shoes’ is one born from humble beginnings. In 1986, founder Stefano Giovacchini left his home of Florence, Italy for California to chase the classic American Dream of prosperity and success. Freshly out of the Air Force, he emigrated with his wife and young daughter while unable to speak a word of English, with only $1,500 to his name. After balancing a host of part-time jobs, Stefano began wholesaling Italian shoes to sell across the country. Eventually opening a factory in Italy of his own, he found the freedom in designing his own high-end styles, paving the way for the empiric Belvedere Shoes name that exists today.
Now, after 30 years in business Stefano’s daughter Francesca is joining him at Belvedere as Director of Marketing, handling the company’s web designs, collection development, and social content. A business owner herself, Francesca has always looked up to her father as a model of consistency and hard work, values he passed down to his daughters. As a child, she would spend summer days “working” in his office: completing small tasks, taking naps under his desk, and playing hide-and seek with her sisters. “It was a place I always looked forward to visiting,” she muses. “My appreciation is deeper now that I am older; to me, Belvedere symbolizes the life that my dad worked to create for our family.”
All too often, our society tends to view accomplished people solely through the lens of their career without paying regard to the other facets that make them who they are. While Stefano’s journey from an immigrant to a prosperous entrepreneur is a true story of success, it must be noted that his career was made possible due to the earnest, unconditional love he has for his family. His dreams for Belvedere were grand, yet it was the dream to provide for his wife and three daughters that was the driving force to make all others into a reality. The beautifully full lives of his children and grandchildren will always be Stefano’s greatest success, a legacy coming full-circle today as Francesca joins him at Belvedere. A daughter following in her father’s well-styled footsteps.