BEST of the BEST 2014 | Style | Men’s Fashion | Footwear: Santoni

In his unwavering quest to develop new concepts for handmade Italian footwear, Giuseppe Santoni discovered what he says is the world’s only leather company producing shell-cordovan skins of sufficiently exceptional quality to be used in his new limited series of footwear, which includes these boots ($2,245). Santoni’s search led to Chicago, where the Horween Leather Company takes hides from the buttocks of the horse and—in a process that requires six months to complete—softens the skins with essential oils before tanning them to achieve a unique suppleness and richness of color. “With the heat of your feet, the leather becomes elastic and super comfortable,” says Santoni, whose new introductions for 2014 include designs in men’s sneakers and alligator shoes. (At Saks Fifth Avenue, 212.753.4000, www​.saksfifthavenue.com) Clothing by Thom Sweeney; watch by Chopard.

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