Luxury has lost its luster. Welcome to postluxury.
Luxury is in need of a second act. Like every other movement to create something meaningful, something beautiful, something lasting — a shakeup is required from time to time. And that’s what we set out to do. We call it postluxury.
As longtime devotees of fine, Italian shoemaking, we believe in the quality that can only come from crafting by hand in small specialty workshops. We are in awe of the way a hundred-year-old artistry is passed down from generation to generation. And we love the joy we feel wearing that pride and unique artistry for the world to see.
We had watched that glow dull over time, as everything we loved about luxury seemed to be reduced to price and status, and less about tradition and artistry. While we have been willing to pay a premium for luxury, we could no longer abide to paying an astronomical premium to a middleman. It led us to start asking questions.
Could we have the same beautiful, handcrafted Italian shoes we loved, and support the artisans who made them, while presenting a modern approach to pricing and access?
And so M.Gemi was born, and the postluxury movement began. (Take a look at what we’re all about.)
Preserving the art. Changing the access.
“There had been this elitist distinction between the haves and have nots — both from the badges they wear to the notions of prestige they represent,” says Ben Fischman, our co-founder and CEO. “Postluxury is a removal of the badge and an ability for larger portions of the population to benefit.”
We traveled all over Italy, into the farthest reaches, tracking down rumors of the very best moccasin specialist, an artisan who could make a seamless pump like no other. People who were still making shoes as they should be made.
“These artisans have been abandoned by the massive corporations in search of better margins,” says Ben. “Many had been burned before, by others who took their constructions and had them implemented in China.”
Luxury as we once knew it was not sustainable — and one by one, these artisans joined us, determined to be part of the future. We launched a year ago by working hand in hand with these small factories.
We’re doing things differently. And we like it that way.
“We go in with concepts and designs,” explains Maria Gangemi, our namesake, an M.Gemi founder, and Italian shoe industry veteran. “But we listen — about heel architecture, about special materials, we make improvements to a construction. These people see themselves as artisans and long for that. We have brought back that collaborative spirit.”
These people see themselves as artisans and long for that. We have brought back that collaborative spirit.
By partnering with these artisans and removing middlemen or mass stores, we bring Italian handcraftsmanship and modern style direct to our clients at more accessible prices. “We are making this quality a part of your life,” says Cheryl Kaplan, our president. “These are not to keep on a shelf as precious art. Now you have this in-between price where you can actually wear your art.”
We celebrated our first birthday by adding M.Gemi for Men, for guys who want easy access to the best at reasonable prices. And starting May 1, we’re making another big change. In addition to a new shoe every single Monday, we’re debuting a new, themed edition of shoes on the first of every month. Our clients tell us they like new things, things they want to wear right now. And when our clients tell us something, we tend to listen.
“We live postluxury lives,” says Ben. “The cars we drive, the homes we live in, the restaurants we go to. We are not looking to go to the fancy restaurant to be seen. We are looking to find the great, tiny little spot a friend told us about, that truly has the best food. It’s not about the badge. It’s about the craft and the quality. So we don’t think about the way it’s been done. We think about the way it should be done.”
We’d love to know what you think about our movement in the making (click the heart below to let us know you’re joining in). What does postluxury look like to you?
Most of all, we hope you’ll come along.