To discover the making of these shoes, one must first go to the Florentine hinterland, to a family-run embroidery atelier. Surrounded by hundreds of bobbins of thread, sewing machines, under the watchful eye of seamstresses, produce ecru ribbons adorned with black "J'adior" motifs in relief. Since these inscriptions are created from a single black thread, the link between each letter must be separated by hand. After applying a stain-resistant treatment, the seamstresses cut out the ribbons which are arranged on large organza panels. Each ribbon requires more than seventy-five thousand stitches, and it takes three-and-a-half hours of work per pair of shoes to make these embellishments.
Then it's off to the House’s workshops to follow the development of this black patent calf leather pump, mounted on a six-and-half centimeter heel. This heritage heel referred to as "pied-de-chèvre" is inspired by a model designed for the haute couture autumn-winter 1962 show. Identifiable by its subtly curved form, it lends a light and relaxed gait, the essence of simplicity. To achieve such a result, the heelmaker has fashioned the resin to attain the perfect silhouette, one that combines aesthetics with perfect balance. For his part, the lastmaker, with the sketch as a guide, carves a block of wood into a form that will aid the modelmaker in creating the patterns for the leather elements. To do this, he coats the last with a layer of PVC and directly marks the pump’s outlines. When the patterns are ready, it's time to select the leathers. The artisan's honed eyes examine and scrutinize, while his skilled hands touch, measure, and mark out any imperfections. The shoe’s quality begins with the choice of leather.
After cutting out the thirty-two pieces of leather and placing reinforcements here and there, he positions the upper - the top part of the pump - on a last made to the exact measurements of the J’adior, then steams it. Thanks to the variations in temperature, the craftsman can mold the leather into the required shape. It is an operation based on instinct. He folds in the sides to create the toe point and uses a row of tacks to fix the whole to the insole, a sole that has the distinction of having a metal plate concealed within. Subsequently, the heel is supported by a metal pin that runs through it, and further held by some additional nails. In this way, stability is assured. The craftsman positions the sole of the shoe by hand then a machine presses it in one go. Upon completion, each J’adior is subject to a comprehensive quality control: its leather, stitching and structure, everything is checked before being cleaned and polished up.