People thought Phillip and Dana Nappi were crazy when they quit their jobs—in the midst of the economic downturn—to travel to Italy and begin the process of making “the perfect boot.” The journey began when Nappi’s favorite pair of boots had finally seen its last day. Out of frustration with the boots on the market at the time, Nappi turned to a more ambitious method and began designing a perfect pair to create and build for himself.
About six months after he initially began his design, Nappi and his wife were boarding a plane that would lead them towards their future as artisans. The venture to create the perfect boot had developed into a dream of starting the perfect boot company. It seemed like fate when Nappi found out that his grandfather, Peter, had been a shoemaker from Vietri, Italy. Now shoemaking was not only a part of Nappi’s future, but a part of his past as well.
The aptly named Peter Nappi brad was launched following the trip, boasting an “old-world style with a contemporary flare.” The intention was to create an Italian handmade footwear and accessories company that created timeless pieces that would build a
solid foundation within any wardrobe. All of the Peter Nappi design work is done here in Nashville by a small local team of designers, while the footwear is made in Italy by a group of very talented artisans.
Of the numerous unique pieces that have been designed and created, Nappi does have a favorite. While in Italy, Nappi and his wife made many connections and friends, which eventually led them to meet a vintage clothing curator. This curator introduced Nappi to a pair of World War II fighter pilot leather pants. From these pants Nappi created two sets of boots, one that has already sold and another that he plans to hang on to.
Nappi loved the idea of taking something with so much history and transforming it into something that can be used for years to come. He says, “it provides and tangible connection between generations,” much like the connection between Nappi and his shoemaker grandfather.
Nappi and his family live in Green Hills and are drawn to the entrepreneurial and artistic spirit of Nashville. He enjoys grabbing a meal at City House where he says, “the pizza is better than most places in Italy.” Another favorite is Rolf and Daughters, a restaurant new to Nashville. It’s clear that our local artisans like to support local businesses that are going through similar growth periods that Peter Nappi experienced.
Now established in Nashville, Peter Nappi is well known for its quality leather—from the outside of the boot to the heel pad—and superior construction. Anyone looking to buy a high quality and comfortable leather product can find Peter Nappi pieces online and in the Peter Nappi studio.
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