Antonietta Cetani is Fratelli Borgioli head of finishing and quality department. According to her, having passion is the only way to become a good craftsman. Read more!


A few months ago we interviewed Fabiola Nardini, a Fratelli Borgioli artisan. Today we are going to have a talk with Antonietta: a passionate artisan who has been working with Fratelli Borgioli since 1981.

She began her career at Fratelli Borgioli the day after finishing the middle school. She is currently in charge of the finishing and quality department, the final check before the packing.

We asked her some questions about her work and what it means to work for Fratelli Borgioli. Read the interview to find out more about Antonietta!


Questions For Antonietta

  1. Hi Antonietta. Could you please introduce yourself and tell us something about you?
  2. Have you always tought to do this job?
  3. How long did you work for Fratelli Borgioli and what position do you cover?
  4. What is your job as head of finishing and quality?
  5. What do you mean with “finishing”?
  6. What is the thing that you like most about your job?
  7. What are your main working tools? And what’s the role of technology in your career?
  8. Have you ever ruined a shoes with the showerhead?
  9. How do you make tradition and innovation coexist in what you do?
  10. In your experience, what are the main characteristics that make Fratelli Borgioli footwear unique compared to other shoe brands?
  11. What is it like working with your sister and being her boss?
  12. As an experienced artisan, what advice would you give to someone who wants to start your work? How can knowledge be transmitted through young artisans?

#1. Hi Antonietta. Could you please introduce yourself and tell us something about you?

Hi, I’m Antonietta, I’m 53 years old, I have two daughters and a wonderful granddaughter.

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#2. Have you always tought to do this job?

This is a job that I have started a little by chance, but over the years it was the job that chose me.

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#3. How long did you work for Fratelli Borgioli and what position do you cover?

I have been working for Fratelli Borgioli for almost 40 years; I’m in charge of the finishing.

artisan antonietta cetani working

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#4. What is your job as head of finishing and quality?

I handle the work of my co-workers in the department. We have to check that the shoe be ready for delivery without any flaws and if there are some we have to fix or crop them.

meet fratelli borgioli artisans antonietta cetani 1

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#5. What do you mean with “finishing”?

By finishing is meant to bring a shoe from raw until you get to make it unique.

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#6. What is the thing that you like most about your job?

There isn’t one thing in particular, what I like most about my job is to be satisfied with the outcome of our products.

artisan antonietta cetani finishing a quality shoe

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#7. What are your main working tools? And what’s the role of technology in your career?

The tools that I use are tiny objects that are useful to remove the imperfections.

In my role I don’t use any technological tools because it is still a manual labour.

antonietta cetani finishing a shoe

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#8. Have you ever ruined a shoe with the showerhead?

No, I haven’t personally.

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#9. How do you make tradition and innovation coexist in what you do?

Teaching to young people what I have learned in 40 years of work.

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#10. How do you make tradition and innovation coexist in what you do?

First of all, the material that we use like leather and premium hides; but also the hands of our artisans and the experience of the business, which have been working from 75 years in this sector.

artisan antonietta cetani

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#11. What is it like working with your sister and being her boss?

My sister and I have a wonderful relationship and this has come out even at work, where there have been no discussions or jealousy.

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#12. As an experienced artisan, what advice would you give to someone who wants to start your work? How can knowledge be transmitted through young artisans?

I can suggest putting passion and dedication into this work because our work as artisans is getting lost. For this reason I think it is wonderful that young people are caring about how to do better to carry on with this tradition.

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We thank Antonietta for revealing us some behind the scenes of the Fratelli Borgioli’s shoemaking process. If you are a shoes passionate you can also read our interview with sneaker restorer Jacopo De Carli!