‘I’ve seen the bad side of the industry, the cheap labour, the conditions, the horrid volume supply chain. I’ve seen the squalor, the crap build and the lack of care and diligence. I’m not down with that.’ Millennials get a bad rap on many counts but listening to James Bleakley, designer and creative director at Piloti shoes makes you see past that. Way past.
Piloti has a history of creating shoes around the automotive and motorsport sector although James and the team are also branching out into the surrounding leisure sector too. 2019 saw them also launch their first women’s shoe, the Vittoria. ‘Women drive and race too but we needed to also move from our home market first’ says Bleakley from the new London office overlooking the Thames. ‘The UK market is a ‘oh my’ moment right now’ he continues, ‘I mean, you guys love a white shoe whereas back home, it is solid black. But I’m learning!’