The Artisan craftwork associated with shoemaking in Mallorca goes back a long way. It began in the MiddleAges, and continues up to the present day. At MONGE we work side by side with Artisans from the island, who with the same dedication and care make each pair of shoes individually.
The tradition in footwear in Mallorca grew out of the shoemakers’ guild which developed on the island after it was conquered by King Jaime the First of Aragón in the thirteenth century. This industry has since developed up to the present day, becoming internationally renowned, even to the extent that it provided cowboy boots to the United States. Yes, it may seem incredible but these boots, so typical of the ranches of the Far West, were manufactured in Palma, Alaró and Llucmajor.
Leather, pleated hide leather soles and natural crepe… the shoemaking industry of Mallorca is known for creating a top quality product. If we had to pinpoint the area where most of the footwear is manufactured, it would be in Inca, the town considered as the centre of Artisanal work on hides. There the shoe industry dates back to the fifteenth century. As early as that it was an exporting industry. The production fell into a grave recession in the dramatic year of 1898, when Spain lost its last colonies. However, recovery and splendour came back in the first half of the twentieth century, then further developed, continuing up to the present day, though with ups and downs. Over the last few decades, shoe manufacturing has carried on, thanks to the internationally renowned firms on the island, in one of which the founder and creator of MONGE, Pedro Monge, learned all about the business and industry.
There could be no better idea than establishing our place of creation where the Artisanal experts, and their ancestors, have lived and worked. Thus when we created the company in 2012, we decided the MONGE studio and workshop would be in Mallorca, from where we craft our shoes drawing on the century-old legacy and experience, backed up by contemporary design. All MONGE’s creations are carefully made by artisans, allowing the shoes to mature on the shoetree as long as necessary to ensure their excellence is unmatchable.
In contrast to today’s tendency of setting less demanding standards and relocating production in order to take advantage of lower labour costs, at MONGE we are investing on Artisanal processes to create shoes worthy of Artisans, in the new era of shoes for men “made in Mallorca.” We want to be a worthy alternative, create the luxury of the Artisanal, this savoir faire that reveals itself through work done only accepting the highest standards and quality. The numerous steps in the manufacturing are evident in the details, the leather, the stitching and the sewing, in the way the shoe-inside fits the foot like a glove. All of this comes together to make MONGE shoes timeless, never going out of fashion.