SUR Tango Shoes Story

by Julia Schiptsova July 13, 2016

SUR Tango Shoes Story

Sur was born from the union between the passion for tango and a deep knowledge of the shoemaking industry.

I began dancing tango in 1995, back when there was still nothing going on in Florence, at a dance school in the city center. Alessandra Tedeschi and her partner taught there, themselves taking lessons from Annalisa and Tobias Bert in Bologna. In those years milongas hardly existed, let alone shoes for tango specifically; but with my mother having a footwear firm, founded by my grandfather right after the war, I was making shoes on my own. In the span of five years, tango exploded in Florence. I continued to bring out tango shoes according to my own taste; I made them for myself and for my friends, who asked for them --- given that real and proper tango shoes did not exist in Italy, except for the random Argentine shoe more or less smuggled into the country. Sur launched officially in 2000, with an already comprehensive product line and the characteristic comfortable structure which later models have more or less kept intact.

To create this small artisan business, I entered a competition held by the Region of Tuscany, which awarded my proposal and subsidized the startup. Sur is inspired above all by the SOUTH of the world, by its warm and embracing atmosphere, by its renowned literature, by its nostalgia, and by a historic venue where people dance tango… yet it also hearkens to the literary magazine SUR, founded by the great woman Victoria Ocampo in Argentina, which featured authors of the caliber of Jorge Luis Borges, José Ortega y Gasset, Octavio Paz, Federico García Lorca, Gabriel García Márquez, Pablo Neruda and many more.

A name, then, as stirring and refined as the shoes that bear it. And these shoes strive indeed to conjure up a lost world and ambience, and at the same time keep in step with today’s evolving fashions and with the picture of a woman both elegant and courageous, intelligent and independent.

Sur shoes are produced entirely in Florence, Italy, and in a partially handcrafted process, with leather materials sourced locally in the district of Tuscany. The firm where they are produced is Fratelli Masotti --- a firm owned by the mother of the sisters Raveggi, Beatrice, and Cecilia --- a firm that has worked for years chiefly in the fashion industry for famous brands such as Jimmy Choo. The firm was founded by our grandfather, and we sisters practically grew up there, playing with adhesive and bits of leather since we were children.

Sur tango shoes are characterized foremost by their innovation and the creativity of their original models (every model is based on a woman, portrays a type of woman and bears her name), all registered at the Chamber of Commerce in Prato and protected as intellectual property; by their exclusive anti-shock cushioning, made with shock-absorbent athletic materials (Sur was the first tango shoe to introduce a padded footbed); and by their quality handcrafted assembly.

Sur is a small entity, whose marketing is quietly bold but honest, preferring to gain public notice by results more than by words. This honesty and the reliability of our work has over time garnered us the attention of a vast public in Europe and now also in the United States. Many professional tango dancers love dancing in Sur shoes, and kindly and affectionately they advertise us around the world.

Beatrice Raveggi

SUR Tango Shoes Brand Founder

Julia Schiptsova
Julia Schiptsova


Leave a comment