The footwear and leather goods company, founded by Quinto and Flora Casadei, is a consolidated brand of international scope today.



  1. The origins: Quinto and Flora Casadei
  2. The first wedges
  3. High-heeled pumps
  4. The second generation
  5. Brand expansion
  6. The 50th anniversary
  7. Current situation
  8. Sixty years of Casadei

The origins of Casadei: Quinto and Flora Casadei

Casadei, a footwear and leather goods company in S. Mauro Pascoli, in the province of Forlì, was born in the late 50s as a small artisan workshop that manufactured footwear of sophisticated quality. The history of the brand, today a world leader in the sector, is anything but ordinary: if you look at the path taken, you can see how Casadei’s fortune is built on design excellence and entrepreneurial skills.

The brand with a bold design was born in 1958, when Quinto and Flora Casadei began to make footwear for tourists on the east coast. Together they gave life to a small workshop, which later became a real empire: hidden in San Mauro Pascoli, a provincial town of the Romagna Rivera, a region known above all for agriculture and Renaissance beauties, the Casadei couple gave way to a new form of art.

The origins of Casadei

In the 60s a more formed commercial structure was developed, the beginning of exports to Europe, the United States and the Far East, the presentation of a complete line dedicated to evening clothing and the birth of a collection of bags. Towards the end of the sixties, Casadei’s fame spread far beyond the Italian borders. After dressing the feet of so many tourists, the family-run company expanded its scale of production and international presence. The company acquired a more solid structure and focused on exports, both in the European market and in the United States of America.

The first wedges

After the first line of sandals, Casadei presented its first series of wedges: a popular and trendy choice in the eccentric decade of the 60s. The early seventies allowed the founders to move the base from the workshop to an industrial factory. This change allowed them to have much more creative freedom, starting a real journey into the world of footwear.

Adv campaign winter 1971

Taking wedges as a starting point, Casadei experimented with the idea of wedges with laces and slip-ons. In addition, the design became more courageous, embellished with delicate embroidery. Later, it changed course, entering an era of flared-heeled leather pumps.

Towards the end of the seventies, the concepts of versatility and utility found vent in the first line of Casadei boots, which were knee-high or very short. With this new product, the brand also expanded its presence in the Asian market: in 1977 it officially opened to the Japanese market.

High-heeled pumps

Pump heel in the 80’s

In the early eighties the brand expanded its business to the Middle East. After boots and wedges, Casadei turned to pumps: the company’s interpretation was extremely imaginative, including polka dots and velvet tulle, and high conical heels in golden leather.

In no time, the pumps earned a place in the hall of fame, becoming the company’s iconic product. Dedicating itself to the graceful curves of women’s feet, the brand continued to make new creations with different fabrics, finishes and embroideries, always managing to overcome the incessant passage of time. Towards the end of the eighties, the brand quickly adapted to the “sporty” trend, building a dictionary of hybrid sneakers and football shoes with heels.

The Casadei second generation


Like most family businesses, Casadei also opened its doors to the second generation: Quinto and Flora’s son, Cesare Casadei, became the creative director. Cesare took office in 1994 and since then he has been promoting the image of the brand, leveraging the “Made in Italy” in the world. The arrival of Cesare also marked the beginning of unisex collections and the birth of casual footwear, one more incredible than the other.

Casadei Primavera/estate 1995, scatto di Nick Knight
S/S 1995, shoot by Nick Knight

At the beginning of 2000, the brand decided to move the Milan showroom to Via dell’Annunciata, in a space designed specifically to become the company headquarters. Casadei was now one of the favourite brands among celebrities. Hollywood A-listers were photographed with Casadei shoes, making the brand a significant name on the fashion circuit. The talents of photography shot the advertising campaigns of the company, everything seemed to go in the direction of a happy growth.

The brand’s expansion

Casadei Flagship Store di Londra
Flagship store in London

In October 2002 the company, which employed more than 200 people, opened a new flagship store in the heart of London, at 12 Beauchamp Place, in the district of Knightsbridge. For Casadei, Italy remained the second market (after the United States) with 400 points of sale, 4 of which are single-brand stores (Milan, Florence, Rimini and Ferrara); together with Germany, Italy is the most important market in Europe. Two other boutiques were opened in Russia, in St. Petersburg and Moscow. The company’s expansion is guaranteed by the excellent turnover, which in 2001 reached 32,604 million euros (+14.82% compared to the previous year).

In 2004 the Federation Of Italian Footwear put on the market a limited series of stamps dedicated to the famous Casadei: this represented great recognition for the company that represents the elegance and trend of Italian footwear in the world.

The 50th anniversary

Casadei turned 50 in 2008: to celebrate half a century of captivating designs and artisan glory, the photographer Ellen Von Unwerth was called: the result was a publication on Casadei footwear over the years, followed by an exhibition at the Triennale di Milano.


Year after year Casadei expanded all over the world: in 2010 it launched at full throttle in the openings of Rome, Cannes, Dubai, Casablanca and New York. The same year it also brought Casadei shoes and heels to the Milan Fashion Week.

The label also discovered the digital world, with the launch of their website in 2012, followed by the arrival of the e-commerce boutique in 2013. In 2015, Cesare Casadei and architect Marco Costanzi designed the first concept store in Milan, followed by the presentation of a new boutique in the exclusive Albemarle Street, in Mayfair, London. In the same year, the company relaunched its online shopping portal, a big step towards creating a new aesthetic.

Current situation

Casadei Stiletto Blade, 2015
Stiletto Blade, 2015

Casadei started 2017 by participating in the Super Bowl: Lady Gaga, chosen for the prestigious mid-time performance, wore Casadei’s famous Stiletto Blade. Moreover, Victoria Beckham was often seen with the same shoe, which seemed to be one of the favourites of celebrities, who praised Casadei as the most comfortable brand among competitors. Casadei continued to be an example of impeccable design and entrepreneurial intelligence, expert craftsmanship and thoughtful innovation. It’s testimony to the Italian heritage, with its bright colours and artisan values.

Sixty years of Casadei

In 2018 the brand founded by Quinto and Flora Casadei turned sixty. What better way to celebrate the anniversary? The Plexi Kitten Blade collection reworked the roots of the brand, giving a new look to the iconic blade heel, Casadei’s distinctive trait, which is reborn incorporated in transparent plexiglas. A shoe that does not forget the past, but winks at the future.

Plexi Kitten Bladi collection

With the covid-19 pandemic, the brand decided to strengthen investments on the web. A new e-commerce platform was born that made it possible to make up for the closure of stores, recording an increase in sales of 40% in 2020.



Kitten heel

Car shoe

Victor Hugo