Accademia Riaci
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Lara Blevi

Nationality: South-African
Course: Shoe Making
Program: One-Year Atelier Course
Period: Sept 5, 2016-April 25, 2017

After Studying a BA degree in Fashion Design in South Africa, Lara decided that she would love to study further and focus on a specific direction in the fashion industry. During her studies, she followed an internship at a company where she was taught how to make and design handbags out of leather and exotic leather skins.

She knew instantly that she would love to study further and learn more about shoes and decided to come to Firenze, Italy, the most famous city to learn more of leather art and shoes! She found Accademia Riaci and knew that the shoe making course that they had to offer was exactly was she was looking for.

Here she wishes to learn the highest level of shoe making techniques and to be able to follow her dream to become a designer with the knowledge of not only fashion, but also the art of shoe and handbag design.




Sep. 22, 2016 | Posted in Reports, Shoemaking , | Tags:, Reporter: Lara Blevi | Course: Shoemaking

Shoe Making 1-One Year Course 2016

My first week at Accademia Riaci

For my first day arriving at Accademia Riaci had mixed emotions of excitement and a little bit of stress. I was in a completely new country and I did not know anyone, but I was very quickly convinced that Academia Riaci is a great place and that the people are very friendly and helpful.

We were all welcomed by the secretary and given an introduction to the school and our courses. After that we were shown to our different departments (mine being shoe making) and started right off. I got acquainted with all my classmates immediately, and we were all very excited for the course.

Our artisan shoemaker, Mr. Angelo, did not waste any time to get us started to our course. We were taught all the basics of shoe making from the terminology, to the lasts, the models and the soles. We were also given all our necessary tools.

Throughout the week we all started with our own lasts. We started by taping them to form the pattern for the model and also made the pattern for the lining. We were also taught how to use the sewing machine.

During that week I did a little sight seeing by myself and was astonished by the beauty of Florence and the absolute friendliness of the people. I visited some historic sites like the Piazzalle Michelangelo where I had delicious gelato with the best view of Florence, and also the Salvatore Ferragamo Museum. I could quickly see how Florence would become my new home.

On the Friday all the new students were taken on a historical trip throughout Florence. This was very nice as we learnt some interesting things about the history of Florence and also got to meet all of the other new students from different departments of Accademia Riaci.

I feel very good about my first week and cannot wait for the rest to follow.

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Our introduction to all the different type of shoe lasts.

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Taping the last to start the pattern making process.

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Professor Angelo showing the students how to draw the model (pattern) for the shoe from the last.

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Here I am securing the glue with my hammer on the mock up of my upper part of the shoe.

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My first mock up for the upper part of my decollate shoe.

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The Duomo is the most impressive building right in the center of Florence and is absolutely beautiful. You can also go inside and walk all the way to the top.

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Here I am standing right at the top at Piazzale Michelangelo, about a 20 min from the center, where you can see the best view of Florence. Of course having a Gelato almost everyday in Florence is a must!

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On Friday one of the lectures of Riaci took all the new students on a historical walk trough the center of Florence. Here we are in the Medici Chapel, one of the oldest and most important buildings in Florence.

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Andrea and Joanne looking up at the high tower of Palazzo Vecchio.

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We ended of our walk at the impressive Palazzo Pitti, where there is now an amazing Karl Lagerfeld exhibition. Afterwards went for some wine at the very lively Santo Spirito!



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At Accademia Riaci, we are recruiting Course Reporters from our students. The students who are chosen to become Course Reporters are given 10 % of the tuition as their scholarship fee.
The Reporters who have submitted excellent reports will have his or her profile posted on our school website for the next 5 years as an alumnae and will be able to connect with their business chancesafter their graduation.

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