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The Forecast is Summersalt’s global content hub for all things travel, packing, style, and discovery, packed with informative and inspirational pieces for (and featuring!) women who are going places.

The Founder of M.Gemi Believes in The Magic of Italian Craftsmanship

Gabrielle Kirlew

Maria Gangemi is a woman going places — in beautiful shoes. She co-founded her namesake luxury shoe brand, M.Gemi in 2015, inspired by her Italian roots and the shoemaking she witnessed during her childhood. M. Gemi is best known for its “Monday Drop,” a weekly unveiling of limited quantity new styles. The business strategy has paid off immensely, turning the dreaded day into an exciting one for customers. In its first few years, M.Gemi has made a name for itself, raising millions of dollars from investors and being worn by influencers and celebrities like Mariana Hewitt and Emmy Rossum. Read on to learn more about Maria, her career journey, and her best travel tips.

What inspired you to launch M. Gemi?

Growing up in Sicily, I remember going to nearby shops every week to see what new shoes the local artisans had made by hand, just a few pairs at a time, with such stunning attention to detail. M.Gemi is our way of sharing that thrilling sense of discovery and deep passion for impeccably crafted shoes.

What do you find most rewarding?

That magical moment when all of the pieces come together and the sample you have been working on is just right. When at last, the heel and the leathers all work. When the shoe is just perfect and our clients love it.

What are you most proud of?

Walking into our workshops when the artisans are busy and our shoes are on the line being made. I love to feel and see the energy in a workshop that is filled with the shoes we have worked on together.

Let’s talk about “going places.” What’s on the horizon for you?

My goal is to share the magic of Italian craftsmanship with everyone. So that means finding more amazing artisans to work with, listening and learning from our customers, and growing beyond shoes and belts!

Image Courtesy of M.Gemi

What is a destination that you’re always telling people, “You have to go there!” 

Forte dei Marmi. You are nestled between the beautiful ocean and the Italian alps. It’s absolutely gorgeous. On Wednesdays there is a street market in the center of town that I love to visit and of course you can’t beat the fresh seafood and local cafes.

What do you never travel without?

I have this leather tote I take with me everywhere I go — the beach, on the airplane, to work. I get stopped all the time because of its beautiful metallic green color. Inside, I keep a pair of sunglasses, my phone, and whatever else I need for the day.

In 2018, Summersalt collaborated with M. Gemi for La Dolce Vita collection. There is still a limited supply of our The Capri swimsuit!