In the early Twentieth Century, Carlo Gandolfi, an Italian immigrant and his English wife Elizabeth opened their first shop in Paddington, London. They started with manufacturing hand made tap and ballet shoes. the business was growing and in the late twenties the shop was moved to Chapel Street/Edgware Road. By 1949 Gandolfi was a complete family affair and the shop at 150 Maryleborne Road was opened.
By that time all four children: Yolanda, Valentino, Mario and Giovanni were involved. They had all been growing up, chipping in to help the family business. Yolanda did the accounts, Valentino specialized in shoes, Mario and Giovanni were the salesmen.
During 1952 the first big factory was opened in Hemel Hempstead and for 30 years all the shoes were manufactured there. In 1983 it became worthwhile for the factory to move to a freehold site in Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, where it still remains today.
Apart from manufacturing shoes Gandolfi also manufactures dance clothes such as leotards, catsuits etc. Generations of dancers and actors are wearing Marios costumes. Most of them are unique and exclusive. Some of Mario’s costumes are world famous, such as Freddie Mercury’s sleeveless dinner jacket. After the death of Giovanni Gandolfi in January 2000 the family business was passed over to Derek Gandolfi (the son of Valentino Gandolfi and the Grandson of Carlo and Elizabeth Gandolfi), leaving the business within the family for the third generation
Gandolfi still manufacture specialized outfits for TV, film and theatre.
Any enquires can be made to the Wellingborough address.