The story of Bandolera starts with Pasquale Girardi and his passion for the Argentine Tango. Pasquale is the owner, trademark holder and originator of Bandolera shoes. He began dancing Tango in 1997 and by 2000 he was teaching with Luciana Semprini, a professional dancer. Together they traveled performing and teaching throughout Europe, including the Metz Festival and Festival Crest in France, Tango Norte in Stockholm, and the Antwerp Tango Festival. He also created and promoted the Rimini Tango Fusion festival, which debuted in 2007 and was an annual New Year’s event through 2010.
Tango travels introduced Pasquale to many professional and amateur dancers, and he became increasingly aware of the importance of shoes, and how dancers needed shoes that were both comfortable and technically superior. He realized that, although Italy had a prestigious shoe-making tradition with a reputation for excellence in fashion, the shoes did not meet his exacting standards for dancers. In 2004, in the hills of Rimini, the idea of taking his long experience on the dance floor and creating an innovative and high-performance shoe line that met the needs and desires of dancers began to take shape. He called the project Bandolera Tango Shoes. The first shoes were the result of a collaboration between non-designer dancers and professional shoemakers. Then fashion professionals were called in, including Fabiena Monstesi, Head of the Style Office. At the same time, the innovative NO MORE PAIN memory foam cushioned insole was developed to transform the women’s line of dance shoes. This unique feature alone makes Bandolera the queen of all Tango shoes!
Today, more than 120 distributors, spread across 38 countries, showcase the Bandolera shoes made by 45 master shoemakers and skilled artisans in Italy and other European countries. Pasquale Girardi’s dream has changed the definition of tango shoes for dancers around the world. Axis Tango discovered Bandolera in 2013 and immediately recognized the exceptional appeal of comfort and style combined. Since then Axis Tango has been a Bandolera partner and the exclusive United States distributor. Axis Tango is proud to be the first and only company to bring these extraordinary shoes to dancers in the U.S.