It takes two to Tango!
And two are the sisters, Viola and Vera Arrivabene Valenti Gonzaga, who have united their love for Venice with their passion for furlane to create the ViBi Venezia world.
The furlana is the quintessential Venetian slipper: the name dates back to the XIX century, when a few ingenious and brave ladies from Friuli began producing footwear with left-over fabrics and old bicycle tires. The legend narrates that a family decided to open a parlor for their scarpez, this is how they call shoes in Friuli, right by the Rialto Bridge. The friulana was an immediate success among gondolieres. The rubber sole allowed them to have a firm grip when rowing while still protecting the precious pitch-black varnish on their gondolas.
The fabrics become more precious, and the plethora of colors is enchanting. Our mother would dress us in furlane when we were young children, and we would imagine incredible stories: ancestors wondering about town or sneaking around our Palazzo at night. We liked their simple shape, it reminded us of the traditional shoes depicted by Bellini and Carpaccio on the immense paintings we would see in Venice: our parents would have to drag us there on Sunday afternoons as children, today however we cannot wait to visit the museums, galleries or churches as they are source of inspiration, just as much as Venice is.
How was ViBi Venezia born? Easy! Each time we would board a plane or hop on a train to reach our friends, they would ask us to pack an extra pair of furlane for them to gift to their families, their friends, their significant others and so on… so why not ship them?
It was 2015 when we looked at each other in the eye, set our rivalry aside – we were born just months apart ! – and united to create a brand that would be symbolic of our sisterly bond, our love for Venice and our childhood memories. We found the perfect recipe to combine our creativity with our desire to support local artisans and launch one of the biggest traditions in our favorite place in the whole wide world: Venice.