Women Try To Make Italy’s Shoe-Shining As Chic As Its Shoes

by MR Magazine Staff

In a country famed for its fine leather products and fashion sense, shining shoes was never a particularly exalted profession. The practice was imported during World War II, when American and British soldiers paid young boys on the street to buff up their boots, sometimes in return for chocolate and cigarettes. Even one of the ways to call it — “sciuscià,” as described in Vittorio De Sica’s 1946 movie of the same name — comes from the Neapolitan dialect that imitates the sound of the English “shoeshine.” And it was certainly never a woman’s job. But don’t tell any of that to Eleonora Lovo. She is the latest example of how women have moved into the decidedly out-of-fashion trade, once exclusively the domain of men, and even made it hip. Read more at The New York Times.