Crespi is a new-brand shoes entirely designed and produced in Italy.
It’s the result of Umberto Crespi’s experience in Irish Dancing as Chairman of Gens d’Ys Academy since 1993, in collaboration with designers and engineers of Politecnico di Milano and modelers specialized in high-tech resins.
The Jig Shoe is not just a shoe: it is a technical instrument that has not undergone meaningful innovations in years. The creators of Crespi Shoes have focused on many aspects and, for each of them, they aimed at improving and optimizing the final performance, starting from research and preliminary studies beyond the specific needs of Irish dancing.
Marco Marzini, professor of product design at Politecnico of Milan, has been involved in the design stage. With his Design Studio he worked on aesthetics and ergonomics, minimizing seam lines and increasing the harmony of shoe proportions and arching, in relation to the whole of human figure and movements.
He designed and produced new tip shapes so that, in their thicker version, they can push and help the experienced dancer's elevation and, in their thinner version, they can ease a dancer's first steps in Jig Shoes.
He also directly supervised the product development phase, improving the prototypes with resistance tests and taking into account the feedback of many professional and non-professional dancers, who had already tested the shoes.
As the shoes were being produced, designers purposely focused on materials: 100% natural Tuscany leather with two different degrees of thickness has been used to develop two different models, “Elegance” and “Strength”, both skillfully made by Milanese craftsmen, well known all over the world, not only in shoe industry, but also in the fashion business. The outsole is made of a newly conceived hi-tech microfiber, thin as well as resistant. Further research focused on the making of tips and heels that could combine unique Italian style with all the power of Irish sound. Thanks to the experience of companies specialized in hi-tech resins, Crespi Shoes have been added quartz, which will enhance each dancer's rhythm and give a gleaming and warmer sound on every surface.
Besides all these characteristics, designers did not forget the basic feature of a technical shoe: lightness. On average the Crespi burdens the foot with only 320 gr (size 5), between 10% and 20% less than any other brand on sale. To maximize the comfrot of the shoe, finishings were worked on with extreme care, padding the ankle and, above all, removing from the inside any possible point of friction with the foot.
Lastly, double hemming and frontal opening, which are Crespi trade-mark, ease the adherence of the shoe to the foot, so that the shoe becomes a precious ally in every Irish dance performance, be it a competition or an artistic performance.
Italian quality and professionalism extend beyond the finished product. Necessities of dance schools are attended to, with offers, facilitations and customised discounts. To dancers all over the world Crespi offers an effective system of return, repair and e-mail assistance.
Crespi customer care is always available for feedbacks and questions.
Umberto Crespi was born in Busto Arsizio (MI) in 1972.
In his youth he fell in love with history, archaeology, mithology, music and arts, and, more than anything else, with Celtic, Viching and Nordic culture.
Endowed with a passionate spirit, he has made of in-depth analysis and divulgation his strongest points.
Since a young age he actively took part in youth associations and later entered the navy, where he became non-commissioned officer on the ship Libeccio for four years.
At the same time he enrolled in a course of political studies at the University of Florence.
In his leisure time he worked as a radio host of an independent program dedicated to folk, Irish and Celtic music; but a trip to Ireland in 1989 changed his life and put him on the right path.
Thanks to this experience, with the support of his lifelong friends, in 1993 he founded Gens d'Ys, the first Academy of Irish Dance in Italy, beginning as a self-taught dancer and later availing himself of the collaboration of Sinead Venables, 2nd place at Irish dance world championship, and Irish dance teacher Micheal Dillon. After more than 20 years, Umberto still teaches Irish dance with unchanged enthusiasm.
Umberto's business skills, developed along 16 years of work as a salesman in the German multinational corporation Wurth, together with his foresight, hard work and tenacity, lead him to develop Gens d'Ys Academy to a national level. He opened 22 branch schools in 18 Italian cities, involving 36 teachers and more than 700 pupils in 2015, and he spread Irish dance all over Italy, also thanks to hundreds of performances and shows as a dancer and coreographer.
Tireless, creative and tenacious, he has always looked for new inspirations toward which he might focus his energy.
He is the artistic director and event manager of Bustofolk Interceltic Festival, by now at its 15th edition, and has been business consultant of Celtic Project, the organizer society of San Patrizio Milano Festival in 2013 and 2014.
He also organizes on a regular schedule many cultural events, such as dancing nights, cultural trips and exams, inside and outside the academy.
By virtue of his experience and capacity in transforming an association in such a unique and complex enterprise, Umberto Crespi is a university lecturer and he teaches a course in the Master in event organization and management.
In 2016, after two years of study and design, his latest project comes to light: he is the producer and designer of a line of shoes, Crespi Shoes, through which he modernized and improved the essential instrument of every Irish dancer. But the future of this story is still to be discovered.