Brunate was founded in 1926 by Vittorio Galli, a clever businessman, and Giovanni Volonté who excelled in design and production.
In the beginning, the company specialized in the production of high quality children’s shoes. This helped establish the company in a competitive marketplace which had been present since the beginning of the century. After the Great Depression of the late 1920’s, a production facility and office complex were completed in 1936. Upon the death of Vittorio in 1939, 19-year old Letizia Galli entered the business. As the first of the second generation, she had the difficult task of expanding the business during World War II.
In 1943, co-founder Giovanni Volonté passed prematurely and was succeeded a few years later by his son Giacomo. At the end of the war, Elia Galli, Letizia’s brother returned to the firm and led the reorganization of the company in order to expand the business. Brunate continued producing children’s shoes. In 1949, a fire completely destroyed the production facility and warehouse. Rebuilding took place immediately and toward the end of the 1950’, business at Brunate resumesd with the introduction of the last two Brunate heirs, Isaia and Constantino Galli. Between 1955 and 1960, the production facility in Lomazzo was expanded and a second factory was built in Tradate approximately 15 km away. 200 people were employed by Brunate at that time.
A keen sense of the products (stylish shoes) and the marketplace helped Brunate arrive at a level of maximum quality and quantity in Italy and consequently in Europe. Between 1965 and 1975, the company reached the highest degree of production potential and enjoyed market acceptance. In the 1980’, pressure by unions and economic turbulence both fiscally and socially brought about the closure of numerous companies and increasing unemployment in the North and East of Italy. The manufacture of shoes, particularly in Vigevano, the shoe capital, was most impacted by this. Companies which specialized in the production of children’s shoes suffered the most. The crisis was particularly evident in areas near Turin, Alessandria, Pavia, Varese, Como and Milan. At the same time, new companies were founded which benefited from low salaries and public financing. A new generation of shoe companies came to life near the coast of Brenta in Venice, and in the regions of Marche, Tuscany, Apulia and Naples.
Brunate was successful in continuing as a significant player in the shoe industry through the leadership of two generations of capable managers and technicians and qualified employees. In the mid 1980’s, the company underwent a reorganization and added the production of women’s and men’s shoes. The highest quality of its products has been Brunate’s philosophy. Europe with Germany as the leading market, North America, Australia and Japan constitute the major business in the world.