The term “vero cuoio” is an Italian phrase that translates to “real leather” in English. This phrase is often seen stamped on the soles of high-heeled shoes, indicating that the shoe’s sole is made from genuine leather. The stamp is usually accompanied by a logo resembling a cowhide, signifying the material used to create the leather.
The Consortium Vero Cuoio was established in 1985 with the objective of educating consumers to recognize, distinguish, and appreciate the quality of authentic Italian leather soles. The logo, shaped like a puzzle piece, represents a cowhide, the primary material used in leather production.
However, it’s important to note that the presence of the “vero cuoio” stamp does not necessarily guarantee the quality or origin of the leather. Following a court ruling in 2013, manufacturers are allowed to use the “vero cuoio” symbol and words, provided their trademarks differ graphically, even minimally. This means that “vero cuoio” can be applied to genuine leather from any source, not just Italy.
Moreover, the presence or absence of the “vero cuoio” stamp cannot definitively authenticate a pair of shoes. For instance, Christian Louboutin heels, known for their iconic red soles, carried the “vero cuoio” phrase for many years but do not typically do so today. Therefore, the presence or absence of the stamp does not confirm the authenticity of these designer shoes.
Before 2013, the Italian National Tanning Industry Union (UNIC) held a trademark for the “vero cuoio” stamp, implying that shoes with this stamp were made of superior Italian leather. However, the Court of Milan ruled that the genuine leather symbol could not be subject to exclusive intellectual property rights, changing the implications of the stamp.