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SHOE BIZ: It turns out Juliette Binoche is not the only fan of Santoni shoes. A throng turned out to celebrate the opening of the luxury brand’s new flagship on Via Montenapoleone on Friday, plopping glasses of Ruinart Champagne among the handcrafted footwear.

Though she was suffering from a sore throat, Binoche took the pandemonium in stride, joining Santoni chief executive officer Giuseppe Santoni for a tour of the boutique, designed by architect Patricia Urquiola, and a dinner afterwards at Da Giacomo bistro.

This story first appeared in the February 25, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

“I have loved Italian shoes since I was a teenager, because my mother used to come to Italy especially to buy her shoes. We went to museums most of the time, but there was always a moment when we went out to buy shoes,” the French actress recalled.

She noted that her friend Daniel Day-Lewis took a break from acting to spend several months apprenticing as a shoemaker in Florence. “So Italian shoes have always been a reference. When they are made by hand, they become art,” Binoche enthused.

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