D.A.T.E. is simply the acronym of the names of the four young founders of the project: Damiano Innocenti (1980), Alessandro Zanobini (1982), Tommaso Santoni (1981) and Emiliano Paci (1971). In 2005, the four of them met up in London and there, feeling dissatisfied with their working lives, decided to make a change and throw themselves into an ambitious project to create their own range of sneakers.
D.A.T.E. Despite various difficulties, they succeeded in preparing their first collection, made up of just a few pieces with a decidedly early Seventies British style. They contacted a couple of agents in Italy, which however, did not take much notice of them and the first season was a flop, with less than 700 pairs sold. Based on the figures, the suppliers contacted refused to manufacture the sneakers, putting the company in serious difficulties. After having studied the most desperate options, they realized that the only way to pursue the project and not give up was to manufacture the first D.A.T.E.s themselves.
Based on Emiliano and Damiano's experience that in the past worked with brands like Paul Smith and Escada, they succeed in getting started. Picking up old machines here and there, they created a crude improvised workshop in Emiliano's garage and met up there every evening after work. After an unbelievably difficult time, spending the summer working day and night, they finally they managed to complete the job and succeed in delivering.
In January 2006, thanks to a favor from a friend, they managed to get themselves invited to display as guests on a stand at Pitti Immagine Uomo, showing their collection in a small space. Owing to their decidedly craftsman's feel, the first D.A.T.E.s charmed the public and sold more than 8,000 pairs in just three days. They were a success! D.A.T.E.s became the real news of the season. From then on, the four lads took their sneakers to all the main trade fairs, including Bread & Butter in Barcelona, Who's Next in Paris, Micam in Milan and CPH in Copenhagen.
Today, after just five years, D.A.T.E. sells more than 250,000 pairs of sneakers a year and its products are distributed in all the main countries throughout the world.