First and foremost, Aimont is a family story. This story starts in Italy, in the region of Piedmont, in Soriso by Lake Orta to be precise…
A small company was founded here in 1950 that manufactured shoes for major sports brands. It was called ALMAR – AL for Alfonso and MAR for Maria – the two founders. Maria Uzzeni handled manufacturing while Alfonso, her husband, sold the products.
Alfonso and Maria had a son called Pier Franco Uzzeni. Little Franco spent all his childhood surrounded by the clicking of “La Black” as he used to call it, a sewing machine specialised in making shoes. La Black woke him up every morning telling him it was time to get ready for school, but little Franco stayed in bed a few minutes longer to count the time with his fingers that it took La Black to sew a shoe. As the years went by to the sound of La Black, he learned how many shoes could be made a minute and to tell if productivity was up to scratch. One thing was certain: he would continue the work of his parents and grandparents !
In 1987, Franco decided to breathe a new lease of life into ALMAR: he decided to give the shoes he was making another dimension by focusing on risk prevention. In 1988, he created his own brand of safety shoes which he called AIMONT, which means “to the mountains”, a nod to ALMAR which means “to the sea”, symbolising the complementary nature between the 2 types of shoes he made.
WE ARE PROUDLY AND ENTHUSIASTICALLY GETTING BACK ONTO THE PATH WHERE WE LEFT IT."
Franco “thought big”: making and selling shoes was in his DNA. From his grandfather on his mother’s side, he had inherited his expertise in production and materials. While from his grandfather on his father’s side who spent part of his life in France, he had kept his innate sense of marketing.
When Papi Sulà, as he still affectionately calls him today, moved to Pontarlier, a very rainy town, people wanted waterproof shoes whatever the price. To show them that the shoes he made could withstand moisture, he put a basin full of water with one of his shoes inside in his shop window. He then used to slide a match along it and asked his customers to take the match and light it. Each time the customers did the test, the match would light, which proved that the shoe could withstand moisture!
Franco’s bet paid off: the demand was there, as more and more workers were wearing safety shoes on building sites! To handle the increase in volume, he built his own factory in Bizerte, in Tunisia, where he used to spend his holidays as a child.
As a sports and motor racing fan, Franco wanted his shoes to protect and benefit from the best technologies for workers without, however, sacrificing the design that is an integral part of the DNA of an Italian brand. So he created the first “safety trainer” and found the perfect balance between looking good and safety!