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The Pope Does Not Wear Prada | Manolo's Shoe Blog

The Pope Does Not Wear Prada

Manolo says, despite rumors to the contrary, the Pope does not wear the Prada.

The pontiff has been hailed as a “style icon” since his election just over three years ago and speculation has been rife that he enjoys designer clothes. Attention has focused not only on his often elaborate headgear and fashionable sunglasses but also on his dainty red shoes, or moccasins, widely assumed to be made by Prada.

However L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper, categorically denied reports today that the shoes were a Prada product, saying this was “of course false”.

According to Vatican sources the Pope’s shoes are made by a cobbler from Novara called Adriano Stefanelli, who makes them from calf or kid for the winter and nappa leather for the summer. Papal shoe repairs are carried out by Antonio Arellano, a Peruvian shoemaker in the Borgo, the medieval quarter next to St Peter’s. The article, on “Ratzinger’s Liturgical Vestments”, was written by Juan Manuel de Prada, the noted Spanish writer and author of The Tempest, who is not related to the fashion company. De Prada said that the image of the German-born Pope as concerned with “frivolity” was at odds with the truth, which was that he was a “simple and sober” man. Suggestions to the contrary were “stupid and banal”.

Well, excuse the Manolo, for being interested. So who does dress His Holiness, Señor de Prada?

“The Pope is not dressed by Prada but by Christ,” he said.

That certainly clears up any confusion.

20 Responses to “The Pope Does Not Wear Prada”

  1. Laura June 27, 2008 at 1:26 pm #

    Thanks for clearing that up! I did notice his shoes when he came to NY earlier this year. There was even mention of them in the papers…

  2. Miss Janey June 27, 2008 at 2:02 pm #

    Does the Baby Jesus send his clothes down from heaven?

  3. Wendy June 27, 2008 at 2:23 pm #

    Senor de Prada is a wanker. Simple question, simple answer, dumbarse.

  4. Phyllis June 27, 2008 at 2:35 pm #

    Strange. As I recall JC was fisherman, not a cobbler.

  5. fashionherald June 27, 2008 at 3:31 pm #

    same same, right?

  6. Bridey June 27, 2008 at 3:44 pm #

    In context, it appears that what De Prada meant was that the Pope considers carefully the implications of everything he wears, because it may be of liturgical significance.

    De Prada’s response in any event sounds like that of a very devout man. Which is hilarious, of course. Other people’s belief — they’re a hoot.

  7. Annalucia June 27, 2008 at 5:55 pm #

    “…it appears that what De Prada meant was that the Pope considers carefully the implications of everything he wears, because it may be of liturgical significance.”

    Much thanks to the Bridey for pointing this out. Il Papa dresses in conformity with the requirements of his office. And if the Adriano Stefanelli finds himself inspired by the Prada styles now and then, surely there is no harm in that, is there?

  8. lady coveted June 27, 2008 at 5:57 pm #


    (what would jesus wear?) red shoes of course.
    i’m not catholic, nor have i ever been to church, nor red the bible… but those red shoes are making a follower out of me.

  9. Imelda Blahnik June 27, 2008 at 6:01 pm #

    Jesus H. Christ was not a fisherman, though some have called him a fisher of men. He was a carpenter. Could whip up a mean shoe last, apparently. It’s not clear whether the lasts of the Maestro, or of Prada for that matter, are of divine provenance.

  10. Susanna June 27, 2008 at 7:19 pm #

    Nicely put, Imelda. I have nothing to add.

  11. Matthew Kimel June 27, 2008 at 7:33 pm #

    The Pope should wear Prada, he’d be more hip!

  12. Marie June 28, 2008 at 11:08 am #

    If Christ is dressing the pope, evidently nearly two thousand years of reigning at the right hand of the Almighty have changed his taste in footwear. “He who is mightier than I is coming, the thong of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.” (Luke 3.16) Let’s just be glad Jesus has switched to loafers rather than Crocs.

  13. Ms Baroque June 28, 2008 at 11:57 am #

    Christ and some very good materials, from the sounds of it.

  14. raincoaster June 28, 2008 at 9:15 pm #

    “The Pope is not dressed by Prada but by Christ.”

    Some of my friends are unsure there IS a difference.

    In any case, anyone who’s looked into vestments and their making would look upon Prada garments as prefab crap by comparison. Whole communities of women will live and die working on some of that embroidery.

  15. Stylist Stuff June 29, 2008 at 5:15 pm #

    I love this post!
    Really no matter who makes them, you have to admire the shoes!

  16. Eilish June 30, 2008 at 2:12 am #

    Good to know that the Pope supports a traditional craftsman like Senor Arellano. Plus, you can’t get more local than the medieval quarter next to St. Peter’s.

  17. Elaine June 30, 2008 at 12:33 pm #

    I assume de Prada means that Christ is the Pope’s stylist and personnal shopper. I picture the Pope standing in Emporio Armani, holding up a couple of suits and waiting for a sign from God indicating which one he should buy. Unfortunately, this seems to be a service that Christ provides exclusively for the Pope; I’ve tried it but have never gotten an answer. Perhaps I should put more it basket every Sunday and see if he’s more responsive.

  18. jen June 30, 2008 at 12:39 pm #

    I’m sure God doesn’t want his earthly representative wearing Crocs LMAO!

  19. Jessica August 5, 2008 at 8:45 pm #

    I love it! Now only if I can get my man to dress like the pope! Any suggestions :P

    Fashion News

  20. class factotum January 3, 2011 at 3:38 pm #

    As I recall JC was fisherman

    Nope, the Pope is the fisherman, as in The Shoes of the Fisherman.

    For the skiing pope, it is the schuss of the fisherman.