DZOYÉ means “to play” in the patois of the Aosta Valley: the language of the heart, an ancient yet vibrant Franco-Provençal dialect which is still spoken today.

This is the name Chicco Margaroli, the versatile artist from Aosta, has chosen for her wearable art creations. These pieces are a tribute to her land from which the project has been brought to life and an expression of her very personal style and way of working. To play: the most creative, pure pursuit for a human being and the most naturally artistic. Synonymous with joy, happiness and passion.

DZOYÉ are the shoes that Chicco paints entirely by hand. Unique pieces elegantly decorated and created with amazing attention to detail and colour. The right shoe always different from the left, the front from the back, as is each sole. A revelation and exclusive emotion, a real privilege.

There is no DZOYÉ collection per se, but just unique creations that the artist produces on request, each of which telling its own story. Through her shoes Chicco interprets the memories, passions and dreams of those who wear them, such that they become a true expression of their personality and style. A delicate, creative and visual interpretation, which achieves an incredibly real quality.

At the heart of the project is the Aostan clog, the Soque. Part of the peasant farming tradition from of the Aosta Valley from medieval times and an essential element of the Made in Italy movement. The artist wanted to rediscover and enhance its use with a contemporary and original twist, such that it has now become a true art accessory. However, the artistic project is also developed for lots of different type of shoes, from flats to slippers and boots.

The Artist

To nourish and enlighten hearts is the tallest and hardest modern quest. Each person with their own strength.

To renew, reinterpret, rescue from memories and give new life to the things that surround her, this is the common theme of Chicco Margaroli’s mission. From the most artistic to the most commercial, but always creative, Chicco’s work derives from a single, constant question: what would I change? How would I redo it? How could it be different? Questions which, in turn, underlie a precise nature and approach: a specific curiosity in the "little ordinary things" that surround us, yet which mould us, and a desire to create a relationship with these things through a personal and unique interpretation.

Learn more about Chicco Margaroli

The Creations

Catalog (PDF)

Just like a canvas, Chicco Margaroli paints the whole Soque completely by hand. Each shoe (not pair) is the result of a careful study of decorative eloquence by the artist: the right different from the left, the front from the back, even the wooden soles are different creating a unique, one-off artistic object, thanks to the refined quality of the painting style.

Her creative research is also expressed through more urban shoes, according to fashion trends, like flats, slippers and boots, but always consistent with the DZOYÉ identity and values: unique pieces, accurately hand painted and signed by the artist with great attention to personalisation, elegance and detail of the decoration.

In her atelier in the historic centre of Aosta, Chicco works the shoes with very fine paintbrushes and an exclusive blend of tempera and polymers which are waterproof and have extremely high tensile strength. Her methods are the result of a long and careful investigation into materials and into the characteristics of construction grade paint as well as those used in offset printing, a combination which guarantees the quality of the aesthetic appearance and durability for years to come. This technical research enables Chicco to restore or revitalise the artistic design if damaged or worn away through use, as the Soque will always follow its owner and their story.

The Heritage

The Soque is the typical footwear from the Aosta Valley, the smallest region in Northern Italy, a charming landscape, which has as the jewels in its crown the highest peaks in Europe, on the borders with Switzerland and France. The history of the Soque is an old story, dating back to the Middle Ages and describes the vocation of the craftsmen of the land. Hand crafted, only two materials were used: leather and wood. The sole was sculpted in alder wood, a broadleaf, native tree in the valleys, found mainly in the dampest areas. It was considered the softest wood to support the foot, light and ideal for cutting, as it is free of knottiness and not at all resinous, as well as being a very receptive surface for absorbing colour and resin. The upper part of the shoe was made of tanned leather, which was so stiff that the shoe could only be worn with thick, knitted woollen socks. In order not to loose the small amount of softness gained through wear over time, the upper was often removed from the used sole and put back on to a new base to continue its life as a useful, everyday object.

This is how the Soque was created to be a very hardwearing shoe, fit for every season and has accompanied the history of the people from the Aosta Valley from ancient times. Warm and dry, as the wood isolated from the rigours of winter; snow and rain resistant: for this reason it was warn originally by farmers and cattle owners who worked most of the time outdoors, in contact with the cold damp land.

Whilst respecting the tradition and history, Chicco Margaroli wanted to reinterpret and enhance the value of this everyday old instrument, keeping the unique qualities of how it was put together and increasing the comfort: today the Soque is assembled dry by local craftsmen, with a sole in alder wood as before, but with soft suede instead of leather. The basic model and ankle boot are available in a range from traditional to more fashionable colours, and the lightness of the suede makes it appropriate for all seasons, even the hottest, to be worn without socks, thanks to the naturally breathable material.

History, comfort and bespoke creativity: DZOYÉ, a small gem entirely and genuinely Made in Italy, lives a new season as a must-have of Alpine design.



Via Antica Zecca 22, Aosta, Italy

Via Morimondo 26, Milano, Italy

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