Casadei heels are the quintessential Italian stiletto

Founded on the Italian Riviera in 1958, Casadei is a label with history, following the ebb and flow of high fashion through the decades. What started as a post-war line of women’s sandals, primarily aimed at tourists, is now a name synonymous with sky-high heels.

I sometimes forget, in the excitement around newer lines like Christian Louboutin and Amina Muaddi, that Italy is quite literally packed with high-end footwear makers, many of whom paved the way for more contemporary talents.

Were it not for the investment in local craftspeople and artisans by entrepreneurial families like the Casadeis, the “made in Italy” moniker wouldn’t mean what it means today.

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casadei heels the blade italist
casadei heels the blade italist

Casadei Heels: The Blade

Cesare Casadei is the son of Quinto and Flora Casadei, the labels co-founders, and today still leads the line’s creative design each season. Since 1994, he’s been “obsessed” with creating the perfect Casadei heels, which came to fruition in 2011 with The Blade, a pump made with a blade-like steel stiletto heel. Several iterations are pictured above.

Through countless rounds of trial-and-error, Cesare Casadei perfected the steel heel, which is incredibly strong and stable, and thus, more comfortable to wear. Victoria Beckham is one of The Blade’s biggest proponents, famously wearing them over and over, even while carrying children and running errands.

The word “stiletto” is most commonly known for its association with women’s shoes, but historically was also the name given to a dagger with a long, slender blade and a needle-point tip. It was first developed in Italy in the 15th century using a method not so different from how Casadei heels are produced today.

casadei heels the blade boots italist

A Commitment to Quality

In 2000, Casadei redoubled its investments in Italy and became a vertically integrated brand. From creative design to high-tech hand production, Casadei controls every aspect of its supply chain, which indicates a few things: its products are of the highest material and production quality. Adjustments and tweaks are made immediately, and quality control is strict.

The label’s design direction is also unswayed by passing trends, so The Blade heels you choose today are unlikely to seem passé anytime soon. Casadei heels are designed for the brand’s best clients (like Beyoncé), not necessarily for Instagram, and while a red sole may catch the eyes more quickly, it takes a trained eye to catch the subtle beauty of The Blade in its infinite variations, from suede over-the-knee boots to studded calfskin pumps.

We love that The Blade is so iconic, and that Casadei also makes other styles of beautiful, elegant, and timeless women’s shoes—from combat boots to sneakers.

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Discover the entire line of Casadei footwear and discover more footwear content:

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About the Author

Alex English is the Head of Content Marketing at, building on a lifelong passion for fashion and luxury. After publishing a lifestyle blog for nearly ten years and obtaining an MBA in Milan at SDA Bocconi, one of Europe’s top business schools, he joined the italist team in 2019. His work since then has focused on upper-funnel messaging, brand storytelling, establishing italist as a thought leader in the space, and enriching the customer experience on the platform. Find him on LinkedIn.