Our History

1900

Our founder Maurice Morel was born in 1885 in Normandy. Of humble origins, son of a shoemaker, he quickly learns the shoemaking skills and at a very young age he starts working for a famous shoefactory in Arpajon. Intraprendent and visionair, develops his own unique techinques to reinforce shoes. He sets up a small laboratory where he elaborates a new type of glue by melting caucciù gum. The adventure begins.

.

1920

The First World War signs a turning point. While injured in a hospital bed he has a simple and yet genius idea, a piece of cloth impregnated with glue: easy to use and to work with for shoemakers but at the same time perfect to use as a reinforcement for toepuffs. In 1920 Maurice opens his very first factory.

1924

Roi du Bout Dur
By 1924 Maurice opens several factories throughout Europe, becoming a landmark as a supplier for the shoemaking industry but most importantly for his greatest invention, the cotton toepuff! In an ironic and extravagant way, he proclaims himself “Roi du Bout Dur” and he becomes legend.

1926

Via Agudio
The Italian adventure of Morel starts in Milan.

1935

Antonio Ghiringhelli, a young clever man working as an accountant Alla Scala of Milan, is appointed by Maurice Morel to revamp the economical situation, drastically hit by the ’29 crisis. Not only he will manage to do so but he will also be responsible for the construction of the new, and our current, factory in Via Gradisca 18.

1938

Morel appears many times on the famous cover of the “Italian Shoes Magazine”, with effective and captivating images.

Alice Bonfanti, together with Maurice Morel and Antonio Ghiringhelli, believing in the company, will become one of the main shareholders.

1943

Second World War. Morel factory taken by the German army as a strategic position to place an anti-aircraft on the roof.

1944

As a consequence, british forces bomb part of our factory, destroying part of our warehouse.

1945

By 1945 American troops occupy Morel factory and put it under the protection of the allied military government.

1948

The War is over. Antonio Ghiringhelli is called by the new Milan mayor, to follow the reconstruction of the destroyed theatre “Alla Scala”, becoming it superintendent, until 1972. Going back to his great love for lyrical music, Mr Ghiringhelli will still keep his position as President of Morel, entrusting however the company to a young chemistry graduate, Mr Ottavio Bonfanti.

.

'50s

Italian economic Boom. The visual of Morel company is committed to one of the most famous graphic studios in Milan, that will realize the labels designed by Walter Ballmer, future graphic designer of Olivetti.

'60s

Years of innovations.
With Silvertex being the very first water based adhesive and the toepuff Morelast.

Morelast, such an innovative and iconic product that shoemakers will no longer refer to the material by saying but rather ‘give me the Morelast’.

1972

Maurice Morel passes away and as the great man he was, he did it with style. By building himself a grave with ‘Roi Du Bout Dur’ engraved on it, rumours say he even asked for a telephone line and champagne bottles!

1992

Ottavio Bonfanti passes the baton to his son Luca Bonfanti.

The adhesive part is sold in order to concentrate and commit all the resources and technologies in the improvements of the reinforcement part. This move will enable Morel to export toepuffs and counters to the best shoe manufacturers around the world, maintaining its production exclusively in Italy.

.

2016

Nowadays, working and producing in a 1930s building it’s not easy, we admit it. Still, we have decided to stay in our wonderful factory and restructure it respecting its Art Decò architecture.

Also, fourth generation of Bonfanti enters the Morel family.

2019

Our canteen renovated. We like to think that Maurice Morel would be proud of us.

1900

Our founder Maurice Morel was born in 1885 in Normandy. Of humble origins, son of a shoemaker, he quickly learns the shoemaking skills and at a very young age he starts working for a famous shoefactory in Arpajon. Intraprendent and visionair, develops his own unique techinques to reinforce shoes. He sets up a small laboratory where he elaborates a new type of glue by melting caucciù gum. The adventure begins.

1920

The First World War signs a turning point. While injured in a hospital bed he has a simple and yet genius idea, a piece of cloth impregnated with glue: easy to use and to work with for shoemakers but at the same time perfect to use as a reinforcement for toepuffs. In 1920 Maurice opens his very first factory.

1924

Roi du Bout Dur
By 1924 Maurice opens several factories throughout Europe, becoming a landmark as a supplier for the shoemaking industry but most importantly for his greatest invention, the cotton toepuff! In an ironic and extravagant way, he proclaims himself “Roi du Bout Dur” and he becomes legend.

1926

Via Agudio
The Italian adventure of Morel starts in Milan.

1935

Antonio Ghiringhelli, a young clever man working as an accountant Alla Scala of Milan, is appointed by Maurice Morel to revamp the economical situation, drastically hit by the ’29 crisis. Not only he will manage to do so but he will also be responsible for the construction of the new, and our current, factory in Via Gradisca 18.

1938

Morel appears many times on the famous cover of the “Italian Shoes Magazine”, with effective and captivating images.

Alice Bonfanti, together with Maurice Morel and Antonio Ghiringhelli, believing in the company, will become one of the main shareholders.

1943

Second World War. Morel factory taken by the German army as a strategic position to place an anti-aircraft on the roof.

1944

As a consequence, british forces bomb part of our factory, destroying part of our warehouse.

1945

By 1945 American troops occupy Morel factory and put it under the protection of the allied military government.

1948

The War is over. Antonio Ghiringhelli is called by the new Milan mayor, to follow the reconstruction of the destroyed theatre “Alla Scala”, becoming it superintendent, until 1972. Going back to his great love for lyrical music, Mr Ghiringhelli will still keep his position as President of Morel, entrusting however the company to a young chemistry graduate, Mr Ottavio Bonfanti.

'50s

Italian economic Boom. The visual of Morel company is committed to one of the most famous graphic studios in Milan, that will realize the labels designed by Walter Ballmer, future graphic designer of Olivetti.

'60s

Years of innovations.
With Silvertex being the very first water based adhesive and the toepuff Morelast.

Morelast, such an innovative and iconic product that shoemakers will no longer refer to the material by saying but rather ‘give me the Morelast’.

1972

Maurice Morel passes away and as the great man he was, he did it with style. By building himself a grave with ‘Roi Du Bout Dur’ engraved on it, rumours say he even asked for a telephone line and champagne bottles!

1992

Ottavio Bonfanti passes the baton to his son Luca Bonfanti.

The adhesive part is sold in order to concentrate and commit all the resources and technologies in the improvements of the reinforcement part. This move will enable Morel to export toepuffs and counters to the best shoe manufacturers around the world, maintaining its production exclusively in Italy.

2016

Nowadays, working and producing in a 1930s building it’s not easy, we admit it. Still, we have decided to stay in our wonderful factory and restructure it respecting its Art Decò architecture.

Also, fourth generation of Bonfanti enters the Morel family.

2019

Our canteen renovated. We like to think that Maurice Morel would be proud of us.

MOREL & C. spa | Via Gradisca,18 | 20151 | Milano | Italy | t + 3902.3803.1701 | f + 3902.3303.1735 | infomorel@morel.it | vat nr. IT 00736310152 | PRIVACY