The first time I saw Roberto Chillini shoes in a local men’s wear store, I began to smell a rat. Although the shoes are stylish, of good quality and hold up well, the name sent up a red lag. If you take the i off the end of Chilllini you have the word chillin, which is a slang term, most often used in the African American community.
I thought of the television series Remington Steele, where there was a detective agency under that name. There were employees running the agency but no Remington Steele, until Pierce Brosnan showed up and pretended to be the ace detective.
I wondered if some black man by the name of Robert added an o to his name and the i to chillin,in order to have an Italian sounding brand like Oleg Cassini. Mr. Cassini however was a living breathing human being who was well known, worldwide..His biography and photos are all over the Internet. Ironically I can find neither hide nor hair of Roberto Cassini.
There are multiple show stores across the nation and websites abound where Chillini products may be found. There is however no biography or any personal information that suggest a Roberto Chillini exists or founded the company that carries his name. There is not one thing about this man,not even a biography on Wikepedia.
Ironically, the shoes sell very well. In Roanoke Va., two store , New York Fashions, and Harry’s men’s wear carried the shoes until they went out of business. Today Suit City at Tanglewood mall carry this brand.My husband, both our sons, and many men we knew wear those shoes to church, weddings and other special events..
Is the name Chillini a play on Chiellini, an official Italian name? . Is it a spin on the slang term chillin to draw in black customers?. The bottom line is, that these shoes sell, making a profit for the business and satisfying man return the customers. At the end of the day, that all that really matter.