Who we are

We are fascinated by the world of children, by their spontaneity devoid of rules and structures of the adult society, those burdens that push us away from our true playful essence.

Lena Aboo

Founder and Designer

Sanja Stojanovic

Product Manager and Partner

Our story

Lena Aboo is fascinated by the world of children, by their spontaneity devoid of rules and structures of the adult s ociety, those burdens that push us away from our true playful essence.

A designer and an artist too, endowed with an active spirit in search of tactile and emotional experimentation, Lena graduated in Fine Arts and specialized in painting, to suddenly become a “shoe shaper”. A video of an Indian shoemaker seen on Youtube and a piece of leather from a skirt found in her mother’s wardrobe, is what stimulated her to create her first pair of leather baby shoes. With amazement Lena discovered herself to be a craftswoman.

This is where “Sonatina” started, an experience that brought her closer to that childhood realm which is the starting point for many painters, where drawing is free from academic constrictions, where painting melts in matter, just as only a child can do. Her father is from Kenya, her mother is from Russia and Lena develops her artistic skills in Italy. Finding that soft piece of leather in her hands got Lena thinking about the world of a child that started off this adventure. With the use of just a sewing machine, she produced the first shoes herself.

They were truly tiny, the perfect trimmings showed great love and an intuitive talent. Subsequently, as she was getting more popular, she joined up with a number of craftsmen with whom she was able to tune in. Thus it became possible to continue weaving her seams and realize new models while remaining loyal to Sonatina’s spirit. The shoes are made mainly with nappa leather: a familiar material to her.

Lena smiles as she talks about her mother’s wardrobes out of which only shoes come out, some are dancing shoes. This extrovert mother had taught ballet for a period of time, her father specialized in textiles. These elements along side with music are a strong hereditary passion passed down from her parents. Jazz, soul, blues. Her parents would give up anything to not miss a concert or a dance performance.

The actual name Sonatina gives the idea of the atmosphere and the “petite” world she has created. The 1930’s, 1940‘s and dance inspire the collections as we can find with the miniscule and extremely soft tip tap shoes.

(5 years later…) It all began with a simple “hi, I’m Sanja – Beatrice’s mother…” at her daughter’s kindergarten. This is where she and Lena met for the first time.

Sanja was working for PIOMBO as Product Manager at the time – a high end men’s wear brand in Milan – and before that as Product Developer at H&M. The two ladies – who had their children in the same class – instantly felt they had a lot in common and couldn’t stop chatting everytime they met! The more Sanja heard about Sonatina’s world, the more she fell in love with it and wanted to be a part of it.

Sanja finally walked aboard of Sonatina in October 2012 as Partner and Product Manager. Sanja’s sensitivity and experience in working with high quality and sophisticated materials fell right into place in Sonatina’s shoes production as well as in the accessories line that she and Lena started to develop once she was part of the team. Her contribution has been extremely precious for the company.

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