Tony Longo founded Aquila in 1958. After arriving in Australia under the Government's Assisted Passage Program, he worked many jobs before opening a shoe repair shop in Melbourne in 1953-54. A few years later, Tony decided to start manufacturing shoes and in 1958 Aquila was born. In Aquila's early days, the company was only producing children's shoes but Tony soon identified a shortage in the supply of quality men's footwear which ultimately changed the company's destiny.
Response to the Aquila product was phenomenal and Tony needed to expand his operations. In 1965, Aquila opened a brand new factory in Brunswick Street, North Fitzroy. In 1966, Tony enlisted the help of his two sons and Aquila was soon producing in excess of 100,000 pairs of shoes per year. Still only manufacturing and wholesaling its product, Mario the eldest of the two brothers, envisaged the need for the company to open its own retail operations. In 1975, the first exclusive Aquila store opened in Bourke Street, Melbourne. The store proved successful and soon after, Sydney became home to Aquila's second store.
With Mario at the helm of the retail operations and his younger brother Nick in charge of design, the company established itself as a quality men's fashion footwear manufacturer and retailer.
Today, now 50 years since Tony Longo founded the company, a third generation of Longo's are hard at work continuing his legacy. Aquila now operates 27 retail stores nation-wide. Now based in Gipps Street, Abbotsford, Aquila is proud of its rich heritage and its position as the leader in men's fashion footwear in Australia.