Bespoke Shoes Unlaced – a shoemaker's blog

Friday, 12 June 2009

Extreme Brogues

The Other One is on one. As we speak. A cleaning bender. Furious dusting, scrubbing and polishing. However, don't think that I have stood by idle while she does it. I too have done my bit.

We are getting ready for Open Studios here at Cockpit, which start today. The public's chance to see over 90 designer/makers in their studios; buy/commission work; and generally see how we do it. It's a great visit and well worth the effort. Let's hope the sun does not shine this weekend, so that the discerning folk of London come out in their droves.

There is jewellery, ceramics, glass, weaving, fashion, printing, homeware. And, of course, London's premier bespoke shoes.

We took delivery of our new Extreme Brogue Limited Edition shoes from the factory. They look fantastic. We were a bit concerned as the previous sample did not look as we had hoped for. But we made a few tweaks, smaller punching holes, new toe pattern, and the results are great. It is incredible how a few minor changes to a design can make a huge difference. Be that colour, line, stitching, punching, etc. It all adds up. In addition, seeing a style on the last can make a massive difference. We draw styles on paper; throw ideas around; make changes; and then make the upper. But that moment when you put on the last is a crucial one. We have had to give up on designs at this point many times. It's that change from a 2D design to a 3D object.

On the bespoke shoe front, I have been making a pair of white loafers for an old client. They illustrate two aspects of the craft. Firstly, that my taste is irrelevant when it comes to choosing a style. The customer gets what they want. Secondly, that bespoke shoes give you the comfort of well fitting shoes. This client has problems with the knuckles of his toes and finds shop bought shoes very tricky. But we can cater for it. See the bumps on the lakes.

And finally I am off to Florence on Monday (The Other One arrives on Wednesday). To Pitti Uomo. Wish us luck!