The fact that customers continue to place orders despite the waiting time of over seven years (!) says a lot about the status of the Tokyo based bagmaker Fugee. Completely hand stitched bags with hardware designed and made in house to the highest possible level. Fugee has been the gold standard for bespoke leather bags and accessories since the 80’s, and a report from their showroom and workshop should interest all shoe nerds that also admire superb craftsmanship.
Today Spanish budget brand Meermin premiere a factory seconds sale. On what seem to be planned as an annual event they offer up to 50% discount on lots of different models, with pairs that have failed the quality check and therefore end up as subs. This means that Goodyear welted shoes from €85 are up for grabs.
For the first, and perhaps the last time, I’m hereby presenting the highly prestigious Shoegazing Bespoke Awards, where me, myself and I have decided which bespoke shoemakers I think deserves to be awarded in four different categories: Creativity, Finishing, Patterns and Highest Minimum Level.
To make really unique dress shoe designs isn’t really that difficult, to make really unique designs that are beautiful is much more difficult, and to make really unique designs that are beautiful and just as wearable as the classic models is very difficult. Few do this as well as John Lobb Paris.
The British shoemaker Caroline Groves is one of the bigger names in Europe for women’s bespoke shoes and boots. Now she’s introducing two MTO models on standard lasts, made to the same high standard as her bespoke shoes, and hand welted with 14 spi sole stitching.
One of the oldest still remaining manufacturers of welted shoes in Japan is Central Shoes. Founded in 1949, and still located in the same building in the middle of Asakusa, the shoemaking district of Tokyo. Shoegazing got a tour around the premises.
In the first Q&A Special of the Shoegazing Podcast reigning world champion in shoemaking Daniel Wegan of Catella Shoemaker answers questions from listeners / readers, resulting in a very interesting talk about everything from his view on the more casual turn of classic footwear to a breakdown on why bespoke shoes cost so much.
The options, and with that the interest, of Chinese made hand welted shoe brands have taken a hike lately, and many great offerings can be found. It’s also getting easier for people in Europe and the US to order, where one of them taking the lead in this race is Belgian Sons of Henrey with their collaboration with Oct. Tenth / Xibao Shoemaker.
People often talk about how things were better before, and about the many challenges around today for the quality shoe industry (I’m definitely one of them). But if we zoom out a bit, it’s a fact that today is a golden age to be interested in quality shoes, in all price ranges, from €150 Goodyear welted to €4,000 full bespoke, the options and quality-price ratio available is better than in a long, long time.
This week world champion in shoemaking 2019 and formerly Gaziano & Girling bespoke, Daniel Wegan, has his first trunk shows on home turf in Sweden with his new own brand Catella Shoemaker. Not that many pictures of the first samples have been available, here to rectify this is this picture special article going up close with these magnificent pieces of footwear.