In this episode we are meeting a proper shoe collector, André Simha, who owns more than 300 pairs of welted shoes from literally all over the world. We talk about what it is that drives him to continue to buy new shoes, discuss practical things like storage and shoe care, gets his experience of various shoemaking countries and brands, and much more.
André Simha is from Geneva, Switzerland, and is known to many as andrel42 on Instagram, where he shows off his seriously impressive shoe collection. His interest in classic shoes started in the late 80’s, and since then he’s been digging deeper and deeper into this world. He has become personal friends with many shoemakers, and is a familiar face on shoe events like the super trunk shows.
André Simha has worked in the shipping industry for many years, and has two big passions in life (apart from his family): guitars and shoes. In this chat you’ll get to know what Andrés wife thinks of his hobby, how he stores and keep track of all the hundreds of pairs of shoes, which brand that is his all time favourite, and much more. If you’ve ever been fascinated about the people that collect stuff – and you like shoes – well this is the episode for you.
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Dress shoes and music/guitar: you totally had me with this 🙂
Andre sounds like a top fella.
Hi I get a message that this content cannot be viewed in my country
Anthony Jones: He sure is a great guy!
Adnan: Oh ok, you mean the embedded player? You should find the podcast in any podcast player, if it’s not working here.
Good day, my name is Malcolm Nasson in Cape Town, South Africa. I am looking for a Crockett & Jones Lichfield tassle loafer in burnished calf (colour). Size UK 8, USA size 9. Is it possible to buy a pair somewhete as C& J have stopped making it. Pls help…
300? 20-25 per year? Why?
Its the same reason why billionaires are billionaires – it stems from a sense of lacking
Malcolm Nason: Sorry, can’t help, just Google around and keep an eye on Ebay, Styleforum buy & sell etc.
Ricco Jenkins: Sure, one can discuss that. IMO, the good thing with this collecting is that it’s products made in a relatively environmentally friendly way by relatively well-paid workers/self-employed makers, and I know that eventually all of Andrés shoes will get a second life sold second hand to new owners.
Thank you for the follow up reply.
I chimed in based on your searching question of why 300? It was an important question as supplementary questions followed. It was a general observation as to why do people collect (anything).
I was surprised to hear that the majority of Andre’s footwear reside in their boxes (or dare I say, coffins) never being worn in the wild.
Now of course, each to their own and how they choose to allocate their own resources – they can do as they please.
However, if you are like me and most shoe makers I speak to, then you will want to see the resources and materials that have been painstakingly made into lovely footwear worn and memories created. We must have fear that first scratch or scuff.
I am in the fortunate (or possibly unfortunate) position of being able to immediately afford to order 300 bespoke or MTO pairs. I have a daily internal battle of why I need this or should have that. “I need this style, colour, maker, or leather etc”. I have resisted every 49 out of 50 times and have limited my footwear to a tight rotation of carefully procured pieces.
I do this by asking firstly, what does this shoe do, that none of my others cover? The second question, is how will I wear it – with what? This is very much a lifestyle choice. I then leave at least 6-months (though I can window shop and create a list of makers).
Believe you me, the hardest negotiation is with yourself, but I take comfort in reading and learning about footwear, tanneries, makers then when I am ready to pull that trigger (one I have only done a few times) I have a deep knowledge about what I want.
Of course, I may be just talking cobblers 🙂
The podcast with Andre was very interesting, good listening. Great job, Jesper.
Ricco Jenkins: Great that you’ve found a way to buy shoes that works well for you! Totally respect that. In the same way as I respect those who choose to do it the way that André does. Personally I’ve had between 20-30 pairs in totalt for about a decade or so now. It’s seem to be the amount of shoes that I see I use, and I always sell off the ones that doesn’t get worn much. That works for me.
Robert Konshak: Thanks a lot!