The well-renowned French bespoke shoemaker Atelier du Tranchet – run by Christophe Corthay and Christophe Algans – closed its doors permanently yesterday. After a tough couple of years the highly creative footwear maker decided to shut down the business, which was met with sadness from many in the business.
Yesterday was Saint Crispin’s day, the feast day of the brothers Crispin and Crispinian, the Christian patron saints of shoemakers, tanners, and leather workers. Normally a day to celebrate shoemaking in all its forms. Therefore it was extra hurting to see the Instagram post by legendary shoemaker Christophe Corthay, where he announced the fact that Atelier du Tranchet is closing. The project with the brand Tranchet Vif which he ran together with shoemaker Christophe “Toulouz” Algans and their business partner Phillippe de Paillette.
I wrote my first article on Atelier du Tranchet back in 2016 after they recently started, a couple of years after Christophe left the Corthay brand where he had worked together with his brother Pierre. I visited their workshop in Paris a few years ago, it’s one of the most creative places I’ve ever been to, everything from the playful masterfully crafted shoes and display lasts in all possible materials, to the interior with leather artwork covering the walls and even the work benches being bespoke artwork. No matter what one thinks about the style of their shoes, basically all appreciate the craft and creativity. The fact that both Christophe Corthay and Christophe Algans have several top positions in the World Championships in Shoemaking, with Christophe’s silver medal in 2019 as peak as of now, also says a lot of their skills as shoemakers.
I’ve been in contact with Christophe Corthay, who explains that it’s a combination of the pandemic, the war in Ukraine and consequences from this, and some bad luck which made them take the decision to close. In the Instagram post where he announced it, many customers as well as famous shoemakers like Philippe Atienza, Jean-Michel Casalonga of Berluti and Eric Devos expressed their sadness about the news, their appreciation of their work but also excitement to see what Christophe will be up to next. Nor he or “Toulouz” have any set plans for the future, but I sure hope and believe that we’ll see much more great shoes coming from those hands.