or Connect
Styleforum › Forums › Men's Style › Classic Menswear › Exotic skins.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Exotic skins.

post #1 of 42
Thread Starter 
Dear all, Having never had much experience with exotic leathers I can say I am not much well versed in the details. I know that the best of crocodile is the porosus type with small scales, and I believe from Louisiana. Hermes offers these items at rather high prices. However in terms of lizard, ostrich, python, and such I am not too familiar. Thank you.
post #2 of 42
I know that there are crocodile species native to the United States, but I though that mostly what you found here, particularly in Louisiana, was alligator. In any event, lots of different makers produce crocodile or alligator shoes. The best can be extremely expensive, while the worst look like pimp's shoes. People tend to think that crocodile and alligator leather is very durable, but they're wrong. It's fragile and prone to splitting. I think that crocodile or alligator shoes can be very attractive if done well, but cowboy boots are always a safer medium for those skins. Ostrich, particularly full-quill ostrich, is something that has to grow on you. I believe that ostrich leather is extremely tough, and like crocodile or alligator, it's usually better to save it for cowboy boots. Lizard can make beautiful cowboy boots, but I'd chop off my big toe rather than wear shoes made from it. I'd chop off my entire foot rather than wear any footwear made from python. In the semi-exotic-but-suitable-for-shoes category are peccary and shell cordovan. Peccary is the leather from a wild South American boar. It's grained similarly to deerskin, and it's similarly soft. However, where deerskin will scuff if you look at it funny, peccary is much tougher than calfskin. Gravati and Moreschi are both peccary specialists. Well-done shoes made from peccary can be beautiful: http://www.gravati.it/inglese/Image/4.jpg Beware, however, some of Gravati's and Moreschi's more, ahem, exuberant creations that mix peccary with calfskin (or worse, with ostrich or crocodile). Shell cordovan is a kind of vegetable-tanned horsehide that is only produced by the Horween Tannery in Chicago. It takes a wonderful shine and it's extremely durable. Alden is the best-known shell cordovan specialist, but others, including Allen-Edmonds, Crockett & Jones, and Laszlo Vass, make shell cordovan shoes.
post #3 of 42
There is hardly a beast on this planet, that hasn't been turned into shoes. Apart from the leathers jcusey has mentioned, what about fish (shark, stingray, eel), mammals (elephant, water buffalo, seal) even goose legs (no idea how goose legs look like.) In general exotic skins are chosen because they look different from calfskin. It wouldn't make much sense to use some exotic beast and, once the hair has been remover and the leather has been tanned, it just looks like any old calf. Equally you can emboss all kind of patterns onto calfskin and make it look like some exotic animal. Apart from crocodile and shell cordovan, which have a long tradition in men's footwear, most other skins are probably to be used with extreme caution. If you keep the shoe design simple and let the skin and it's pattern do the talking, it might work. But today many shoes using exotic skins, combine patterns, colors, metal bits and what have you, to come up with some ghastly mess. John Lobb produces the style "Perrier" also in crocodile (at a price). The style itself (3 eyelet plain toe blucher) is unbelievable plain and almost puritanical, therefore it makes a beautiful contrast with the crocodile pattern. As a rule: the more exotic the skin the plainer the shoe should be.
post #4 of 42
Quote:
John Lobb produces the style "Perrier" also in crocodile (at a price). The style itself (3 eyelet plain toe blucher) is unbelievable plain and almost puritanical, therefore it makes a beautiful contrast with the crocodile pattern. As a rule: the more exotic the skin the plainer the shoe should be.
I think the Perrier in crocodile just might be the most beautiful shoe one can buy. Anyone else agree?
post #5 of 42
Quote:
I think the Perrier in crocodile just might be the most beautiful shoe one can buy. Anyone else agree?
I've seen then in dark brown crocodile and black crocodile, and they're both certainly in the top 10 most beautiful shoes that I can think of. I think that they would be better in a cognac crocodile, though. Crocodile Perriers retail for around $4200/pair. I asked the shoe salesman at Neiman Marcus whether he sold many of them at that price. He said that they were quite popular and that when he sold them, he usually sold two pairs (one in dark brown and one in black). I have a thing for shoes, but man.
post #6 of 42
Quote:
while the worst look like pimp's shoes.
C'mon. No need to hate. Pimpin' ain't easy. Seriously though, I have serious, serious doubts about exotic skinned anything - boots, shoes, jackets, or anything you might think of. It's like trying to pull off a fur coat - most men just can't. Plus, I would have real reservations about any woman who liked my crocodile shoes - she would probably be the same woman who was attracted to my fur coat (full length mink, of course) and the strength of my pimp hand. So I'd have mixed feelings - I would like the compliments my exotic skin footwear would get, but would at the same time be a little repelled by any woman who gave these compliments. An ambivalent pimp? Just wouldn't work. For the record, I like the Perrier. Slow day at work, you may have noticed.
post #7 of 42
Thread Starter 
I agree the simpler the better in terms of exotic skinned shoes. Actually in terms of shoes usually simpler is better. I have seen some of the crocodile shoes by such brands as Mauri or Banfi, and they are quite frankly quite horrible. However the John Lobbs are quite wonderul, and if Berluti were to offer a style in exotic leathers I'm sure they qould be quite beautiful. Most men cannot pull of mink or furs otherwise. But then I like fur but if not worn correctly one can look like a stereotypical pimp. Especially if there is some ghastly suit underneath. Once someone told me they saw Tony Bennet in a mink on Fifth Ave. during the winter. I suppose people like that can pull off anything.
post #8 of 42
bumping an epically old thread. Hard to imagine a time when LabelKing had no experience with exotic skins. Here are my shark AE Belmonts. Shots out to cpmac7 And my vintage Drew and Son's crocodile cigar case and peccary shirt case(??). Shots out to teh RJman
post #9 of 42
That shark leather is very strange looking. I don't think I like it in a shoe but perhaps for a boot? Of course I'd want to see/touch it to really have a better opinion. Perhaps in another color with antiqueing I'd like it more... not sure.

I'm surprised Kangaroo isn't used more, I have a pair of top-of-the-line French specialty mountain biking shoes made from them and the leather is nice and is ridiculously durable. Definitely makes a good boot leather IMO.

I like some exotics - stingray, for example, can look very interesting and a lot can be done to it just with dyes and sanding of the grain. My first croc piece is coming Monday, it's a belt which I think is small enough that an exotic leather is not over the top.
post #10 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by texas_jack View Post
Hard to imagine a time when LabelKing had no experience with exotic skins.
Same here. I thought he was the SF guru of exotic skins. His turtle skin boots are quite nice.
post #11 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Icehawk View Post
That shark leather is very strange looking. I don't think I like it in a shoe but perhaps for a boot? Of course I'd want to see/touch it to really have a better opinion. Perhaps in another color with antiqueing I'd like it more... not sure.

I'm surprised Kangaroo isn't used more, I have a pair of top-of-the-line French specialty mountain biking shoes made from them and the leather is nice and is ridiculously durable. Definitely makes a good boot leather IMO.

I like some exotics - stingray, for example, can look very interesting and a lot can be done to it just with dyes and sanding of the grain. My first croc piece is coming Monday, it's a belt which I think is small enough that an exotic leather is not over the top.

Admittedly it's sort of gruesome but with flannels and tweed i think it works.
post #12 of 42
I've heard Kangaroo is incredibly resilient. I think it's used in the best soccer shoes now. I'm not sure if it's often used in dress shoes.

No offense intended, but those shark AE's are really super ugly. Remarkably so.
post #13 of 42
Nile crocodile or Gator look superb on very simple lasts such as the Perrier.

My pair of Gaziano gator shoes is uber simple with classic lines.

Dimitri Gomez is making superb exotic shoes ...
post #14 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by lasbar View Post
My pair of Gaziano gator shoes is uber simple with classic lines.

IIRC from a post of yours, your gator shoes look terrific.
post #15 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by JayJay View Post
IIRC from a post of yours, your gator shoes look terrific.

Thank you JayJay .

It is a bit of a struggle to promote exotic skinned shoes on Style Forum because we have to fight certain prejudices and stereotypes.

Exotic skins can look stunning and different than the usual calf shoes as long as the model is uber simple.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Classic Menswear
Styleforum › Forums › Men's Style › Classic Menswear › Exotic skins.