I wanted to post this story here that I read about on MC. I think it's in the spirit of the thread.fritzl
, as you may know, is a member of the MC community who has particularly strong knowledge and opinions on shoemaking. For 2 decades he has been enjoying bespoke handmade shoes made in the tradition of the Austro-Hungarian school of shoemaking
Here is a pair of his well-worn, well-loved shoes:
There are many more in the Austro-hungarian thread linked above.
In 1994 he was introduced to Mr Gyula Kiss, and so began an enduring client-craftsman relationship.
My understanding is that a few years ago Mr Kiss was forced to come out of retirement to support his wheelchair-bound wife and intellectually disabled son. To help him out in this crisis, fritzl purchased his collection of un-collected bespoke shoes, which he continues to sell to SF members (his thread Operation Paprika
has many wonderful examples). E.G. member F. Corbera's pair
“As long as he’s talking about his own shoes, public relations expert Gerd Wermescher only trusted in the abilities of his Hungarian master shoemaker, Gyula Kiss, who has made his shoes since 1994.
“’Mr. Kiss is a living legend, who has made more than five thousand pairs of shoes in all varieties through his long career, specializing in the Blucher model,’ says Wermescher. ‘I am glad that I discovered him at the early stages of my own career, and we were able to develop a deep relationship.’
“All shoes are entirely handmade in Kiss’s small workshop in Hungary. Only an old Singer sewing machine, with the foot-operated mechanism, found its way to the premises of Mr. Kiss. Otherwise, you would only hear the tapping and hammering from traditional hand tools. Master Kiss focused on the Austrian-Hungarian School of shoemaking, which has gained the interest of shoe enthusiasts around the globe.
“A few years ago during one of his visits Wermescher discovered that this great man had taken on the responsibility for the care of a mentally challenged son in his fifties and a wife who is wheelchair-bound.
“Wermescher, who is descended from a shoemaker dynasty himself, took this as the starting impetus for Operation Paprika.
“‘I want to pay back some of the good things that I received in my life.’ With his partners and friends, the hunt for shoe lovers all over the world began. Sartorial discussion forums were combed through and the cause was presented to an international audience.
“After the order is placed, the shoes wander to the famous last maker Kalman Berta, who fits in the lasted trees for proper care and maintenance of the masterpieces.
“One distinct feature of the Kiss shoe is its soul, something a industrial shoe will never inherit. These are made to last a lifetime. They hold against every surface and can be repaired and resoled several times — ideally they will outlast the initial owner and are handed from father to the son.”
Recently, Mr Kiss passed away, and the world lost a great craftsman. However, fritzl continues to enjoy his collection of beautifully crafted, near-indestructible shoes.
, let me know if you don't want this posted here.Edited by hendrix - 8/26/12 at 12:52pm