Painted/Patina leather shoes — How do they age?
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The longevity is determined by the quality of construction.
'Real' patina will be the result of wear, care, environment and time. No matter how they start out they will change and continue changing. My vote is for an untampered-with surface that you can make your own. It will, in the end, look better and you will have the satisfaction of knowing it is a reflection of the life you've lived, not someone's artistry.
Think of it as the difference between a 200-year-old piece of mahogany furniture and a new piece that someone has 'aged' and 'distressed'. Ain't nothin' like the real thing.
BTW, some months ago I fell into conversation with a very nice man who introduced himself as the manager of the Madison Avenue Berluti shop. From time to time he glanced down at my feet, finally asking what i was wearing. "Thirty year old Lobbs" was my answer. His expression said volumes.
I understand that, but these shoes aren't creating an "aged & distressed" look, but rather a look that's unachievable either through tanning/dyeing or through general wear.
To me it's like buying a piece of furniture that's painted bright red. No amount of awesome Mahogany or age is going to turn my furniture bright red. Both have their places, but are very different.
Berluti will strip and refinish your shoes in the shop and there are 'patinators' in France that will do any pair of shoes for about $150 US.
Once dyed the effect will last quite a long while. Depending on how you care for the them the patina can remain fairly constant or additional patina can be created through colored creams and polishes over the years.