I saw one and a half pairs of interesting bespoke shoes today marked with this name (which is completely unfamiliar to me). There was one pair of plain black oxfords and a mixed up pair of black cap toes with a medallion--one shoe was Rondepierre and the other, very similar but not quite, was from Henry Maxwell when they were on Bond Street. (I've actually found this kind of confusion quite common at thrift stores; a large collection of bespoke shoes often has many similar pairs which are not always expertly sorted out. I myself have an old pair of bespoke Lobb wingtips that are not an exact match, very similar but from different orders--took me at least six months to figure it out, but now that I know I can tell the leathers are slightly different shades of black and the perforations differ ever so slightly. And I'm sure somebody else out there has an exact mirror image.) My guess is that the Rondepierre shoes go back to the 1960s, a guess based mainly on the Bond Street location for Maxwell. The shoes are quite nice and very much in an English style. The shoe trees are perhaps even nicer. The shoes are about a size 7.5 (US), obviously well-cared for but showing signs of age and wear. I've been unable to find even a single scrap of information about M. Rondepierre. 5 Rue Volney is apparently now part of the Kenyan diplomatic mission in Paris. Has anybody else ever seen shoes from this cobbler?
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3/19/05 at 5:22am