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Austro-Hungarian school of shoemaking

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by fritzl, Feb 26, 2008.

  1. ecwy

    ecwy Senior member

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    5 people like this.
  2. meister

    meister Senior member

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  3. techaview

    techaview Senior member

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    Just came back from my central/eastern europe holiday and visited a few of Austro-Hungarian shoemakers over there. Got myself couple of pairs and thought I can share my experience here. I will try to provide as much detail as possible off the memories from my head. Getting old and some detail might slip off my mind.... : )

    So my itinerary is budapest-vienna-prague. Budapest and Vienna are the 2 cities that have more shoemakers there. Although I did contacted one shoe maker in Prague before I went for my trip but the price quoted was not too attractive as compared to the one I intended to go....

    Be warned... Tons of pictures in this post....

    Budapest

    Located in a small lane Haris Koz along Budapest main shipping street Vaci utca lies a couple of shoemaker Buday, Rosznyai and Vass. Attila is located along the main Vaci street though.

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    Attila. This is their display case along the main Vaci street. Their main store inside a courtyard where there are other stores. Saw a lot of leather with fur hanging out to dry on the second floor. Reckon it is a fur shop that deal with scarves, hat and glove....

    Visited their store on the last day of my trip and wasn't impressed with their design. They do have quite a lot of design available though. No photography allowed in their store so no close up pic.....

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    Buday. Located along the Haris Koz, same side as Vass is Buday. They specialized in budapest shoe which is essentially full brogue with high wall toe... Similarly their style and stitching doesn't appeal to me so never step in...

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    Rozsnyai. I have been hearing good stuff about their shoes. Especially after jiggly part posted his make up recently... Their display model at the windows looks interesting enough for me to step in for a look. They are also located along Haris Koz diagonally opposite Buday and Vass.

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    Some interesting design by Rozsnyai. Apparently they offered 2 type of stitching, which comprises of the normal stitch, the Austro-Hungarian goyser stitch and interestingly a hidden sewn. Now hidden sewn is quite unusual as there is no visible stitch on the welt. According to Eniko, the sales manager mentioned that the welt is cut slightly at a small angle for the stitching to be done and the cut leather flap is glued back after the stitching is done to hide the stitching. What is presented is a sleek profile for the welt. See above picture for the hidden sewn welt illustration.

    Tried a pair of MTO with Patina and will post pics when received them. Let see how it will turn out to be like....


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    Vass Cipo. Finally the shoe that everyone is familiar with. I have been getting couple of MTO from them previously and since I am here, might as well tried their MTM service where my feet is being measured and size adjusted accordingly from existing last.

    They have 2 stores in the same street, Haris Koz. If you come in from the main street Vaci utca you will see the first and original store. Walk further down and you will see their present main store.


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    Mr Kuti Reszo attending to customer in the background.


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    The interior of their store


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    View from 2nd floor


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    Some models on display. Valway, Exoctic, calf, cordovan and bag etc...


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    And mentioned earlier on, since I am here, might as well get MTM done up instead of just normal RTW or MTO which can always be done via email. The process is simple. Just stand or sit up and Mr Kuti Reszo will draw the outline of your feet and measure your instep height. Next just try the size of the shoe closest to my feet measurement with the last and feedback to Reszo on how i feel about wearing it. For eg, is it tight or loose at the heel, instep or toe cap area?

    In this case, I try S last for my next project and realized its not as elongated as what initially thought. More pics to post when they are ready.

    This roughly sum up the rest of my Budapest visit. I will be visiting Vienna and Prague next... More experience and pics to follow....
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2016
    7 people like this.
  4. Carl1955

    Carl1955 Senior member

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    Great post

    Thanks
     
  5. Fred G. Unn

    Fred G. Unn Senior member

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  6. techaview

    techaview Senior member

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  7. techaview

    techaview Senior member

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    Vienna

    2nd leg of my trip. Arrived from Keleti at Wien Hbf station. What a beautiful and clean city! Weather is the best among the three cities i have visited.

    My accomodation is around Getreidemarkt area which is around 8 minutes walk to Maftei, the 2nd stop of my shoe pilgrim trip : )

    Using my google map, I have no problem navigating my way around. In fact, Maftei's Atelier is right opposite by [COLOR=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.870588)]Naschmarkt, a popular market in Vienna since 16th century selling mainly[/COLOR] seafood and traditional Viennese food. Unfortunately it still not opened when I went there.....

    Be warned. Ton of photos in this post!

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    The front of the store that greeted me... Oh yes, my first bespoke pair...

    When I enter, I see Mr Alexander Maftei attending to another customer. Not wanting to interrupt them, I walk around to see his work and snap some photo (a lot i means....)

    Interior of Maftei atelier


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    His wall of tool that he proudly show me

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    At the back of the Atelier where the last are display and the action is going on...



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    Table full of his completed works



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    Some close up shot


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    Mr Maftei by now has finished attending to his customer and it's my turn. Turn out that he speak little english, in fact close to none but fortunately my friend is with me who speak german. Explain to him my intent to do up a pair of bespoke. He gesture me to choose the design and the last from his vast collection of shoe. I always wanted to own a pair of seamless wholecut and Maftei signature model is seamless wholecut as well so why not... Now the last... After scanning through his completed pair, one particular last caught my eyes and the last is decided.

    Update :: The last I have chosen is last 890 which is developed by his son Lucian Maftei..

    Next Mr Maftei proceed to measure my feet using the traditional method of paper outline and instep height with measuring tape. On top of that, he brought out a plastic folder which can be folded out for me to step on it. I guess it is to measure what is my stepping pressure posture when standing.


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    By now the measurement is considered done and he told me to come back the next morning for fitting... Wow that is a short turn around time! Turn out he is flying off the following afternoon to meet his family in Oslo as the day after is a public holiday in Austria.

    The following day...

    True enough, my fitting shoe is competed. It is essentially some cheap leather upper with no welting done with just a cork sole attached to the bottom, unlike the Japanese bespoke maker I have visited last October, where they usually made with the same quality of leather even for the fitting shoe. And working pair as well. Well.... you get what you paid for in term of your fitting shoe..... Update :: There is always option for getting your fitting shoe at extra cost but for me I think fitting shoe will suffice. Important is the final shoe...
    Fitting is done by wearing and walking around the atelier for about 10 minutes. Feedback is given after wearing the shoe for some time on how I feel on the fit.


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    After walking for a while, Maftei has a feel on how my feet feel on the fitting shoe and counter check against my measurement again.


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    Turns out the length is slightly longer on my last and width is abit narrower on my left feet. He did some adjustment on the spot to demonstrate how it is done.....


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    My last and fitting shoe. Last still need to be refined further....


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    So that is the journey of my shoe pilgrim trip in Eastern/Central europe with Austo-Hungarian maker. Unfortunately Saint Crispsin is further away from my accommodation and I have no time to go there. Will follow up with picture of the done up shoes when I received them. Cheers!
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2016
    4 people like this.
  8. Zapasman

    Zapasman Senior member

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    Great write up full of info. I am sure that wholecut is going to be marveluos (great choice). Thanks for taking the time!!.
     
  9. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    Did Maftei start with a standard size last and make adjustments to model your foot? Or did he carve the lasts from a block of wood? If I understood your post, you mentioned he took your measurements and came up with the lasts and the fitter's model (trial shoe) overnight. Quick work if he carved the last from scratch.
     
  10. techaview

    techaview Senior member

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    He didn't elaborate on this part. But based on the god speed of coming out a pair of fitting shoe overnight, I believe it should be from the standard size last with some adjustment.

    Then again, I did saw 2 workers at the back of his atelier. One of them is finishing the shoe and the other is working on carving wooden block into last and filing the last.
     
  11. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    Thanks.
     
  12. ThinkDerm

    ThinkDerm Senior member

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    What does maftei charge?

    Do you have to come back or will the final shoes be shipped to you?
     
  13. VRaivio

    VRaivio Senior member

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    ...just to stick my ladle in this soup: Daisuke Yamashita, the bespoke savant who has travelled the world over several times just to meet makers, has chosen Maftei as "the best" value-for-money shoemaker. Just one opinion, of course, but a very learned one.
     
  14. techaview

    techaview Senior member

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    Thanks for the introduction to Daisuke Yamashita. Reading his blog now.... so informative and interesting

    Yes the reason I chose Maftei as my first bespoke is "the best" value-for-money shoemaker. But that is of course subjected to the wearing of actual shoe when finished.
     
  15. ThinkDerm

    ThinkDerm Senior member

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    I agree with you, based upon what I've read and heard.
     
  16. ThinkDerm

    ThinkDerm Senior member

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    Excited to hear your thoughts once received.
     
  17. Mike147

    Mike147 Senior member

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    Maftei charges about USD 1200 for the first pair (including last fee which you pay once) and typically charges about $40 for shipping to the USA.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2016
  18. Mike147

    Mike147 Senior member

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    By now the measurement is considered done and he told me to come back the next morning for fitting... Wow that is a short turn around time! Turn out he is flying off the following afternoon to meet his family in Oslo as the day after is a public holiday in Austria. 

    The following day...

    True enough, my fitting shoe is competed. It is essentially some cheap leather upper with no welting done with just a cork sole attached to the bottom, unlike the Japanese bespoke maker I have visited last October, where they usually made with the same quality of leather even for the fitting shoe. And working pair as well. Well.... you get what you paid for in term of your fitting shoe..... Update :: There is always option for getting your fitting shoe at extra cost but for me I think fitting shoe will suffice. Important is the final shoe...
    Fitting is done by wearing and walking around the atelier for about 10 minutes. Feedback is given after wearing the shoe for some time on how I feel on the fit. 
    --------
    After walking for a while, Maftei has a feel on how my feet feel on the fitting shoe and counter check against my measurement again. 
    --------
    Turns out the length is slightly longer on my last and width is abit narrower on my left feet. He did some adjustment on the spot to demonstrate how it is done..... 
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    My last and fitting shoe. Last still need to be refined further....
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    I think this is a critical and demonstrative point... The test shoe. The service you get from Maftei is incredible. He's turning around a test shoe for his traveling customers in less than 24 hours. There are some shoe makers who will produce a fully formed test shoe but that shoe will take them weeks to make and the final bespoke product will be 3-5 times the cost of Maftei Bespoke.

    Alexandru and Lucian are extremely skilled and experienced craftsman - they have both trained at Sheer and have many decades of experience. Issues with the final product are addressed in a timely and professional manner... I am a very hard to fit person with orthotics and Maftei has gone out of their way to insure my satisfaction. Happy to hear you are giving them a shot - I think you will be very happy with the final product.
     
  19. techaview

    techaview Senior member

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    Yes I am waiting in anticipation, my first bespoke after all..... : )

    Yap price is about there, I have opted for the hollowed shoe tree as well...

    I'm sure with the service Alexandru put in, I am able to get a pair of comfortable and fitting pair. Too bad I didn't visit Lucian who is based at the main shopping district, Stephansplatz. I didn't know that they have a showroom there and I pass by Stephansplatz almost everyday I am in Vienna!
     
  20. Mike147

    Mike147 Senior member

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    Any word on your shoes yet? you should get something by end of summer i think (but August vacations slow things down)
     

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