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Bespoke shoes

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by matadorpoeta, Dec 30, 2003.

  1. matadorpoeta

    matadorpoeta Senior member

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    does anyone know of a true custom shoe maker? i'm not talking about custom fit/last, but one who will actually make a shoe from scratch according to your own design, the way a custom tailor might work from a picture in a magazine or a drawing of yours.

    i'm not in the market for these now. i'm just curious as to who is out there. thanks.
     
  2. kirkland

    kirkland Member

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    Perry Ercolino; Doylestown, PA
     
  3. matadorpoeta

    matadorpoeta Senior member

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    kirkland, thanks for the response.
    anyone else? is there a website for perry ercolino? is he the only true bespoke shoemaker?
     
  4. jcusey

    jcusey Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Nope, Ercolino is the only one. The rest just outsource to Crockett & Jones. [​IMG] Seriously, Amesbury does, as evidenced by the truly hideous shoe here. I would imagine that some other makers would, as well, although I don't have any specific information. Not allowing clients to design the shoes does not mean that a maker isn't truly a bespoke one. Not using a custom-made last using the client's measurements does.
     
  5. rayk

    rayk Senior member

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    I was told that Vincent & Edgar in NYC made a true bespoke shoe.  Was I misinformed?
     
  6. kirkland

    kirkland Member

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    When I was deciding between Perry Ercolino and Vincent & Edgar, I decided in Perry's favor based on two factors: The man who operates V&E is a most unpleasant individual, and the styles of his shoes are quite unattractive and eccentric, in my opinion--Might have something to do with his Russian backround. Perry has a contemporary perspective on shoes mixed with an appreciation for classical Englush and Italian designs.
     
  7. rayk

    rayk Senior member

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    Now that you mention it, I've heard something about the proprietor of V&E being a bit lacking in social skills.  I could see this creating a communication problem, which I most definitely would prefer to not have when spending $2000+ on a pair of bespoke shoes.
     
  8. kirkland

    kirkland Member

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    The Guy who runs V&E is a crotchety old fart (no offense to the crotchety old farts in this group) and Perry Ercolino is a young (but not too young), congenial guy who's very easy to deal with.
     
  9. matadorpoeta

    matadorpoeta Senior member

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    jcusey, i looked at the amesbury site and this is exactly what i was looking for; "the client's design". everyone should have a look at the site. there are some interesting pages on it concerning the process of having your shoes made. as is stated by amesbury, "The word "bespoke" when applied to shoemaking implies that the footwear is made to a client's exact measurements and specifications." they will work from a drawing or a picture, and every aspect of the design is up to the client. anything less i would consider made-to-measure. to think that the only time i've been to london i was 18 yrs. old and did no shopping whatsoever. [​IMG]
     
  10. kirkland

    kirkland Member

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    A friend of mine from NYC has been chasing after Amesbury for 2+ years now to get his shoes finished, with no end in sight. Amesbury is impossible to track down. I've tried several times to contact him, but without success. He also has failed to respond to e-mails or voicemails. Big red flag.
     
  11. Cpal

    Cpal Well-Known Member

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    Kirkland - how did your shoes from Perry Ercolino turn out? I hear his prices are $2k+ - do you feel you received service/end product equivilant to the expense? What style shoe did you select? What suggestions etc. did he make in your selection? Can you describe his process?

    I'm considering stopping in his shop but wanted to have some background on him before scheduling an appointment.

    Thanks.
     
  12. kirkland

    kirkland Member

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    Perry is the real deal. He is formally trained in the art and craft, and design, of shoemaking. It runs in his blood, and he eats, drinks, and breathes shoes. You are immediately impressed with the thorough and extensive measuring process which follows that outlined in the Vass book. Perry goes so far as doing the gel/impact procedure to get a sense of how your foot hits against the pavement when walking. A friend of mine had shoes made by Lobb/London and was really taken aback when the measuring process with Lobb took all of 3 minutes. With Perry, it took about 45 minutes. Perry also does a fitting ( unlike Lobb). In my assessment, the overall quality of Perry's shoes, especially stitching, equals or even surpasses that of Lobb. Perry has access to the finest leather and can discuss in detail options regarding materials. I own 3 pair of shoes from Perry: two are classic English oxfords and one is sort of an Italian version of a Derby design. I believe Perry still works out of Len Logsdail's shop on 53rd St. in NYC, so if you're closer to NYC, you can meet him there. Good luck.
     
  13. Cpal

    Cpal Well-Known Member

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    I'm actually in the Philly area so his shop is just about 45 min away. I'm planning to stop in sometime in the next week or so. Thanks again.
     
  14. Cpal

    Cpal Well-Known Member

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    I've seen a few random threads about E. Vogel's shoes here and in Andy - I know their reputation is in boots but what do people think about their shoes - seems like a steal but I don't know enough about their quality/manufacturing process. Vogel Shoes Any more specific thoughts?
     
  15. Cpal

    Cpal Well-Known Member

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    Does anyone know of anyone other than Perry, Vincent & Edgar that they can recommend in the NY area?

    Does Edward Green or Cleverley have visits to measure for bespoke that anyone knows about in the next few months?

    Thanks.
     
  16. TimelessRider

    TimelessRider Senior member

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    I don't know if you're interested in John Lobb - Paris, but I was at their store on Madison Avenue yesterday and was told that one of their master fitters and lastmaker will be on site on Feb 17th through 21st. The salesperson mentioned that the bespoke service starts at $3,800.
     
  17. Cpal

    Cpal Well-Known Member

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    I've heard so many mixed things about Lobb - general reputation aside, many of the things I've read (here included) seem to indicate that there are other "just as good" choices. Based on some of the experiences that people have expressed I am hesitant to jump in with them for my first bespoke shoe purchase. Perry is a big consideration for me but just trying to do all my homework before deciding. Thanks.
     
  18. T4phage

    T4phage Senior member

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    sage
    Originally posted by Cpal:
    I can recommend Lobb Paris unconditionally. They make extremely beautiful shoes: workmanship is top rate, last shape is exquisite, and the finish of the leather is extrodinary.. They can make a fat foot like mine look slim and elegant..

    Another recommendation is Lattanzi, although pricier, I have no other bespoke that is instantly as comfortable (to be fair, no ready made or made to measure shoe of mine comes close to the comfort of a bespoke shoe - excluding sneakers of course.).
     
  19. Alexander Kabbaz

    Alexander Kabbaz Senior member

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    Prior to completely discounting the grumpy proprietor of Vincent & Edgar, consider the following points: 1] Unlike everyone else so far mentioned, Roman works completely alone except for occasional assistance from his wife. Any time spent speaking with you is directly deducted from that day's crafting. If you've gone to him without an entre from a friend or present client, all you are in his eyes is an unwelcome interruption. If you notice, I closed my shop on Madison Avenue in order that I could remove the unwanted interruptions from my life and spend my time concentrating on the art of custom shirtmaking. Some have responded with derision to my "interview" of potential clients meant to see if a relationship can happen. Roman ... and I ... want to spend our time creating the best that can be ... not repeating the same discussion of the merits of various lasts or split yokes with everyone who crosses the threshhold. If you are a serious client, neither of us will be grumpy. 2] Everything Roman does is an original design. His strange samples, wierd though they may be, show a history of bootmaking going back at least three generations. It is my personal knowledge that he has absolutely no time for making samples - and also that he is quite proud of that history. His is one of the truly rare tales of an art being passed down through the generations from his grandfather who was literally the bootmaker to the Russian Czars. That in contrast to virtually every other name mentioned where nothing has been passed down except a name. 3] You need to make of your bootmaker only one request: Show me the last from which you will begin my shoes. If you are shown a last (just as in "house style" as pertains to shirts) you have been had. The only acceptable pattern for a custom shirt is a blank paper. The only acceptable last for a custom shoe is a rectangular block of wood.
     
  20. bengal-stripe

    bengal-stripe Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Both Edward Green (bespoke) and Cleverley visit the States to take orders and measurements.

    They usually come in the spring, but you would have to contact them directly for the exact dates.
     

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