• Hi, I am the owner and main administrator of Styleforum. If you find the forum useful and fun, please help support it by buying through the posted links on the forum. Our main, very popular sales thread, where the latest and best sales are listed, are posted HERE

    Purchases made through some of our links earns a commission for the forum and allows us to do the work of maintaining and improving it. Finally, thanks for being a part of this community. We realize that there are many choices today on the internet, and we have all of you to thank for making Styleforum the foremost destination for discussions of menswear.
  • This site contains affiliate links for which Styleforum may be compensated.
  • Epaulet x Styleforum Alpine Loden Collection

    Loden wool, woven in Tirol for centuries, is known for its resistance to cold and wetness. Our project in collaboration with Epaulet introduces Alpine Loden, a modern 18oz fabric blend of 75% merino wool and 25% nylon, woven in Italy. It's lighter, more durable, wind-resistant, and more comfortable than traditional Loden fabric. Partnering with Rochester Tailored Clothing, we offer custom garments like sportcoats, suits, and overcoats, made to your specifications. Learn more about the Loden collection here.

  • STYLE. COMMUNITY. GREAT CLOTHING.

    Bored of counting likes on social networks? At Styleforum, you’ll find rousing discussions that go beyond strings of emojis.

    Click Here to join Styleforum's thousands of style enthusiasts today!

    Styleforum is supported in part by commission earning affiliate links sitewide. Please support us by using them. You may learn more here.

Igor Suhenko Bespoke shoes

mw313

Distinguished Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2014
Messages
2,452
Reaction score
525
This thread is dedicated to a great shoe maker out of Belgrade, Serbia. He just made my most recent pair of bespoke shoes and since I've had many bespoke shoes made from many makers, I felt that I should share him with you.

Great work from a unique location, at a fair price.
 

mw313

Distinguished Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2014
Messages
2,452
Reaction score
525
Hey everyone! I hope all are doing well and I finally received my newest bespoke project from a relatively unknown bespoke maker of Serbia. His name is Igor Suhenko and he makes shoes in the style and form of St. Crispins with the pegged waist and hand welted for the rest, but also dyes his own leathers too. To follow is the write-up of the entire process of his shoe making for me.

Enjoy!

Matt
 

mw313

Distinguished Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2014
Messages
2,452
Reaction score
525
I spoke to Igor by email and since I have been way too busy to visit Serbia, I sent Igor all of my normal measurements (ball, instep, short and long heel, as well as drawings of my feet and even a reasonably comfortable shoe so he could evaluate the fit that I like compared to my measurements. I also included comments on how I could have the sent shoe to have an even better fit. I sent him the trial shoe from my bespoke Maftei shoes (my current best fitting shoes).

View attachment 804291

He made me a pair of trial shoes in a brown buffalo leather just to try out the fit of the new last he had made. It fit quite well overall, so we moved forward with discussing the final style of the shoes that I would want. If the trial shoe didn't fit so well, he would have done some more modification on the last before proceeding with the patterns making of the final shoe.

The quality was great on the trial shoes. They weren't welted like how Antonio Meccariello does his trial shoes but Igor gave the option to finish them after the final pair was done so he could adjust the fit on these trial shoes if needed. (Of course I will be taking him up on that to have a great casual shoe!!!)

View attachment 804292 View attachment 804293 View attachment 804294


We discussed that I wanted a pair of wing tip balmoral shoes with a red/brown leather as well as the upper balmoral part to be in a very soft mid/dark brown suede. He stated that he could make is own color for the leather and was able to acquire a very soft goat skin to make into a reverse calf suede.

He had a last made similar to a thin chisel last by Corthay that I desired based on my measurements and then started to work on the patterns for that last.
View attachment 804162 View attachment 804163 View attachment 804164 View attachment 804165
 

mw313

Distinguished Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2014
Messages
2,452
Reaction score
525
Next he started to work on the hand dying of the leather to prepare it to go with the patterns he just made. I wanted a brown but with some deep read hues almost like a GG vintage cherry mixed with the Vintage Oak.
View attachment 804166 View attachment 804167 View attachment 804168

Next, he used the patterns he made to cut into the two leathers we discussed. He made sure to only use the best pieces of the leather in doing so. View attachment 804172 View attachment 804173

View attachment 804175

Next step was to prepare the suede and calf components to be sewn together. They were lined up and then used a sewing machine on a very fine setting. Sewing was done to attach the lining to the upper parts as well.

View attachment 804188
View attachment 804196
View attachment 804189 View attachment 804190 View attachment 804192

View attachment 804187 View attachment 804197 View attachment 804191




He also made the brogue/punching details for the upper along with the medallion by hand.



View attachment 804193 View attachment 804194 View attachment 804195

The next step was when he was preparing the insole by cutting it to the size of the bottom of the last. It was shaved down to size and then attached to the bottom of the last. The hold fast was prepared entirely out of leather (no gemming was used).

View attachment 804198 View attachment 804200 View attachment 804201 View attachment 804205 View attachment 804207 View attachment 804208 View attachment 804211 View attachment 804210 View attachment 804213



The toe puff and heel counter were made out of leather at this same stage in preparation. They were cut to size and shaved on the edges to get a smoother transition. Rough or sharp edges would be felt while wearing the shoe, so they are bevelled to make that gradual transition, while still being thick enough to add the strength and support that are needed in these areas of the shoe.


View attachment 804216 View attachment 804217 View attachment 804218 View attachment 804219

Now that the upper and insoles were both prepared, the toe puff and heel counter could be attached between the lining and upper.

View attachment 804223 View attachment 804224 View attachment 804225 View attachment 804226


The upper was nailed to the insole and welt was then sewn to the upper/insole complex. View attachment 804227 View attachment 804228 View attachment 804229 View attachment 804230


Attachment of more leather to the heel area was prepared so the shank could then be added from the heel to the mid-foot area. The shank was attached by wooden pegs.

View attachment 804231 View attachment 804232 View attachment 804233


Finally the cork foot bed was cut and attached to the forefoot area.

View attachment 804234 View attachment 804235

View attachment 804236

Now that the majority of the shoe was prepared, the outsole needed to be attached. An extra thin piece of leather was attached to the forefoot to cover the area where the cork was placed, so it would not be damaged at all.

A channel was made into the outsole to thin it out. This allows for the thin covering to go over the stitching to completely conceal the attachment of the outsole to insole. The outsole was then completely stitched to the rest of the shoe at the welt.

View attachment 804237 View attachment 804238 View attachment 804239 View attachment 804240 View attachment 804241 View attachment 804242 View attachment 804243

Now that the general shoe was finished, the finishing details come into play.

The heel has to be made which is by stacking multiple layers of leather on top of each other. They are glued together per layer but then also nailed together into the shoe itself.

View attachment 804249
View attachment 804257 View attachment 804250 View attachment 804253



The edge of the welt was finished by using a fudge wheel to give clean lines onto the entire top of the visible welt.

View attachment 804260



The waist was made super close by having extra welt cut off and then the outsole was shaved down to bevel and give an elegant fiddleback to the waist.

View attachment 804264 View attachment 804262 View attachment 804263



Since this shoe had a pegged waist it helped to give the tighter waist but it was rubbed down with hot iron to smooth the wooden edges and painted over to conceal them as much as possible.


View attachment 804271
View attachment 804267 View attachment 804268 View attachment 804269 View attachment 804270

Finally the heel was attached and polished as well as the final polish application to the entire shoe. Then laces were inserted and the shoe trees were placed.

View attachment 804278 View attachment 804279 View attachment 804280 View attachment 804281 View attachment 804282 View attachment 804285 View attachment 804286 View attachment 804287 View attachment 804288


I hope you all have enjoyed the process as well as the final shots of these shoes. If anyone is interested in Igor Suhenko, I would highly recommend him.

Many of you know that I have bespoke shoes from many shoe makers from the US and Europe, as well as top MTO/MTM shoes from around the world, and Igor's work is up with the best of them. To make things even better he costs much less than Bespoke shoes from the UK and even Italy.

I'd be more than happy to answer questions on anything as well.

View attachment 804277

View attachment 804283

View attachment 804284
 

brax

Distinguished Member
Joined
Apr 2, 2008
Messages
2,872
Reaction score
4,015
Great thread. Congratulations on a great pair of shoes. While visiting the Balkans I saw bespoke shoe makers in Croatia and Sarajevo, Bosnia. I did not see any in Serbia (Belgrade, Nis, Novi Pazar). Would I be correct in guessing that his studio is in Zemun? Can you please pm me pricing details and turnaround time? Thank you.

Also, is there a definitional issue at play here? The shoe is handwelted but his description (on Facebook) is a Goodyear welted product.
 
Last edited:

ben878

Member
Joined
Nov 22, 2008
Messages
10
Reaction score
1
Nice post! Just to share with you another pair of handmade shoes by Igor Suhenko. I'll share with you more details when I get it next week. :-D Here is one picture from work in progress:


IMG_0808.JPG
 

mw313

Distinguished Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2014
Messages
2,452
Reaction score
525
Very tasteful pair of shoes, very nice indeed.

Could you pm his contact details.

Thank you

Great thread. Congratulations on a great pair of shoes. While visiting the Balkans I saw bespoke shoe makers in Croatia and Sarajevo, Bosnia. I did not see any in Serbia (Belgrade, Nis, Novi Pazar). Would I be correct in guessing that his studio is in Zemun? Can you please pm me pricing details and turnaround time? Thank you.

Also, is there a definitional issue at play here? The shoe is handwelted but his description (on Facebook) is a Goodyear welted product.


No problem. His contact info is [email protected]

He is in Belgrade Serbia. I have his address as well but don't want to post that. He would give it to you if you would want to do business with him.

Turn around time would be only a couple months depending on how much work you need done between the last and trial shoes.

Price is well under 2000 euro but I don't want to give away prices because they can vary based on what you desire. Mine were a lot under that price if that helps.

If you have any other questions please just ask and when you contact him just stat that I told you about him and he will work out a good deal for you.

Matt
 

zanci

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 7, 2017
Messages
273
Reaction score
60
Who is the bespoke shoemaker in sarajevo and do you have any of his work?
 

mw313

Distinguished Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2014
Messages
2,452
Reaction score
525
Who is the bespoke shoemaker in sarajevo and do you have any of his work?
Igor from Belgrade Serbia is the only one I know from Eastern Europe besides Hungarian guys like vass and st Crispin's of Romania
 

Featured Sponsor

Invisible Socks: Convenience or Curse?

  • Convenience

  • Curse


Results are only viewable after voting.

Forum statistics

Threads
511,476
Messages
10,631,536
Members
225,620
Latest member
MaryDowne
Top