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Norman Vilalta shoes

andrel42

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If I may, allow me to share some of my Norman perfections ... have a great weekend ahead Gents!

Black and Bordeaux patinaed captoe Oxford

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Most recently the stunning Hemingway Boot in dark Mahogany from a 2020 GMTO

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and of course my favourite Chelsea boots ... the Decon Chelsea in a reverse burgundy patina!

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brax

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As I left Paris (see Maison Bonnet visit) for Barcelona, I was interested to visit Norman. The experience was great.

At first I dealt primarily with his right hand man, Scott (US expat who’s been working with Norman for years). I also met two assistants one of whom was largely responsible for the bespoke program and the other for finishing. There is at least one other employee who is in charge of internet sales and technology.

Scott explained a lot and I hope I get most of this right. NV offers a wide array of RTW shoes and boots. You walk in the store, and there they are. They look great and are built primarily on a rounded last or a soft chisel. They are all Goodyear welted. NV also offers a MTO program where he will build the shoe you want on the last that you want with the leather that you want and the color that you want. These, too, are Goodyear welted.

And as my luck would have it, they are rolling out a new product. I can’t remember the name but it is four numerical digits. It is a semi-bespoke product. It is a completely hand-welted and hand-lasted shoe. As my left foot was a great fit for their soft chiseled last (NV looked for gapes, leather wrinkles, vamp closure, etc.) we went with that. Because my right foot is a bit smaller, he’s adding a leather insert to compensate for the size difference. These shoes all can be made with a fiddle-waist or single fiddle (where only the inside half is a fiddle). They can add toe taps. While you can start with tanned leather, the majority of clients choose crust leather that they can color any way that you want. The heel is no longer square as he has moved to a shape that continues the curve of the back quarters. And speaking of back quarters, NV uses an asymmetrical pattern which allows him to avoid the stitch that runs up the back of most shoes. I went with a dark brown cap toe with a simple brogue.

Of course NV also provides full bespoke.

And almost as important as the shoe, Scott and NV were great. NV and I share a favorite soccer team, Boca Juniors, (sorry, @George Red) and we spent some time talking about where he grew up in southern Argentina as I’ve spent some time there myself. Super cool guy. And Scott was not only intimately knowledgeable about the shoes, he was very congenial. We’d both pay a lot right now for a proper burrito!

Finally, NV is having a trunk show with Leffot in NYC right now. I’d go check it out in an instant. The product is great and the knowledge imparted is invaluable.

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Last edited:

George Red

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As I left Paris (see Maison Bonnet visit) for Barcelona, I was interested to visit Norman. The experience was great.

At first I dealt primarily with his right hand man, Scott (US expat who’s been working with Norman for years). I also met two assistants one of whom was largely responsible for the bespoke program and the other for finishing. There is at least one other employee who is in charge of internet sales and technology.

Scott explained a lot and I hope I get most of this right. NV offers a wide array of RTW shoes and boots. You walk in the store, and there they are. They look great and are built primarily on a rounded last or a soft chisel. They are all Goodyear welted. NV also offers a MTO program where he will build the shoe you want on the last that you want with the leather that you want and the color that you want. These, too, are Goodyear welted.

And as my luck would have it, they are rolling out a new product. I can’t remember the name but it is four numerical digits. It is a semi-bespoke product. It is a completely hand-welted and hand-lasted shoe. As my left foot was a great fit for their soft chiseled last (NV looked for gapes, leather wrinkles, vamp closure, etc.) we went with that. Because my right foot is a bit smaller, he’s adding a leather insert to compensate for the size difference. These shoes all can be made with a fiddle-waist or single fiddle (where only the inside half is a fiddle). They can add toe taps. While you can start with tanned leather, the majority of clients choose crust leather that they can color any way that you want. The heel is no longer square as he has moved to a shape that continues the curve of the back quarters. And speaking of back quarters, NV uses an asymmetrical pattern which allows him to avoid the stitch that runs up the back of most shoes. I went with a dark brown cap toe with a simple brogue.

And almost as important as the shoe, Scott and NV were great. NV and I share a favorite soccer team, Boca Juniors, (sorry, @George Red) and we spent some time talking about where he grew up in southern Argentina as I’ve spent some time there myself. Super cool guy. And Scott was not only intimately knowledgeable about the shoes, he was very congenial. We’d both pay a lot right now for a proper burrito!

Finally, NV is having a trunk show with Leffot in NYC right now. I’d go check it out in an instant. The product is great and the knowledge imparted is invaluable.

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Great looking shoes.
 

brax

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Great looking shoes.
Thanks. The shoe that I’ve pictured is merely the RTW model that we’re basing my shoe on. My shoe will be more dark brown as the the pictured one is black/brown. And, of course, mine will be hand welted and hand lasted.
 

E. coli

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@brax - thanks for sharing. I’ve had the same pleasant experience with Norman and Scott over the last couple years. Have had some great exchanges via email with Scott and perhaps I’ll get to meet him next time I’m in Barcelona. Congrats on your upcoming pair!
Rock’n the Derby Simple boot today:
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Christian GV.

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Brilliant review and great choice @brax Hope you’ll share photos of your 1202 shoes here when you receive them! 😁

@E. coli Love those boots! 🤘

Seeing your photos I thought I’ll add to the great vibe here and post from visiting in March 2020. Traveled to discuss 3D patina shoe care, ended up discussing everything from modern football to cutting edge sneaker tech instead! Speaking with Norman was a blast and can’t wait to see his trunk show in London next year (Supertrunk).

And yes, couldn’t help myself but snap a few photos of my heavily worn Derby Simple Oxblood in their atelier interior while I was there. By far my most comfortable dress shoe!

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ViaSartoria

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good day to all, first post here. Just wanted to share my Decon Chelsea boots from Norman in this thread. I was so impressed by these boots, I have another three orders placed with him.
It was an absolute pleasure dealing with Norman and he assisted me all the way and helped me find my size remotely.
The boots are impeccably made and fit my feet perfectly. They also had next to no break in and are creasing very gracefully.

I highly recommend Norman and his shoes to anyone who might be looking for something that’s a bit different than the norm, in a good way.
 

brax

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One of my orders just arrived and I am in love.
The Marsella boot in Orion patina and navy blue suede.
Congratulations. I’m glad that you liked them so much. Hope to have the same reaction when I receive my commission.
 

dukenukem4ever

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Are NV shoes manufactured in the same factories as the typical players on SF (Cavour, J. Fitzpatrick, Lof & Tung, etc.)?
 

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