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Photo essay: A cobbler in Firenze...

gazman70k

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I was in Florence two weeks ago and decided to look up a bespoke cobbler.




The street is not particularly flattering...


and very narrow, almost dangerous looking.


Here we are. The entrance is directly opposite the rear entrance of a restaurant.


Not where you expect to find a cobbler.


But not just any cobbler. As SFers know, Hidetaka Fukaya is the only Japanese cobbler in Firenze who produces handmade shoes. He works with one assistant and his wife runs the shop.











It takes Hidetaka about six months to complete a pair.

Allow me to share with you some of his impressive work.


A conservative looking pair of Oxfords.


Another conservative looking pair.


A pair of chukka boots made from buffalo. I really like these.


A pair of oxford made from alligator. His selection of the hide for this is just perfect as he has achieved very nice symmetry in the scale pattern, especially at the toe.


A pair of whole cut oxfords (meaning the entire shoe other than the tongue is made from one piece of hide) made from iguana. Absolutely stunning.


Something a little different, the shoe is constructed to be off center.


Now next to the iguana is a pair of seemingly simple brown wing tipped oxfords.


Upon closer inspection, they are made from Metta Catherina reindeer hide.


This is an amazing pair of shoes. A pair will set you back 7,000 Euro.


Then there are these weird hides.


They are calf skin, folded and then dyed in order to get the distinctive pattern


Just spectacular.

Thanks for reading.
Gaz
 

speedster.8

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Britalian

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Bellissimo. Iguana, reindeer, crocodile: wow.
 

SirSuturesALot

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Thanks for taking the time to post pictures of your trip! Great job on the captioning too.

Did you find it necessary to have a grasp of the Italian language whilst traveling? I don't speak Italian, but would love to fly to Italy and meet these inspiring artisans. Not sure how feasible that is.
 

Britalian

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Interesting videos.
 

Pundit

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Wow, lots of interesting shoes -- especially like the off center design.
Thanks for bringing this to the SF!
 

luk-cha

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Originally Posted by Pundit
Wow, lots of interesting shoes -- especially like the off center design.
Thanks for bringing this to the SF!


+1 i really like them too!
 

dirk diggler

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Hmmmm. Let's see - 7,000 euro is about $10k. So I can make a down payment on my new house or several pair. Hmmmmm. Wonder what that phone conversation would be like? "Um, sorry, honey. I thought it would be easier to come to the closing with cash rather than worry about a cashier's check, and i got mugged. Yeah, I am ok. I am fine. I will be home soon, I just have to get a shoe shine and pick up some shoe trees."
 

Spatlese

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What they said. I don't get that off center one, but otherwise some beauties in there. Thanks for posting.
 

Eustace Tilley

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Interesting pics - thanks for posting
 

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