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Keith Taylor

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I’m not trying to change your position on this, because if I succeeded I’d probably be the first person in history to do so :) I’m just pointing out that there’s nothing at all misguided about believing that the use of products from endangered species is immoral.

You’ve been swayed by the cold economic argument that selling a permit to kill one elephant will generate enough revenue to preserve two (your username may hint towards the reason the economic argument has chimed with you). This argument is entirely correct and logical when you reduce the world to dollars and cents, but it’s not within spitting distance of a moral argument as it discards as irrelevant the concept of morality, and ignores the benefits of preserving endangered animals for the sake of simply keeping them alive. It just boils all of our motivations down to money, and it doesn’t reflect particularly well on us as a species.

It also somewhat glosses over the pesky reality that creating a market for a product will naturally increase the demand - that dead elephants potentially going to waste on the savannah are often the result of the demand for elephant products - though that opens a whole ‘nother can of worms and sends us on an annoying tangent about the challenges of international cooperation to address a complex problem across hundreds of jurisdictions, and before you know it we’re angrily yelling at each other about Japanese whaling or something, and I haven’t had any coffee yet :)

Anyhoo. You can keep and enjoy your wallet and shoes, but please accept that those who aren’t convinced by cold economics and maintain that this market is immoral are not misguided. It’s a valid moral position no matter how uncomfortable that may make you, and meeting people who think it’s immoral to own elephant products is part of the price of owning those products. You gotta suck it up.
 

dieworkwear

Mahatma Jawndi
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I think a lot of guys could improve their wardrobe if they just stuck to dark brown and black shoes. Mostly smooth leathers and suede, but sometimes the usual bit of pebble grain. Mid-brown is OK too. Tan is very risky. The other stuff -- chunky Norwegian welts, super sleek toes, anything from Berluti, hippo leather, elephant leather, extreme patinas, pink and purple shoes -- all looks very bad.

I think guys only buy this stuff because they see highly stylized photos of those shoes on Instagram, but the shoes are totally disconnected from anything else. It's like nothing but a shot of the shoes. I've never seen a photo where those kinds of shoes work in an outfit.
 

Kudu08

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They buy those exotic skins just for the sake of buying and boasting how they own a pair of shoes made out of elephant foreskin .Most of them look ugly AF.
 

Keith Taylor

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I’m sure there’s a pair of shoes made from elephant or hippo leather somewhere in the world that I’d find attractive, but I can’t imagine that I’d ever come across a pair so mindblowingly stunning that I‘d be unable to find a pair of shoes just as good in calfskin, cordovan or any other sustainable material. I honestly don’t know how wealthy and starved of novelty I’d need to be before I started to think that killing an endangered animal for a pair of shoes or a wallet was a good and worthwhile idea. It’s as bizarre and downright icky to me as going through such a long dry spell that you try to seduce your own mother to break it.

And yeah, they mostly look bad. I can’t remember the last time I saw anything made from an exotic leather that didn’t strike me as either gaudy or cheap.
 

thesartorialistbanker

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Here you go. These are Yohei Fukuda’s elephant leather wholecuts.

If you think these shoes are not beautiful then I think it’s a matter of taste or lack thereof...
 

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Keith Taylor

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Here you go. These are Yohei Fukuda’s elephant leather wholecuts.

If you think these shoes are not beautiful then I think it’s a matter of taste or lack thereof...

The shape is both beautiful and elegant, as are most of Fukuda’s shoes. The leather looks like my scrotum if I dipped it in chocolate and let it dry. It would look immeasurably better if it were made from the leather from the briefcase on which it’s perched. Morality aside, that’s a hideous shoe.
 

thesartorialistbanker

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They fit true to size.

I wear 12UK and Celeste in 12UK fits well.

They are pretty snug and provide a good arch support.

You do need to break them in but they’re comfortable out of the box.
 

dieworkwear

Mahatma Jawndi
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That photo is also the kind of photo in which those types of shoes are always presented. It's always like, "look at this unique object."

But shoes should not be unique objects. They should be things you wear as part of an ensemble. They need to look good in an outfit.

Weird shoes draw the eye downward. Sometimes in an SWD type fit, this can be OK (e.g., colorful sneakers or something). But in classic men's dress, the focus is almost always on the jacket-shirt-tie combo. This is one of the reasons why it's hard to wear visually loud pants.

At best, loud shoes look incoherent in an outfit. At worst, they look gauche and tacky.

Sometimes such shoes aren't shown perched on top of expensive things but on someone's actual feet. But it's again never an ensemble. It's just some guy wearing his pink and purple elephant shoes with his chinos, and you only see the outfit from the knees down. I would still like to see someone post an example of such shoes being worn well.
 

Sartorium

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I have a pair of the Bonafe hippo boots that I think work fine with rougher textures, tweeds and the like. I was flippant earlier but my understanding of hippo leather is that it is sourced not from trophy hunters, but from culling of animals that are aggressive towards human settlements. Hippos are the most dangerous of all large animals, killing around 500 people per year. I have a fairly protective morality towards animals, was vegan for years before my health deteriorated, but I have trouble with any morality that insists upon non-violence towards something that is trying to kill you.
 

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