• I'm happy to introduce the Styleforum Happy Hour, our brand new podcast featuring lively discussion about menswear and the fashion industry. In the inaugural edition, a discussion of what's going on in retail today. Please check it out on the Journal. All episodes will be also be available soon on your favorite podcast platform.

  • 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!

Zee's Leather and self-antiquing

chocoball

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 2, 2004
Messages
145
Reaction score
0
As some SF brothers will know, I've been a regular at Jantzen for the past 10 years (the current shop is number 3, that's how old a customer I am) and virtually everything I own is made by Ricky, except jeans and t-shirts. But until recently, it never occurred to me to have my shoes made for me as well.

Taking inspiration from Luk-cha and Toiletduck, a few weeks ago, I went down to Zee's Leather in Tsimshatsui district of Kowloon, Hong Kong, for a visit and look around. I ended up leaving my shoes with him to copy (departing in sneakers, not barefoot).

I had left him with a pair of my favourite Regal Tokyo lace-ups to see how well he could copy them. I also hoped that he could improve on their fit, as my right foot is slightly smaller and always "swims" inside shoes that are comfortable on my left.
 

chocoball

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 2, 2004
Messages
145
Reaction score
0
2 weeks and 1 fitting later, I got my shoes. The fitting was done with some temp shoes made of glue-hardened denim.

To be honest, when my wife first saw the finished shoes, she wasn't that impressed and kind of dubious. The leather looked kind of dry and brittle, and the colour was puke yellow.

However, I was impressed that Zee's had managed to copy the shape of the original Regal Tokyos very closely, maybe 80%. The shape of the toe is very similar, and they managed to reproduce the narrow waist that I like.

The fit is also very good. Both the left and right shoe fit very well. After a day of wearing the shoe, walking around, having lunch with friends, I can say they are very comfortable, easily the most comfortable pair of shoes I own.

So all in all, I was pleasantly surprised, and hopeful that I could "do" something about the leather with a bit of elbow grease. Here are pics of the shoes, before I attempted any polishing:

[/IMG]

[/IMG]

Here's a pic of the Zee's shoes next to the original pair of Regal Tokyos.

[/IMG]
 

oneade

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 21, 2008
Messages
93
Reaction score
0
will await your updates with great anticipation
how much will the shoes cost? leather? details please!
 

chocoball

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 2, 2004
Messages
145
Reaction score
0
Here's what I tried to do to "improve" the leather. Using Shafir leather cream, I liberally applied red, burgundy, blue and green to the shoe in blobs around strategic locations.

[/IMG]

The leather turned out to be poor looking mainly because it was thirsty for oils. It absorbed the cream very very well, and started returning to a more lustrous state. After about 10-15 minutes in a warm area (no air-con, under lights), I removed as much of the excess creams I could withought smearing it around too much (I wanted to try to keep the colours separate as much as possble for now).

[/IMG]

I then left it to sit for an hour or so, again in a warm place, before doing anything else to the shoes. As you can kind of see in the pics, colour and life is already starting to come back to the leather. You can see the difference best when you compare the colour of the tongue (which I hadn't touched), with the rest of the shoe.
 

oneade

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 21, 2008
Messages
93
Reaction score
0
oops i posted before your second post.

they look nice despite not being an 100% accurate copy.

didn't you see the leather when you made the order?
 

chocoball

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 2, 2004
Messages
145
Reaction score
0
Using a combo of burgundy and mahogany (it's a Meltonian colour, rather than Shafir), but sparingly applied, I gave the shoes lots of elbow grease. It started looking very good, lots of highlights of blues and greens underneath the rich dark reddish brown colour.

[/IMG]

[/IMG]

[/IMG]

Under lights, the shoes look more tan than brown.







The last layer is just clear kiwi. I dabbed a little bit onto a wet cloth and rubbed as fast I could.
 

chocoball

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 2, 2004
Messages
145
Reaction score
0
These shoes cost HKD1500, which isn't bad considering the quality and fit. I think I'd rather have these than a pair of RTW Santoni FAM or equivalent for 3 or 4 times the price, as they never seem to fit my 2 feet perfectly. It's the same argument for going to Jantzen.

I purposely chose the lighter colour leather (which Mr Zee says is from France), so I could experiment with polishing and antiquing. Actually, the quality of the leather isn't bad, once you feed it and give it lots of cream. It feels very soft and supple now, much better than new.

Mr Zee speaks Cantonese, English, Mandarin and Shanghainese (in case any of you guys are Sahenin
).

I've also commissioned a second pair, based on these JM Westons, but using "my" shape:

[/IMG]

Will let you guys have a look in a few weeks time after I pick those babies up and give them a good polishing.
 

Toiletduck

Distinguished Member
Joined
Mar 12, 2006
Messages
2,551
Reaction score
7
I'm not too fond of the strategic spotting you employed...it looks...spotty!
 

chocoball

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 2, 2004
Messages
145
Reaction score
0
It does look a bit spotty in the pics, but in real life they're much more 3-dimensional looking. I was going for the Berluti-look.

I had another go last night, rubbing with Shafir "fawn", and they've lost a lot of the spottiness now. I'm of 2 minds....I thought the spottiness looked rather good.
 

luk-cha

Distinguished Member
Dubiously Honored
Joined
Jun 1, 2006
Messages
4,534
Reaction score
76
i guess he wanted the museum calf look of JLP!

i am sure it will soon crack off!
 

luk-cha

Distinguished Member
Dubiously Honored
Joined
Jun 1, 2006
Messages
4,534
Reaction score
76
Originally Posted by luk-cha
i guess he wanted the museum calf look of JLP!

i am sure it will soon crack off!



oh he also speaks Japanese too FWIW!
 

chocoball

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 2, 2004
Messages
145
Reaction score
0
I don't think it will flake off as the leather was pretty dry when new....it really drank up all the oil and colours, and pretty much soaked into the leather. If you feel the leather now, its like night and day! When new it was dry and cool to the touch...now it's soft, supple and a little bit warm in the hand.
 

Wes Bourne

Distinguished Member
Joined
Sep 18, 2008
Messages
3,865
Reaction score
151
Originally Posted by Toiletduck
I'm not too fond of the strategic spotting you employed...it looks...spotty!

+1. I think you could have achieved better highlighting results by dabbing smaller amounts of various color creams and working them in right away instead of blobbing them on like that. From your comparison shot, it does appear that Zee's did a good job copying your Regal Tokyos. Nice soles for the price paid too.
 

dkzzzz

Distinguished Member
Joined
Sep 6, 2006
Messages
5,360
Reaction score
4
This looks silly.
 

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by

Featured Sponsor

How many pairs of shoes do you own?

  • 1 - 4

    Votes: 32 3.8%
  • 5 - 10

    Votes: 144 17.1%
  • 11 - 20

    Votes: 278 33.1%
  • 21 - 30

    Votes: 132 15.7%
  • 31 - 40

    Votes: 71 8.4%
  • 41 - 50

    Votes: 49 5.8%
  • 51 - 60

    Votes: 25 3.0%
  • 61 - 70

    Votes: 22 2.6%
  • 71 - 80

    Votes: 17 2.0%
  • 81 - 90

    Votes: 8 1.0%
  • 91 - 100

    Votes: 9 1.1%
  • 100+

    Votes: 54 6.4%

Related Threads

Forum statistics

Threads
429,233
Messages
9,230,806
Members
193,762
Latest member
bogyo
Top