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Zee's Leather Co. - my new custom Double Monks

Stinky

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Hey guys,

I wanted to share my first frankenstein creation that I just got from Zee's.

Some quick backstory -- I spent some time in HK around Christmas and had ordered a few tailored items from Lee Baron's. It was my first visit after reading about them from styleforum. I loooooove Patrick's shop. I got 5 shirts, a sports jacket, and a 3 piece suit from them. On my last day there, I stopped by to pick up my final adjustments from Lee Baron's, 1 hour before I was to leave for the airport. I heard Patrick recommend another customer to Zee's around the hall for custom shoes, so I tagged along.

I wasn't expecting to buy anything, but figured why not. I didn't know what I wanted yet, but was intrigued so I got my foot measured first. Mr Zee knew I was short on time and was awesome enough to quickly measure my feet and create a fitting shoe for me in less than 20 minutes. (He usually sends it away to be done, but personally did it for me right in front of me just so that I could make my plane.) I paid upfront and went back to the States. I spent the following weeks going back and forth with Raymond over email to sending reference photos and specc'ing out what I wanted. I ended up getting a pair of double monks made. And without further ado:













I am very happy with the results. This is my first experiment and I think it came out well. I want to refine the color and polishing a bit to give it some darker accents, taking a lot of inspiration from benjamin831. I'm trying to figure out which colors of polish he used. I haven't even put these on my feet yet. Waiting for my Woodlore shoe trees before I do that :)

Part of what also took me so long was finding the right buckles. Zee's only had buckle style pictured and I was hoping to go with something slimmer looking. It's unbelievably difficult sourcing shoe buckles. If someone knows of a source, please let me know for my next creation!

As a note, the leather color I used is 6125, which they have photo samples of on their facebook page.

I'm pretty addicted to double monks and to Zees... I think my next pair will be black captoes modeled off the Edward Green Westministers. Or perhaps John Lobb Chapel.
 

fox81

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these look really good, but you didnt really comment on the fit.
 

hugh51271

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^ Nor the price/shipping costs.

I would also like to know how they fit. Why not try them on?
 

fritzl

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this is probably the nicest dm posted on sf and i don't like them normally. congrats and wear them in good health.
 

akatsuki

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Yeah, I am interested in both what the construction is and what the leather quality is like...

At $200, is it grain corrected?
 

NotoriousMarquis

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this is probably the nicest dm posted on sf and i don't like them normally. congrats and wear them in good health.

Is this because most dm's are chisel toed and you seem to prefer a more rounded toe?
 

Mr. Lee

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I think they look great and it is only when you mentioned the size of the buckels that I noticed this. I don't think it's an issue at all. Are the other commenters right about the price: $200 USD? That's unbelievable (to me, anyway) for custom shoes.

Wear them in good health.
 

TheTukker

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Well done, but it's really all about the fit. Looking forward to reports on that aspect.
 

Stinky

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Zee's are 1600 HKD if I remember correctly. Their facebook page mentioned it recently.

I haven't tried them on yet for several reasons:
  • I don't normally wear shoes for work -- I'm generally a jeans and sneakers guy. I'll probably wear them out this weekend.
  • I didn't want to put a crease in them yet because I'm thinking about antiquing the finish a little so it's darker in some areas. Benjamin831 gave me some tips over PM, but I'm kind of being a wuss about messing up.
  • I'm waiting for my Woodlore Epic shoe trees to arrive from amazon.com

I don't know too much about welt's but I do not believe this to be goodyear welt -- I have a pair of Allen Edmonds that I'm pretty certain are GY, and the sole looks completely different from this. I like the way it looks tho. I specifically asked them for low-profile welt based on some pictures I sent them.

I'm not a good judge of leather quality. I just know these smell good! They leather does not look as sublime as super expensive G&Gs, EG's, or John Lobbs, but these also cost a fraction less.

I'm pretty new to this. I went and got custom shoes just because I wanted to make something. I had set my expectations pretty low.

I'm not too worried about fit yet. I'm not sure how familiar you guys are with Zee's process, but what happens is that he measures the circumference of your foot along several places, and draws an outline of each foot on a piece of paper. Then he takes those measurements and fashions a "fitting shoe" that has a leather sole and is made of canvas. He did all this for me in the 1 hour I had left before my flight home. I think he then uses the fitting shoe to make adjustments to the last when he builds the final product. I'm pretty certain they send the shoes out at this point to shoemakers that are off premises.
 

Stinky

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And thanks for all the nice comments. I had all you guys in mind when I was putting this project together. It was really a lot of fun. It's a $200 hobby that kept me busy and very entertained for a good few weeks.
 

Stinky

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Yeah, I am interested in both what the construction is and what the leather quality is like...
At $200, is it grain corrected?
I wouldn't know how to tell if it's grain-corrected. The texture is flat and I don't see any imperfections... so I imagine it is. From what I recall, Zee uses leather from France. I think he called it French Calf leather? I dunno -- i'm a noob about all this. Would love to learn from you guys though.
 

Stinky

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I think they look great and it is only when you mentioned the size of the buckels that I noticed this. I don't think it's an issue at all. Are the other commenters right about the price: $200 USD? That's unbelievable (to me, anyway) for custom shoes.
Wear them in good health.

Just confirmed... HKD 1600. http://www.facebook.com/ZeesLeatherCo
roughly $200 USD. It is very good pricing for what you are getting. The time that Raymond and Mr Zee spent working with me on this alone is worth more than the $200.

It's worth the fun alone.

Does anyone know of good sources for buckles?
 

XKxRome0ox

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Zee's are 1600 HKD if I remember correctly. Their facebook page mentioned it recently.
 
I haven't tried them on yet for several reasons:
  • I don't normally wear shoes for work -- I'm generally a jeans and sneakers guy. I'll probably wear them out this weekend.
  • I didn't want to put a crease in them yet because I'm thinking about antiquing the finish a little so it's darker in some areas. Benjamin831 gave me some tips over PM, but I'm kind of being a wuss about messing up.
  • I'm waiting for my Woodlore Epic shoe trees to arrive from amazon.com
 

don't wear shoes to work ...
are you this guy?
 

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