jcusey

Senior Moderator<br>Technical Support
In the tradition of medwards's thread about Savile Row tailors, I thought it might be useful to start something similar about bespoke shoemakers. In an attempt to bring some sort of order to a very disordered subject, I have categorized makers by geographic origin. This isn't necessarily the best way to do it, but I had to do something. I don't intend for this list to be comprehensive, and I hope that others will add to it.

Please note that I don't have experience with all of these makers and their inclusion on this list is not intended to serve as an endorsement of them.

England
  • John Lobb St. James -- Probably the most famous bespoke shoemaker in the world, and among the most expensive. Often disparaged as "Blobb's" because their lasts can lack much shape. Annual production probably close to 1000 pairs.
  • GJ Cleverley -- formed by George Glasgow and John Carnera, associates of GJ Cleverley at New & Lingwood, after Cleverley's death in the early 1990s, the most renowned maker the chisel-toe shoes (although there are many others who do this now) that Cleverley so loved. GJ Cleverley also has the right of first refusal on Russian reindeer hides salvaged from the wreck of the Catherina von Flensburg, sunk in 1786. Annual production probably around 400 pairs.
  • Edward Green -- Edward Green's bespoke business is under the management of Tony Gaziano, formerly of GJ Cleverley. Tony is probably the most maker of the most shapely chisel-toe shoes being made in England today. Annual production around 100 pairs. According to Andre Yew, Tony and Edward Green will be going their separate ways in September 2006; and Tony will be starting his own firm named Gaziano Girling at that time. The Girling in Gaziano Girling is David Girling, who is one of the bespoke makers (ie, the artisan who handsews the welt to the upper and insole and again to the sole) in London. Gaziano Girling will be buying the EG bespoke operation, which means that the samples, the client book, and the lasts (subject to approval of the clients) will go with Tony.
  • Foster & Son -- Foster & Son did not travel abroad to take orders. [They now do.] Consequently, they were low-profile and often forgotten in discussions of English bespoke shoes. Nevertheless, they employ the man who is reputedly the best lastmaker in England, Terry Moore. Henry Maxwell is owned by Foster & Son, and shoes made by this firm can carry either the Foster & Son or the Maxwell label.
  • Jason Amesbury -- Amesbury formerly was a clicker and lastmaker for John Lobb St. James.
  • Paul Davies (DBA The London Shoemaker) -- Paul most recently worked for GJ Cleverley and has struck out on his own.
  • John Cornforth -- Cornforth is based in Yorkshire rather than London like the preceding makers. I know next to nothing about him.
  • Ducker & Son -- I know nothing about this maker, but just based on their prices, they probably are not to the standards of the best West End makers.
France
  • John Lobb Paris -- One of the most expensive bespoke shoemakers in the world. The samples I have seen are exquisite. The typical Lobb Paris shoe has a British design imbued with typical French flair.
  • Berluti -- Pay no attention to those overpriced abomonations RTW shoes bearing the Berluti label. Berluti bespoke shoes are the real deal. They may be fashion forward, just like the Berluti RTW shoes, but Berluti's dedication to fit and their quality of construction is reputedly excellent.
  • Aubercy -- Aubercy's RTW shoes share an aesthetic with Berluti, and so do their bespoke shoes. The bespoke program is run by Didier Martinez, formerly of Berluti; and the aesthetic, prices, and quality of Aubercy bespoke is similar.
  • Corthay -- Owned and operated by the brothers Corthay. Probably not as fashion-forward as Berluti or Aubercy, but more so than just about anything coming out of Britain.
  • Dimitri Gomez -- I believe that Gomez holds the same sort of position at Crockett & Jones that Tony Gaziano holds at Edward Green: in addition to running a bespoke business, he also develops RTW lasts. Where Tony developed the EG 888 and 82 lasts, Gomez developed the C&J 337 last. I know next to nothing about Gomez's bespoke business, but the shoes look beautiful.
  • Altan -- More fashion-forward shoes in the mold of Berluti and Aubercy. According to user Rich (qv), the shoes are actually made by Sukru Sensozlu in Turkey.
  • Anthony Delos -- Delos is a former employee of John Lobb Paris (qv), and the pictures of shoes he has made on his website appear to have much the same English sensibility informed with French flair that JL Paris's shoes exhibit at their best. I have no direct knowledge of the quality of Delos's shoes, but people whose judgment I respect tell me that he is very, very good.
  • Carmina (Albaladejo) -- Carmina is known mostly on these forums as a RTW shell cordovan specialist. I recently found out that they offer bespoke shoes out of their Paris shop. Other than that little nugget, I know nothing about their bespoke operation.
Italy
  • Bestetti -- A Milanese maker, who, according to people that I trust to know, is excellent. Like most Italian makers, he is comfortable with Norwegian and Bentivegna construction, in addition to regular old welting.
  • Stefano Bemer -- Based in Florence, Bemer is a highly-reputed maker. The one example of his work that I have seen is excellent.
  • Roberto Ugolini -- Another Florentine maker. Vass's U and F lasts were developed for Vass-made, Ugolini-labeled RTW shoes sold in Japan. I don't know much about Ugolini's bespoke shoes, but the pictures I have seen have been beautiful.
  • Peron & Peron -- a Bolognese maker about whom I know very little.
  • Gatto -- The famous Roman maker. I have heard that they require an initial order of 6 (!) pairs of shoes, but I don't know if this is accurate.
  • Silvano Lattanzi -- Based in Casette d'Este but with shops in Rome, Milan, New York, and Hangzhou, Lattanzi is a pioneer in the United States for super-expensive handmade RTW shoes; but he also does bespoke shoes that are reputedly among the best of their type in the world, with a pricetag to match.
Central and Eastern Europe
  • Rudolf Scheer -- the venerable Viennese firm, known as the John Lobb of Vienna. The shoes from Scheer that I have seen pictures of have been the most English-looking of all Central and Eastern European makers.
  • Materna -- Another well-reputed Viennese firm, but with more typically Austrian shoes than Scheer.
  • Balint -- Yet another well-reputed Viennese firm.
  • Saint Crispin's -- Another Viennese firm, although the bespoke shoes are made in Romania.
  • Vass -- Budapest. You all know about them.
  • Jan Kielman -- Based in Warsaw.
  • Brunon Kaminski -- Another Warsaw maker.
  • Benjamin Klemann -- based in Basthorst, Germany. Klemann trained with John Lobb St. James.
  • Koronya -- another Budapest firm. Forum member Marcell is the owner and the principal cordwainer for Koronya, and he also offers shoemaking courses for those who are interested. See also his YouTube videos about shoemaking. I have never seen any of his shoes in person, but they look to be excellent.
Japan
  • Koji Suzuki -- Maker of some of the most beautiful shoes I have ever seen. He currently has a waiting list to get on the waiting list for his shoes.
  • Guild of Crafts -- For those of you who have seen the Men's Ex The World Of High-End Shoes, vols. 1 and 2, the article showing the entire bespoke process from start to finish is about a pair of Guild of Crafts shoes. It's amazing how they were able to produce a pair of beautiful shoes to fit wide, misshapen feet.
United States
  • Perry Ercolino -- Based in Doylestown, PA but with frequent visits to New York City, Ercolino has posted here on occasion. I have never seen any of his shoes in person, but he certainly seems to have the right attitude to shoemaking.
  • Vincent & Edgar -- Owned by Roman Vainguz. Kabbaz says that Vainguz made the most beautiful pair of shoes he has ever seen. I have no reason to doubt him, although his samples in the window of his shop on Lexington Ave. in NYC are, well, interesting.
  • Oliver Moore -- Another NYC-based shoemaker. I know nothing about this firm other than what was written in the Vass book.
  • Loveless Custom Boots and Shoes -- Cowboy boot specialists based in Oklahoma City, Loveless apparently does do shoes, too. Added at the recommendation of Mr. Di Liberti below.
  • E. Vogel -- A venerable New York City firm specializing in equestrian boots, Vogel also makes custom shoes. They're not made to the standards of the very best makers, but forum member TimelessRider believes that they are a reasonable value.
Other
  • Janne Melkersson -- Based in small town in Sweden, Janne's claim to fame, other than his beautiful shoes, is the fact that he trained with Coleman, TX bootmaker Tex Robin. How many Swedes do you know who could make cowboy boots?
  • J.P. Myhre -- Jan is based in Oslo, Norway and trained at Lobb St. James. As some of you may recognize, he has recently joined AAAC and has written a number of excellent posts about shoemaking.
  • Andrew MacDonald -- An Australian maker who I believe trained at Lobb St. James. As you can see from looking at his website, a lot of the shoes he produces are a bit fashion-forward, but it appears that he is perfectly capable of turning out a properly hand-made traditional bespoke shoe.

Revision History
  • 3/18/2006 10:45AM -- Added Lattanzi and Andrew MacDonald.
  • 3/18/2006 5:05PM -- Added Altan.
  • 3/19/2006 2:55PM -- Added comment about Edward Green and Gaziano Girling, added Loveless Custom Boots and Shoes, changed format for revision history, added disclaimer.
  • 3/20/2006 7:00PM -- Added annual production estimates for Lobb St. James, Cleverley, and Edward Green. Added more details about impending sale of EG's bespoke operation to Gaziano Girling.
  • 3/22/2006 7:45PM -- Added E. Vogel, Ducker & Son.
  • 5/14/2006 5:10PM -- Added Delos and Carmina, updated Aubercy.
  • 8/16/2008 10:19AM -- Added Koronya
  • 9/20/2008 6:57AM -- Added Foster website link; updated info
 
Last edited by a moderator:

bengal-stripe

Super Member
quote:Originally posted by jcusey

How many Swedes do you know who could make cowboy boots?
O.K. he’s not a Swede, but Bestetti also shows cowboy boots on his website:

I have no idea how “correct†they are, stylistically.
I suppose only people in Texas are the true connoisseurs of cowboy boots
and can judge that sort of thing.:D
 

Alexander Kabbaz

Tech and Business Advice Guru
This should be permanently on the home page right along with Medwards Savile Row index. Fantastic piece.

Horace: Is there some relevance to your inquiry? Seems like another one of those "Manton: How many books are in your library?" questions.

https://www.CustomShirt1.com

Kabbaz-Kelly & Sons Fine Custom Clothiers
* Bespoke Shirts & Furnishings * Zimmerli Swiss Underwear **
* Alex Begg Cashmere * Pantherella Socks *
 

Mr. Di Liberti

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
Loveless 4400 SW 21st Street Oklahoma City, OK. Loveless Custom Boots and Shoes is a family owned business that has been custom making quality footwear for over 28 years. Gary Loveless CO, CPed is a certified Orthotist and Pedorthist from Northwestern University Medical School in Chicago. https://www.lovelessboots.com/custom_shoes.html

Anthony


Courtesy is as much a mark of a gentleman as courage ~ Theodore Roosevelt
 

jcusey

Senior Moderator<br>Technical Support
quote:Originally posted by bengal-stripe


O.K. he’s not a Swede, but Bestetti also shows cowboy boots on his website:
I believe that Bestetti also trained with a Texas bootmaker for a time. The boots look authentic to me, although I have to wonder how many he sells in Milan.

quote:
I suppose only people in Texas are the true connoisseurs of cowboy boots
and can judge that sort of thing.:D
Oh, heaven forbid! There are excellent bootmakers all over the United States. It just so happens that the concentration is greater in Texas than elsewhere.
 

jcusey

Senior Moderator<br>Technical Support
quote:Originally posted by Aus_MD


For an antipodean perspective Andrew McDonald, from Sydney, might be added. Fashion forward, and Blake welt construction.
Ah, yes, thank you. I had forgotten about him. If I recall correctly, he also is a Lobb St. James alumnus. His website indicates that he has various different constrution methods available, including hand-welting and Blake.
 

Roger

Super Member
Where the hell is Lattanzi?

Edit: Also, John, could Dimitri Gomez have designed the relatively new C&J 348 last now being seen in regular-grade C&J shoes?

Vancouver
 

archduke

Senior Member
There is an English shoemaker whose name I forget but who is used by Nick Foulkes, the journalist and commentator and dandy (who is also mad on Huntsman). Anyone know who it is? He is base outside London.
 

qasimkhan

Senior Member
Being a proud Oklahoman who has relocated to Kazakstan, it does my heart good to see an Oklahoman bespoke shoe maker. Just wondered if anyone could comment on the quality of leather used and work done. Anthony, have you had shoes made there? How much do they run?

If they are good, I might have a pair made next time I'm in the States.

Steve

quote:Originally posted by Mr. Di Liberti

Loveless 4400 SW 21st Street Oklahoma City, OK. Loveless Custom Boots and Shoes is a family owned business that has been custom making quality footwear for over 28 years. Gary Loveless CO, CPed is a certified Orthotist and Pedorthist from Northwestern University Medical School in Chicago. https://www.lovelessboots.com/custom_shoes.html

Anthony


Courtesy is as much a mark of a gentleman as courage ~ Theodore Roosevelt
 

jcusey

Senior Moderator<br>Technical Support
quote:Originally posted by bystander

medwards, I am also not clear on this point. Perhaps jcusey might know.
I certainly am not clear on this point. There's nothing on their website that I can find that indicates what their manufacturing process is like, and I doubt that it would be possible to get a legitimate bespoke shoe in England for the prices they're charging. But I have no particular knowledge about them.
 

jcusey

Senior Moderator<br>Technical Support
quote:Originally posted by Roger

Where the hell is Lattanzi?
Simmer down, simmer down. I added them.

quote:
Edit: Also, John, could Dimitri Gomez have designed the relatively new C&J 348 last now being seen in regular-grade C&J shoes?
I don't know. I have not seen shoes made on 348 in person, but it appears from pictures to be a shapely and stylish last and to be in keeping with the aesthetic of Gomez's 337 last.
 

jcusey

Senior Moderator<br>Technical Support
quote:Originally posted by archduke

There is an English shoemaker whose name I forget but who is used by Nick Foulkes, the journalist and commentator and dandy (who is also mad on Huntsman). Anyone know who it is? He is base outside London.
I believe that the guy's name is Eric Cook. I'm afraid that I don't know much about him. Anybody? Anybody? Bueller?
 

bengal-stripe

Super Member
quote:Originally posted by archduke

There is an English shoemaker whose name I forget but who is used by Nick Foulkes,.....Anyone know who it is? He is base outside London.
That's the elusive Eric Cook who, apart from one member here (was it pertch?), nobody has ever seen.
 
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