My morning with Ercolino

mano

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
I should've written this a month ago, when I was actually at Perry Ercolino's shop, but it wasn't until I saw the thread on whether or not all shoe trees are equal that it dawned on me to do so. No doubt I've forgotten 70% of the visit.

Ercolino's shop is in Doylestown, PA where I go on business on an irregular basis. In early August I set some time aside to visit and have him shine my two pair of Grenson Masterpieces. He also sold me a jar of polish for around $24. The shop is small and tidy and Perry is a trim and youthful looking man who appears to be in his late 40's. His assistant is an attractive woman who wipes and polishes display stands and the counter when she's not busy. Perry is a modest and gracious man who reads this forum and who attended the sartorial show in NYC in March. We chatted, and he showed me his low-tech work room where he was making a pair of $3,000 loafers in blue for a regular customer who lives in Las Vegas. He also showed me two pair of hunting boots he was commissioned for a store in CT, I believe. His associate showed me the most magnificent pair of chestnut captoes that happened to be in my size.

Ercolino had recently been awarded a "Best of Philly" recognition in Philadelphia Magazine and indicated that people were stopping by and insisting he show them how to make shoes. While this was clearly an annoyance to him, he spent about 40 minutes with me answering questions, explaining differences in leather, and volunteering information about shoes, clothing and homemade grappa, as a customer had given him a bottle.

Ercolino has his shoe trees made in England but he indicated that most any shoe tree would suffice for most purposes. Indeed, Perry has a very practical view of shoes as much of his business is comprised of repairing and restoring RTW shoes of all types. I walked down the street to a mensware shop and was told they send all their AE repairs to him. I imagine most of his customers don't know he makes bespoke shoes.
 
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