Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Introduction to a great book and presenting two "temples" of the bespoke hand made shoes


Product Description:
Handmade shoes for Men
Size: 10 x 8.6 x 0.8 inches
Publisher: Konemann
Author: Lasz Vass, Magda Molnar
Art No: 9783895089282
Weight: 1.0 kg
Details: Hardcover

Description:
Without a doubt, custom-made shoes are a luxury for the feet. The authors of this book have traced the trail of a traditional craft that remains vital today. Take a look behind the scenes of some of the most renowned workshops and experience the creation of elegant, handcrafted men's shoes - from measuring the foot to professional packaging.

About the Author
Laszlo Vass, born in Budapest in 1946, worked in the Hungarian fashion house of Magyar Divatintezet as a clicker, closer, shoemaker, and designer from 1964 until 1969. In 1970, having gained his professional shoemaking qualification he joined a private workshop specializing in hand-made shoes and ladies' boots as assistant chief designer and shoemaker. In 1978 Vass founded his own workshop and opened a business in the centre of Budapest. Since 1988 he and his 20 staff have concentrated on traditional shoemaking.

Today the exquisite quality of the shoes made by the firm of Vass has earned the workshop enormous respect throughout Europe. Magda Molnar, born in Budapest in 1943, studied English literature at Budapest University. A publisher of art books, she was initially chief executive of Helikon Verlag, and since 1991 head of Vince Books; she is active on the international publishing scene. Magda Molnar's particular interest in shoemaking is rooted in her family history: her grandfather practiced the profession of shoemaker for 50 years, specializing in handmade shoes and gentlemen's boots.

REVIEWS
"Finally, a decent book on shoemaking
Information on shoemaking is getting difficult to find. I bought this book hoping I could learn how nice shoes are made. I was very pleased with what I learned from this book. One step further into the details, however, would have made this book the last word on the subject.
If you have a little imagination, however, it is not too hard to fill in the details. Actually, since the author is a very respected Hungarian shoemaker, I can imagine it being a difficult decision on where to draw the line between "details" and "wordiness." Do you have to talk about glue viscosity (he does) or glue recipes (he doesn't, "shop secrets"). Plenty of information is included and hundreds of excellent photos make it easy to imagine yourself right alongside a master craftsman.

Topics include:
* taking measurements
* anatomy
* shoe sizes
* history and making of lasts
* characteristics of different styles of men's dress shoes
* design of the pattern (the gist of it, anyway)
* leather tanning processes
* characteristics of different leathers
* clicking, brogueing, stitching and reinforcing of uppers
* lasting the shoe (stretching the upper around the last)
* lots of detail on tacking and stitching during the lasting process
* welting
* soling (including the shank and cork filler)
* building the heel
* ornamentation and finishing
* proper shoe care
* short bios on the greatest workshops in Europe and America Needless to say, I learned alot. I had no idea top-end shoes use wooden pegs to hold the heels on or that broken glass and bones are common tools in the trade. This is a very nice addition to my library. "
K. Pace Idalou, TX United States

"The great tradition of shoemaker's art is explained here with passion, precision and clarity. Contrasting with the venerable British bespoke shoemaker John Lobb, the sophistication and subtleness of Ausro-Hungarian shoemaker Laszlo Vass reflect the glories of an empire long gone by. A must for Gentlemens' reference library."
Margaret Innerhofer New York NY






John Lobb Bootmaker is a company that manufactures and retails a very exclusive luxury brand of shoes and boots mainly for men, but also for women. It is based near St James's Palace, at 9 St James's Street, London. Founded in 1849, Lobb is one of England's oldest makers of bench-made shoes, worn by clients such as King Edward VII, famous 20th century opera tenor Enrico Caruso, and actor Daniel Day Lewis. John Lobb shoes are also worn by Ian Fleming's fictional character James Bond. At Lobb, special care is taken to select the fine leather skins—with crocodile skin shoes for about USD 8000 at the top of the range.
The original, family-owned Lobb still handmakes shoes one pair at a time, while Hermès who acquired use of the John Lobb name in 1976 broadened the reach of the John Lobb brandname through its ready-to-wear line. The production of each pair of John Lobb ready-to-wear shoes is so time-consuming that only about 100 pairs of shoes are finished per day.
Hermès' John Lobb shoes are available in both ready-to-wear and made-to-measure. Its motto is "The Bare Maximum for a Man".
Hermès' John Lobb shoes are sold in its own boutiques or in luxury department stores such as Harrods, Bergdorf Goodman, Selfridges, Neiman Marcus and Lane Crawford. Hermès' John Lobb also has boutiques in countries around the world, including the United States, Russia, Switzerland, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and several European Union countries.
A pair of bespoke leather shoes costs over £2400. The average price is approximately £2700 (as on 15 January 2009), if ordering from the St James's Street shop.


Prince Charles Vintage bespoke hand made shoes by John Lobb



















Vintage cleverley hand made shoes


.... It did occur to me to wonder what the eponymous George Cleverley (pictured, in black and white) would have thought. Born in 1898 into a shoe-making family, he worked for Tuczek in Mayfair for 38 years, before starting his own business in 1958 and rapidly becoming famous for his graceful shoes with the chisel toe, with clients of the calibre of Rudolph Valentino, Humphrey Bogart, John Gielgud and Winston Churchill. Eventually his pupils, John Carnera and George Glasgow (pictured, with Mr Glasgow on the right), became his successors. Mr Cleverley worked right up to his departure from this life, aged 93, in 1991. He had two great interests: shoes and horse-racing. Indeed, it was one of Mr Carnera’s regular duties to take his boss off for the day to the racecourse at Newmarket. I hope that the great man, who clearly enjoyed the good things of life, would have permitted himself a smile at my desire for co-respondent shoes. ( in "Welcome to Brown's Bespoke")




The tradition began after World War I, when George Cleverley worked for Tuczek, the fashionable shoemaker in Clifford Street, Mayfair, where he developed a signature style called the Cleverley shape, famous for its chiselled toe. The Cleverley quickly became popular with Rudolph Valentino, Humphrey Bogart and Sir Lawrence Olivier.
In 1958 Cleverley set up his own business in Cork Street, and continued to fit some of the most famous feet in the world, amassing a diverse client list that ranged from Sir Winston Churchill to Rolling Stone Charlie Watts.
Before his death in 1991 at 93, Cleverley appointed his successors, George Glasgow and John Carnera, current co-owners who carry on Cleverley’s shoemaking reputation. They trade as G.J Cleverley & Co, now located in the Royal Arcade adjacent to Old Bond Street. Today famous clients include David Beckham and Sir Elton John.
The handmade shoemaking process starts – with a style consultation and measurements.
A unique ‘last’ is made for each customer, which is a wooden block from which the shoe is built. The ‘last’ serves to reproduce the dimensions of the client’s feet.
One can approximate that 45-50 hours of work are required to complete a pair of handmade shoes. They will pass through the hands of several craftsmen, each with a specific skill such as cutting, closing or finishing, which means that the new customer can expect to receive the final product some four to six months down the line.
A pair of bespoke brogues cost in the region of £2,000.

As well as the renowned bespoke business, GJ Cleverley offer a semi-bespoke shoe service along with a readymade range that is very much influenced by the firm’s handmade products.
Their finest semi-bespoke and ready to wear collection is named after shoemaker Anthony Cleverley. This unique collection is styled from shoes once designed for Anthony’s clients, Baron de Rede, Count Visconti, Monsieur de Givenchy and the Rothschild family.
This collection is available as ready to wear from UK 6 to UK 12 sized shoes with half size increments. And also as a made-to-order Anthony Cleverley, for clients who will only wish to make slight modifications. These shoes will take between 12-14 weeks to produce. All shoes come with a lasted beachwood shoes tree .(in Toffsmen)


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