Ramon Cuberta new Benchmade RTW line is now online. The lines are clearly inspired by his bespoke shoes and you can feel his personal touch in every model. I’m happy to see that he is developing a RTW line as I believe that many shoe-lovers who cannot afforded the bespoke prices before are now tempted to make a move. Prices are quite competitive for this quality range and I hope he’ll expand the range in the future. Now only three models are available. Here‘s the online store and here’s some thought of Ramon about the gentle craft. (Part I, Part II, Part III)
If you’re lucky enough to be in or around the London area in the weekend of the 23rd-24th of September don’t miss the chance of meeting Norman Vilalta and his wonderful shoes. Norman will he will be hosting his first London Trunk Show at 13th Savile Row to present his RTW Collection and bespoke models.
Here‘s a short interview with him and some very nice photos.
“Located less than ten miles from the Magnificent Mile, the heart of Chicago’s high end shopping district, Horween Leather’s factory is a factory in every sense of the word. There’s a trend among high-end, American brands to visit sites of production and created stylized, narrated videos of artisans carefully crafting shoes in slow motion, set to classical music. It’s the Jiro Dreams of Sushi treatment: these workers are not making a product; rather, they’re artists, and the factory is their studio.
The outcome is incidental to the process. While enjoyable to watch, these videos are always infused with a Disney-like artificiality that is stripped away when juxtaposed against the reality of Horween. Horween does not exist so I can write this article, or for us to fawn over their product. They exist because they occupy an important niche in the leather industry and produce a quality product. No more, no less – and that’s a good thing, worthy of note.
Located in one of the few industrial parks remaining in downtown Chicago, which, according to Nick Horween, might soon be zoned for condo development, Horween is a true working factory. The building itself is a marvel: it reminds me of a line from my favorite novel, Neuromancer: the place “bespeak[s] a turning in, a denial of the bright void beyond the hull.” The factory building is old, predating Horween, which has occupied it since 1920. The first thing you notice is its rambling nature: it’s a mixture of brick, wood and metal, and has grown organically over the years, adapting to changing markets and water regulations. The building lack the airiness and size of many modern factories, or the tidy assembly line nature that we imagine defines modern production. Instead, the ceilings are low, the floor is uneven and at times covered in water runoff. There’s no orderly sense of progress from room to room: a room where leather is waiting to be shipped out is next to an area where fresh hides are being cleaned...” Read more:styleforum-visits-horween-leather