My ideal of elegance has been my uncle, an old fashion gentleman who never left his home without tightening the knot of his tie and without brushing one more time his shoes. From him and from his swell manner of appearing in the middle of the society I probably inherited the passion for shoes. I remember seeing at him for the first time, around the age of 10, a pair of brown lazyman brogues. They were something very exotic and more old style. I have no idea where he had bought them from, they were probably made at some local shoemaker, but I still remember how well they were made.IMG_4510

I also recall his alligator skin wallet. It was the type of wallet made for big banknotes. The leather was cognac in color and I think it was Japanese, given the inside tag. Its stitching was broken because of how long it had been worn, but the leather caught such a patina that I had the impression that inside of it must have been folded stocks from the Suez Canal or banknotes with the image of the king Michael of Romania on them.IMG_4514

Anyway, nowadays this type of wallet should find itself in a museum. Today’s wallets shrunk along with the shrinking of banknotes and personal papers, but especially with the current use of cards. Nevertheless, it is still very difficult to find a trustworthy wallet.

Most of them are badly executed, and online purchases can be quite tricky. What you see is never what you get. A friend recommended Hermes Citizen Twill, but after holding it in my hand I had no chemistry with it. It is the kind of product with which I am unable to empathize. It is made quite properly, but you can see that it’s a line product, because it lacks those precise details that make a difference.IMG_4509

On the other hand, I discovered (also at the advice of a friend) a producer in Prague who makes wonderful things. His name is Sima, and his products are truly special. I am planning a trip to Prague this winter, so I will not miss Sima’s workshop. In the meantime though, after the discussion with Charlie Travor from Equus Leather, I commisioned a bespoke wallet which just arrived.

IMG_4504The model is Loyd, a billfold wallet. Charlie, knowing my passion for shoes, recommended Russian leather on the outside. I agreed with his choice, and the result of his work can be seen below. On the inside I opted for matching rust chevre lining, and the monogram was executed in blind embossing for discretion. The quality of the leather is flawless. The Russian leathers smells lovely and the touch is marvelous. IMG_4507

I will not say many things about the work because the photos say everything, but there are two things which I especially noticed: the very good quality of stitches, the very careful manner in which he treats the skin edges, a thing where many masters make mistakes. The wallet made by Charlie is a small leather jewel. It reminds me of the main characteristic of the British style, which is an understatement. It is discreet, durable and excellently made. It is an excellent companion. As for Sima, I can hardly wait to visit him in Prague. Central and Eastern Europe hides many pleasant surprises.IMG_4512IMG_4508

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theshoemakerworld

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DSC06317-1024x683@2x“Marco Facchinetti lives in an apartment in the middle of Milan, when he is not out flying in work or visiting his holiday home in Hawaii. He is an architect and academic, including assistant professor of urban planning at Italy’s largest technical university Politecnico in Milan. He has been running the company The Blossom Avenue for many years, which has operations in several different areas, many linked to urban planning in various forms, and he has also worked and studied a lot about how innovations can change the way people work and create products.
“I have had a big interest in shoes for a long time, and just over 20 years ago I wanted a pair of cowboy boots. Then I came in contact with Riccardo Bestetti, who just returned to Milan after learning to make boots and shoes in the United States. We became close friends, and I’ve been part of his journey ever since, says Marco Facchinetti….”  Read full story here.DSC06320-1024x683@2x DSC06309-1140x700 DSC06304-1024x683@2x DSC06324-1024x683@2x DSC06278-1024x683@2x DSC06322-1024x683@2x DSC06297-1024x683@2x DSC06295-1024x683@2x                                                                                                                                shoegazing