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Some men walk into their closet just to admire their shoes. They enjoy the smell of finely cured leather. It is the same smell as the shoemaker’s workshop. The smell connects the wearer with the craftsman. Of course, the look of a patina is enough to draw plenty of admiration. Each inch of the shoe is unique yet smoothly blends in with every other, forming a piece you can look at for the rest of your life. Only kings were able to afford the amount of suppleness some of today’s shoes produce. In fact, back in the day everyone wore bespoke goods. Prestigious houses would make them with quality materials and superior construction. You’ll be reading about bespoke shoes: the who, what, when, where, why, and how.
What is Bespoke
When you submit a custom request to a bespoke shop, they will deliver to you a custom good; this is called a bespoke good. The item is made to your specifications whether they are a matter of dimensions or a matter of aesthetic, or anything else. There are other types of goods, like Ready-To-Wear goods. The 1700’s saw many inventions which led to today’s Ready-To-Wear market.
We also have Made-To-Measure products that are in between the other two categories. For example, you usually have to buy a shirt in small, medium, or large. In Made-To-Measure shirts, you get to choose the collar size, shoulder size, arm length size, arm girth size, chest size, shirt length size, and the color of the shirt.
Every inch in a bespoke shirt will fit you perfectly, by design. So, if one arm is longer than the other then the bespoke maker won’t treat them as the same. You can also choose fabric. Whether you want the collar to be a different fabric from the rest, or you want one arm to be different from the other is up to you. The same goes with colors.
The Process at Ibex
Some companies like Ibex make handcrafted goods, so bespoke requests can be made at no extra cost. It all starts with the dealing process. A customer pitches their ideas, and our team decides whether we can service those requests. We will work together until we agree on a design. Usually, we are contacted with images of the design or color a customer wants.
Next, the shoe making process starts. Aniline full-grain leather is usually what customers choose. Sometimes we offer ostrich which Western Outlets says:
Ostrich skin is by far the best choice in the exotic leather category. It is one of the softest, yet most comfortable and durable, of all the exotic leathers. Ostrich has soft, medium-sheen finish and is easily maintained. Ostrich is available as full quill, smooth and leg. The full quill is obtained from the prime part of the ostrich’s back where the large and uniform feathers marks provide the distinguished quill markings and provide better breathability. Smooth ostrich comes from the sides or flanks of the ostrich and although having the same strength and comfort as full quill does not show many distinguishing quill markings. Ostrich leg has a distinguished wide scale pattern similar to chicken leg but with the durability and feel of lizard.
Once the leather is selected and cut into its different shapes, the shapes are sewn together. The whole piece (upper) is then combined with the other parts (insole, fill, outsole) on a last. Another decision that can be made is whether a Goodyear Welt or a Blake Stitch is wanted. For more info on the differences: https://www.ibexstyle.com/2018/11/02/ultimate-guide-quality-dress-shoes/
That is when handstitching the parts together takes place. This is followed by the dyeing process and final touches. Each pair goes through an inspection as well.
After about 2 weeks, the shoes are ready and delivered!
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