Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Mr. Cliff Roberts (Northampton) Bespoke Shoemaker follow up

Mr. Cliff Roberts, a Northampton bespoke shoe maker, a one man bespoke shoe making operation, never stops to amaze me with some of the shoe renditions he makes.

I admire his artisanship and the products produced from his hand. 

I earlier blogged about the shoes Mr. Roberts produced for me and have to admit, they are very well done, classic & elegant. I am looking forward to more pieces from the Master from Northampton. 

I took the liberty of taking some of his latest creations and bring them here to you, so you can also admire these pieces. Enjoy.

Mr. Cliff Roberts with son, who is also joining the bespoke shoe tradition, it is my understanding that the younger Mr. Roberts made the double monk they are holding. 

Furthermore, Mr. Roberts daughter is also into the bespoke shoe business. How fortunate can we be, all of the Shoe AristoCats, Shoe Lovers, Shoe Snobs, and shoe collectors, will have three Roberts to deal with. Tough for some of us........

Mr. Cliff Roberts with Mr. Frank Bruno

I have never seen a two toned Ghillie before, but this one is amazing

A Derby boot

An oxford cap toe and a buttoned balmoral boot, wow. The latter is a rare item, I am glad that some gents are reviving this Edwardian boot and thanks to artisans like Mr. Roberts who offers this beauty for all shoe lovers.

A brown monk and the channelled sole

Two tone balmoral boot (suede and leather)

Mr. Roberts rendition of a balmoral oxford, never seen a balmoral oxford done this way, very unique, the colour combination is also striking. Wonder which gent commissioned this pair.

A monk with vamp brogue

My favourite travel shoes, side gusset with false laces also known as the Churchill shoe

Another monk, a double monk in tan, stitched cap toe, this will make a good Summer shoe.

A black full brogue

Classical punched cap toe oxford

Punched cap toe side gussets in Summer colouring, wonderful
Another side gusset with brogueing (Anthony Cleverley inspired)

A brown monk

A beautifully renditioned two tone Adelaide with wing cap toe. My next pair to commission?

Two toned oxford boots, interesting colour combination, well done

Two toned Balmoral boot in black and cream, very classy

A tan whole cut with vamp stitching, beautiful Spring/Summer shoe

All pictures sourced from Cliff Roberts

Monday, 23 April 2012

Bespoke shoemakers in Poland

Central Europe or Eastern Europe in particular the former Eastern block, has a handful of bespoke shoe artisans unknown to us in the West. These artisans have kept the trade alive and survived the communist era, which is an achievement in itself. For today's blog, I praise the honourable, humble Shoe Masters from Poland who managed to keep this art alive even under hard conditions. These true artisans, loyal to the trade, can now offer bespoke shoes for a reasonable price and the pieces are elegant, classical, stylish and hand made.

Warsaw (Poland) has more bespoke shoe artisans than Copenhagen(Denmark), where the trade has slowly died out and almost vanished. 

The Polish gents and shoe lovers in Poland must be very lucky to have at least three well reputed bespoke shoemakers, whom I am aware of at this time, that being Mr. Jan Wieladek, Mr. Tadeusz Januszkiewicz and Mr. Jan Kielman (he has a web site). 

The first two gents are elderly gents (way over the 60's, I assume), and probably non English speaking too, but Jan Kielman does speak English. I would strongly recommend to pay these shoe masters a visit, if and when visiting Poland or the nearby countries.

Kindly look at these great pieces of art from the Polish shoe masters and judge for yourself.

Shoes by Mr. Jan Wieladek

Customer feet measurements taken by the shoemaster
Some shoe pictures from the window display
Mr. Jan Wieladek at work
The client's feet after measurements taken

Mr. Tadeusz Januszkiewicz and his work
 Mr. Tadeusz display from the shop
 A pair of oxford punched cap toe

A monk for a client

A suede full brogue
Jan Kielman 

Jan Kielman shoes below
A reptile bootie

 Two tone adelaide oxford
 Two tone brogue golf shoe
 A black and white full brogue oxford

Pictures sourced from, Macaroni Tomato blogStyle Forum and Jan Kielman

The Japanese shoemakers (Part Four) Yukiko Basset Okawa

A follow up on the Japanese bespoke shoemakers, for today I have chosen Y. B. Okawa, who studied shoemaking in England and worked at Lobb, before returning to native Japan to open a bespoke shoe workshop named (Bench Made). The shoes are typical English inspired.

The saddle shoe below is quite interesting, as I have never seen a saddle shoe with a belt. 

Please enjoy the pieces of art below as renditioned by Bench Made of Japan.
Two toned saddle shoe

 Whole cut

Norwegian derby

 Plain Galosh oxford

Half brogue

Straight stitched cap toe oxford

Punched cap toe oxford

Side gusset 

Photos sourced from: Bench Made Japan