The Shoe Snob Blog

February 28, 2011

Written by , Posted in News, Patina Artists

Customer’s Shoes – And My Shine

Working my concession at Gieves & Hawkes for the last 2 months now, has brought me a few shoes to shine. Unfortunately, most of them are boring black shoes, the typical London businessman type. Not that I am complaining, because some shoes are better than no shoes but it’s always nice to get something different. So when I finally did have a customer that gave me something a little out of the ordinary (and right up my alley), I was eager to see what I could do for them. The first pair that you see above and directly below were actually a pair of my co-workers shoes: a green, braided tassel loafer. My friend being kind of a dandy, wanted me to add a little bit of color to them. So I thought that I would add some blue to really bring out a nice patina. Unfortunately I completely forgot to take a ‘before’ picture, but as you can imagine, they had lost of lot of their life and looked pretty dull, before I laid my hands on them.

The two directly above are shoes that a wonderfully dressed gentleman from Greece, who happened to be passing through London and managed to stumble upon my service, dropped off for me, to give them my ‘artisan mirror shine.’ When I received these, I was quite eager to see the end results. It truly makes a huge difference in how a shoe turns out by the quality of the leather and considering that the shoes on the left were a lovely pair of chukka boots by Edward Green and the one’s on the right were a pair of bespoke shoes from makers (whom I do not know of?? — Correction: look at the first comment for info) in Rome, I was in for a treat!

Thankfully they turned out quite well, as you can see, and the customer was so pleased that he also left me to do his Edward Green “Shannon” boots, that were just to die for!! It was so nice to see what a polish can do for a color that is not black. It can truly transform the shoe! While none of the shoes that I shined looked bad when I got them, they sure looked amazing when I was done with them (not to toot my own horn) and that was thanks to the lovely wax polish that I use and the wonderfully great leather that I was working with. The only downfall to giving shines to beautiful shoes, is the amount of jealousy I feel afterward, knowing that I do not get to keep the shoes! I await the day I am brought a pair of Corthay shoes…..

Before:

After:

P.S. The smudge-looking thing on the picture above, near the stitching, was not actually there, it must be some effect of the lighting couple with the flash from my camera.

  • Anonymous

    the Italian shoes are from Bocache et Salvucci in Rome, alovely shoemaker in Via di Ripetta

  • Anonymous – Thank you kindly for the info!

    -Justin, “The Shoe Snob”