The Shoe Snob Blog

May 2, 2014

Written by , Posted in News, Patina Artists

The Patina – The Big Craze

J.FitzPatrick x Dandy Shoe Care

J.FitzPatrick x Dandy Shoe Care

The patina has definitely been the biggest trend in men’s footwear within the past few years. This trend, as big as it has gotten, I only feel is still just beginning. Let’s look at the history…… It was introduced to the world by none other than the likes of Berluti, back when they were a company pioneering many wonderfully new ideas. The first freelance patina artist was Hom Nguyen (who has later moved on to become a painter of sorts). Since then, there are over 10 freelance artists (mainly in France/Italy) and numerous companies offering a patina of some sort or another.

Septieme Largeur 'Miro loafer in for a cool patina

Septieme Largeur ‘Miro loafer in for a cool patina

Septieme Largeur patina Septieme Largeur patina

The next big jump in the world of Patina came when Septieme Largeur started offering customers the option to buy a white shoe to thus be given a customized patina for an upcharge in price. This new concept (that had yet to really be offered) took the industry by storm and Septieme Largeur has had a large amount of success in a small amount of time. The next phase is to start seeing brands that never offered the patina an attempt at doing so. That is my prediction. And of course an influx of new solo patina artists. And this is what is needed. Right now you can only get them in so many places. If someone in the US wants one, they have to spend a lot of money to get it, not to mention Australia, whose shipping costs are astronomical.

G&G bespoke with patina

G&G bespoke with patina

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Gaziano & Girling plan to offer a full fledged service as well (to be offered in the A/W2014 – not sooner), which will mark them as the first English shoemaker to properly offer the service. But the biggest thing, in my humble opinion, is the do-it-at-home patina which I think a lot of you are going to start trying to do. Now, I don’t want to offer the service for my own brand, not as a full time thing at least, but I really do like idea of the patina and one being able to customize their shoes. That being, to make my way in the patina world, I am about to do two things, both of which should release in less than 2 weeks time. The first being a collaboration with Dandy Shoe Care, in which I have made up a line of shoes (in white) to be given a patina of your choice and the second is that very soon on theshoesnob.com I will be offering the Saphir Renomat (a leather cleaner/stripper) and Saphir range of Dye’s so that all of you that are curious to try the art of the patina can do so from the comfort of your own home.

That being, stay tuned to the blog to see when these products/collaborations shall be released!

I hope that everyone has a great weekend.

Justin, “The Shoe Snob”

  • Redbrik

    Why not offering shoes in unpainted leather in the first place?

    In addition to allowing people to skip the paint stripping altogether, this also allows more creativity as the stripping inevitably leaves some parts of the shoes darker than others, thus forcing a dark/clear pattern that is always very similar.

    • TheShoeSnob

      maybe for another time…i think that most people would rather have someone else do it…

  • Mojo

    Really looking foreward to the next few posts concerning patination. I’ve always wanted to give it a shot but the fear of ruining my shoes was too great… maybe this time!
    I was just wondering, how does Renomat help me with patination? I’ve used it on my shoes to remove unsightly wax layers that build up over time but it did not remove any colour from the leather itself. Wouldn’t I need something more aggressiv for a repatination?

    • Thomas Kalflo

      Hi Mojo, Renomat is indeed only for striping out the wax. It is a necessary step before you start dying the leather. Another way to do it is to warm the leather with a heat gun (use with caution, can badly burn the leather if over used, but still my favourite way of striping out the polish) or a hair dryer, then when the wax becomes liquid: vigorously rub the surface with any cloth. When it comes to taking out the pigment: DON’T! I know that a lot of more or less famous “patineur” do it but it is very bad for the leather. If you really have to, do it on the non-moving part of the shoe (toe box and heel). AVOID THE SOFT PARTS, ESPECIALLY THE CREASES. The un-dying process seriously dries and damages the leather and is going to age very quickly if you do it.

      • Mojo

        That makes perfect sense! Thanks for the excellent reply.

        • André Simha

          A colleague and friend created his very first patina (just for me) … hours and hours of work and an amazing result (before and after pictures below)! His next pair will be in the purple’s …

          • TheShoeSnob

            those are very nice Andre, such an interesting shade!

  • André Simha

    Patina really indivdualises the shoe … however if we all start wearing patinaed (?) shoes then it won’t be original any more :-). I do like the idea of having a few models in raw leather and let your customer’s imagination do the rest!

    Example below from Septième Largeur

    • Mojo

      True, if patination goes mainstream it would certainly loose appeal to those who enjoy the current aspect of individuality and uniqueness that it offers.
      Before that happens, however, the vast majority of men would have to start wearing shoes that are worth being patinated… For those who do so currently, patination should offer enough freedom of expression and originality

  • Mike

    “The next big jump in the world of Patina came when Septieme Largeur started offering customers the option to buy a white shoe to thus be given a customized patina for an upcharge in price”

    It is not really true… ALTAN (France) was the first and without upcharge…

    • TheShoeSnob

      thanks for the info Mike