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Interviews

Alexander Nurulaeff

February 11, 2013

Schermata 2010-04-20 a 22.59.06

Dear Mr Nurulaeff, I noticed that all your passion involve beautiful colors. How did this passion grow?

My career started as a painter; I attended a School of Art, and started painting first oil on canvas, then silk painting ‘Batik’ style. Since I’ve alwaysbeen crazy for shoes, I decided to put all my skills in a not-yet-explored field: the Patina. Meanwhile, I practiced a lot the shoe care technique (cirage, glaçage), which added to my Patina a touch of perfection

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How developed is in Italy this craft? Are Italians patina lovers?

To tell the truth, the specialists of the Patina technique all around the world are very few, and I dare say in Italy I’m the only one in Italy who has reached this top level. From the beginning, some of the most important artisans of bespoke shoes have noticed the difference, and asked for my help, so we can say that when you see a pair of wonderful patina shoes made by those artisans, well, it’s surely made by Dandy Shoe Care. At present, Patina is not yet very widespread in my country, but every day it’s increasing the number of those who search for something really exclusive.

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Patina is, in your opinion, Art or developed skill?

For me, Patina is an Art, because to do a Patina is like doing a painting. What I offer to my clients is actually real artistic hand paint and dying, and not -like some people do- smear some dark polish onto a light colored shoe.
Please tell me the steps of an excellent patina? (Time, cirage, how do you do).

First, the shoe must be dyed using different layers of different colors  Then, it must be moisturized with leather care products. At the end, the shoe must be properly polished. Anyway, it takes some days to do a Patina properly. (I’m sorry, but I can’t give you further details. I don’t want to sound mysterious, but some information are really ‘top secret’).

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Can you tell me some particularities of the technique of patina? Are there any leathers that cannot support patina?

Patina can be done on almost every kind of leather; my favorite is calf leather.

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What creme/cirages do you use in every step?

Like my wife says “for being Picasso, it’s not enough to use the same colors as Picasso”; I could do a very good glaçage o cirage with almost any good product that you can easily find in any drugstore. Since I’m a perfectionist, in the long run I’ve created my own home made products, which are further more refined and effective.

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How do you keep in shape a patina shoe over the years?

Patina is a permanent treatment, which can last as long as a pair of shoe. A good cirage and glaçage treatment is however the natural complement of a Patina shoe.

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Who are your customers come from? Did they became patina addicts?

My clientele is very international; thanks to the web technology my work is well known and appreciated all over the world. There are some clients who send me regularly their new shoes, so that I can add a final exclusive touch. Yes, of course my clients are all ‘addicted’ : once you try the difference of a pair of shoes treated by Dandy Shoe Care, you’ll never accept anything less!

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Please give Claymoor readers 3 secret (inside) advice that will allow them to obtain a perfect wax/icing.

Try many different products, in order to find you favorite one (but please, don’t make dangerous experiments on your most precious shoes!); take all the time needed, and be patient; for the final glaçage step, find the right balance between hard polish wax and water.

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Future plans?

I’m starting a cooperation with one of the best world known Italian shoemakers; it’s a very interesting project which is now at the start. Moreover, I’m also beginning to learn how to make shoes: so far, I’ve made a beautiful pair, which can be seen in my pictures. For further details, please follow me on Twitter and Tumblr.

(Photos kindly provided by Mr.Alexander Nurulaeff.)