Three cappuccinos, two lasts and one promising shoemaker.

February 27, 2015

20150211_154757I’ve been pretty busy the last two weeks. The trip to Paris was tiring as usual. I don’t know why I am unable to resonate with this city. Maybe there are too many tourists, maybe there’s too much noise and, paradoxically, too many men dressed without style. Anyway, maybe it’s just my fault. Being always on the run I don’t give it enough time, and maybe, seeing me always in a hurry (due to business, not pleasure) Paris is not in the mood for me either.


Three pleasant memories and two unpleasant ones. A delicious pastry shop near Notre Dame, which name I couldn’t keep in mind. Parisians may not know it yet, but coffee in Paris is almost always dreadful. Café Coutume ( 47 rue de Babylone) is an exception (I had three Cappuccinos if you imagine).d

Finally the Musée de l’Armée – I have to go back there with my son.He will be thrilled. As for unpleasant chapters – the visitor guides from the Lafayette Galleries should really take a shower every morning! The second one, the bearded salesman from the Carmina store on Avenue de L’Opera. I realize that I wasn’t very fashionable that afternoon, but a little bit of respect for the client wouldn’t be a bad thing. I was just passing through the area and I went inside the shop to try two lasts – Robert and Detroit.


Robert last (carmina)

The first one was fondly recommended by a loyal Carmina client as being utterly comfortable (which is actually true), and the second one appealed to me from the Carmina website – a Cordovan model. I wasn’t planning on buying anything, but I intended to see how my own foot feels them. After trying them, the gentleman who had presented them to me wrote very irritated the models on a piece of paper, telling me that “you can buy them cheaper from the internet”, troubled by the fact that I had bothered him without buying anything. I didn’t want to reply (probably he was just before his lunch break, when everybody – especially French people – are more intolerant). His attitude however, to put it in an elegant manner, left much to be desired.


Detroit last (carmina)

Going back to Carmina Forest, it is a rounded last with a generous toe box (E width). It has an English air and fits very well my foot. Detroit (EE width) is some sort of a minivan – not as good-looking as the Simpson, but clearly larger and more comfortable. Carmina remains in the top regarding RTW, I can only congratulate them for that. By the way, try to visit the store without your wife/girlfriend. If they see the  Madison last boots you may leave the store with at least one extra shopping bag.


Anyway even I was a little bit annoyed by the Carmina French seller I did  however follow his advice. And guess what I have found? Sale on Carmina E-shop for sizes From 5 UK to 6.5 UK and from 11 UK to 14 UK. Plenty of nice shoes especially on Robert and Detroit lasts. I guess the traffic will be high these days on their website…


When I returned I passed through Budapest, where I stopped only for a few hours, so I didn’t have time to get to Laszlo Vass. I need a Plain Oxford and the F last would have been perfect. Anyway, you have below some photos of recent models (more pictures soon to come).

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 7201-F-museum_brown-single_sole 5125-U-museum_gold-single_sole 5067-F-bordeaux_calf-single_sole

Last Friday, for a change, I had a coffee with Valentin Frunza from Chisinau, Republic of Moldova. Valentin improved very much the quality of his shoe, an important role being played by his association with Petru Zelenco, a client become partner after ordering more than 15 pairs. Valentin’s optimism is contagious, managing to make you understand what you are actually buying. Displeased with the quality of the materials from the Republic of Moldova, Valentin traveled through Western Europe, and now his shoes benefit from Herbert Kolde (Vienna) leathers and Rendenbach Flexible soles. At his trunk show he brought shoes in various stages of fabrication, making it easier for you to understand how he builds his product. More pictures from the trunk show soon to come.

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