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Interviews

Gabor Gyöngyösi (Buday)

March 1, 2017

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How did you catch the shoe virus? Why and when did you decide to be a shoemaker?

The shoe virus first infected me when I was eighteen, in Switzerland, where I saw and bought fantastic shoes. I first felt there and then that I fell in love with shoes.

Did you have a Mentor? Who had the greatest influence on choosing your career?

I have been trading shoes for thirty years. I have had shoes manufactured in several countries of the world.

Hungary has a long tradition in shoemaking. Why are Hungarians so fond of shoes? How would you describe the Hungarian shoes style?

As far as I know Hungary has had 180-200 years of history in shoe-making. Obviously this has something to do with the fact.

The style of Hungarian shoes:   high-quality materials, artisanal technology and not following the variable fashion.

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What are the biggest challenges of nowadays shoemaking in Hungary?

In Hungary, like anywhere in the world, the greatest challenge is the lack of professionals.

What materials do you buy from Hungary and what are sourced outside Hungary?

Without going into details: unfortunately we buy most of our materials from abroad at the moment, but we do everything we can to be able to use more Hungarian materials.

What memories do you have of your first order?

The owners of two excellent German leather factories are among our first customers, Mr. Perlinger, who ordered a Budapester model, and Mr. Rendenbach, whose favourite was a double Monk at that time.wrkshp

The key elements of a good shoe would be…

The most important ingredients of good shoes are: excellent materials, the harmony of the last and the model, aesthetics, and the perfect fit on the foot.wrkshp1

What is your favorite Buday last and why?

Of course the Budapester is my favourite last, it never goes out of fashion.

How many artisans do you currently have at Buday?

At the moment six craftsmen work at our company.blt

In bespoke shoemaking is the customer always right?

As far as bespoke shoes are concerned, the customer is always right, nobody is interested in my opinion.

What golden advice you both have for an apprentice dreaming of becoming a bespoke shoemaker?

Think about it twice, it’s a hard profession.IMG_2371

What’s the most satisfying part of your job?

The best part of my profession: I love admiring a pair of well-made, special shoes for a long time and it makes me happy to recall the work phases.

What’s the most difficult part of your job?

The most unpleasant is the same, but the other way round.IMG_2381

What was the most challenging project so far?

It must be the one we have now: Buday Shoes.

What shoe would you like to make in the future that you have not yet made?

I remember a book from my childhood: Gulliver in the Land of Lilliput. With my mind’s eyes I can still see Gulliver’s shoes as I saw them in the picture book. I would be glad to make them, I’m sure we will!IMG_2374

What shoe style do you prefer the most?

I always love the most any well-made pair of shoes, I’m not especially attached to any model or last.

What are your favorite places to spend your evenings?

I have two favourite places: watching the sunset over Lake Balaton on a sailing boat with my wife, and a fine wine cellar with good friends and delicious wines.IMG_2389

What is your favorite word?

“You’re welcome”

What is your least favorite word?

„It is not possible”

What turns you on (creatively, spiritually or emotionally)?

Success inspires me, failure drives me to gather new strength.workshp

What turns you off?

I am disappointed by dumbness and defeatism.

What is your favorite curse word?

I sometimes swear, depending on how angry I am. When I’m furious, I don’t select my words very carefully.Buday_Pilis_006-2

What sound or a noise do you love?

I love the soft murmur of the sea, the humming of the forest, the birds’ early morning song and my mother-in-law’s continuous chirrup.

What profession would you not like to do?

I would choose the same, if I could, because this is what I love.Buday_Budapester_39_002-2

If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?

Son, have you brought me a pair of handmade, size 43 Budapester from the Buday Shoes workshop?IMG_8531 IMG_8526 IMG_8522 IMG_6300 IMG_6301 IMG_6310 IMG_6309

www.budayshoes.com