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Bernard Roetzel : “Germany is full of hidden places and secret makers “

October 18, 2019

Were you to give a piece of advice to a young man regarding the first three pairs of shoes that he should have, what would those be?

That depends on the live he leads. Generally speaking I’d recommend a pair of black captoes, a pair of dark brown tassel loafers and a pair of rust suede captoes. One pair with a rubber sole would also be useful to add, maybe some Chukka boots.

I would like us to return now to a tradition connected to shoemaking, namely skin tanning. What tanneries from Germany do you recommend? The most famous one is J. Rendenbach, but I suppose that there are others who work traditionally as well.

Rendenbach are in fact the best for soles, Perlinger is famous too. There are more than twenty good tanneries working in Germany producing leather for several purposes including shoes, bags, car upholstery. This is really a subject in itself.

Ed.Meier


Could you share with us a hidden place in Germany where we could find exceptional quality in products for gentlemen but whose name is less known outside the borders?

Germany is full of hidden places and secret makers but there is no real center. Germany is a federal state and even after the German Reich was founded in 1871 we had more than 20 Kings and Princes reigning very independently in their regions. Although Germany is know internationally for machines and high-tech products we still have a number of makers producing top quality in a traditional way on a smaller scale.

This includes leathers goods, bed linens, silver cutlery, porcelain, furniture, watches, fountain pens, ties, frames for spectacles and many other very special products. Two companies that I really like are Kreis, they make belts and briefcases of excellent quality, I own about half a dozen of their belts including some made of crocodile with real silver buckles. And the tie maker Ascot in Krefeld, they make all kinds of handmade ties and silk scarves but they are most famous for their knitted ties, I where their dark blue silk knit very, very frequently.

If we associate the shoe with a person, what person comes to your mind when you think about shoes?

Prince Charles and the pair of bespoke shoes made by John Lobb in London for this 18th birthday. These shoes are badly worn but they look beautiful because the valet gives them a perfect shoeshine.

Could you please make a short list about your favourite blogs/ online magazines where you find interesting information and new points of view?


I find new points of views in many blogs but I cannot name the ones I like best because sometimes I like the facts they deliver but not the quality of the writing, sometimes I like the writing and not the facts. I try to rely on my own research as much as possible although no one could work without the internet nowadays. Visually I like Japanese magazines the most but unfortunately I cannot read them.


I find new points of views in many blogs but I cannot name the ones I like best because sometimes I like the facts they deliver but not the quality of the writing, sometimes I like the writing and not the facts. I try to rely on my own research as much as possible although no one could work without the internet nowadays. Visually I like Japanese magazines the most but unfortunately I cannot read them.


Is there a future project you are working on now?


I’d like to find a way to support German bespoke makers, both tailors and shoemakers. I think they need professional support and I am presently working on a concept together with Martin Smolka. I also plan to to do a new edition of my book on bespoke tailoring.




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