x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

They won't bite: Dh47,000 crocodile shoes from Dubai Mall

The Life: The Sultan of Brunei, one of the first supporters of Maison Corthay shoes, ordered 150 pairs of their bespoke offering. Now shoppers in the UAE can choose their own pair.

The Arca crocodile show by Maison Corthay. Photo courtesy Maison Corthay
The Arca crocodile show by Maison Corthay. Photo courtesy Maison Corthay

When a customer orders 150 pairs of bespoke shoes, it's probably safe to say he is a diehard fan. The Sultan of Brunei, one of the first supporters of Maison Corthay shoes, did just that.

It seems the Paris-based brand's followers do not do things by halves: a customer in New York bought a pair of bespoke golf shoes for his golf club chums.

But for those who want their own pair here in the UAE, the luxury menswear collection is now available at Level Shoe District in Dubai Mall, the first outlet in the Middle East.

Prices start from Dh5,500 and go up to Dh47,000 for the Arca Crocodile style, which uses crocodile leather with only the largest scales.

The soles and lining are purple and the satin laces come in a contrasting colour.

The ready-to-wear range has four basic styles - for use during the day, evening, travel and the weekend - and are made from the finest materials including traditional calfskin, suede, python, elephant and camel leather.

Arca, a popular style among the day collection, is a two-eyelet Derby made from calf leather. It has a leather sole and natural lining.

The light and comfortable travel collection features rubber soles and its Easy model is a five-eyelet Derby with built-in elastic pieces to make it easier to slip the shoe on and off - perfect for flying long haul.

The weekend style comes in three models, including the Bella boot inspired by British military boots allowing the wearer to look rugged yet stylish.

Made from leather, it comes with a leather or rubber sole.

Through the brand's atelier, customers can handpick a style from the ready-to-wear collection and alter the specifications to suit their tastes.

This can be taken a step further; the Number 1 service allows customers to modify their shoe more extensively, selecting any leather, colour or last.

When it comes to shoe shopping, Number 1 is as close to the bespoke experience as it gets.

 

Q&A

We know the shoes are here but is the bespoke service available in Dubai too?

Yes. Founder Pierre Corthay or chef d’atelier Christophe Algans will come to Dubai for a personal consultation. The bespoke process is not fast, requiring a minimum of 20 weeks.

What does the process involve?

During the initial consultation, the client discusses his ideas for design and style, and a time frame for their completion is established. Then Pierre or Christophe will take precise measurements from the client before hand-crafting the last – a mechanical form of a shoe used by shoemakers to produce footwear. Every step of the dozens of stages involved in the shoemaking process is carried out by hand, from the cutting of every component to the stitching of the upper to the welt and the welt to the sole. Along the way, each shoe will be continually and minutely adjusted to guarantee a perfect, individual fit. Once the first pair of bespoke shoes is made, the lasts will be named and archived in order so that, at any time in the future, the client can place subsequent orders without the need to revisit the measuring process.

Can you name other fans of the brand?

Actors Kevin Spacey and Clive Owen, and Bob Geldof are fans. And tennis player Rafael Nadal is also a regular at the Paris atelier.

lgutcher@thenational.ae