Not all things are created equal. Sometimes, the most pleasant surprises come from the least expected places…Case in point? Santalum.
Traditionally, quality footwear is associated with countries with strong roots and history in the industry such as Italy, UK, Portugal or Spain, but as experience has shown us more than once, there are other players to be reckoned with. This is just the case with Indonesian based footwear brand Santalum…While at first it might seem uncanny to think that Jakarta would become renowned for its shoemaking, the truth is Santalum is home to some of the most skilled craftsmen and artisans I’ve seen at work to this day (the video speaks for itself). Production is limited as each pair is entirely handmade, making them unique and embodying the brand’s passion for a trademark vintage aesthetic reminiscent of the 50s and 60s.
Resorting only to premium hides and materials, as well as high-end manufacturing techniques such as hand-stitched Goodyear-Welt construction, quality is ever-present throughout their offerings. These tan rough-out oxford “boots” are the first addition to my never ending footwear collection and I must say I’m really impressed. I love the bulkier last and the brushed tan bull hide, not to mention the construction with hand-stitched goodyear-welted rubber soles and double row stitching. Other details include contrast dark brown leather laces, leather lining on toe and heel and vegetable tanned leather insoles.
PS: Santalum is now available in Europe thanks to my good friend and footwear aficionado Filipe Moreira, so if you’re interested drop him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Buttero SS14 Pitti Preview
It’s always a pleasure to meet my friends from Buttero to catch up with their latest developments. This time around, Luca and Massimiliano showed me around the SS14 collection, which besides evolutions on trademark classics such as the Tanino low and high-top, featured an array of new models. Introducing a new type of thicker rubber sole for the boat shoes and chukkas, along with new sneaker models and slippers, the result is a well balanced selection of casual/polished alternatives always maintaining that unique Buttero feel. New materials such as linen were used for the Taninos, while braided leather and supple suede were chosen for slippers, high-tops and chelsea boots. The latter by the way, are already on my wish list…
Much has been said about love brands: those with an uncanny ability to connect with consumers and develop a unique relationship and history. For me, a perfect example is Tuscany based family brand BUTTERO: undoubtedly one of my favourite footwear labels, this is one of the stands I never miss while at Pitti. What can I say? Buttero has earned a special place in my heart, not only due to closely working with it and accompanying its evolution while working back at Por Vocação, but also because simply put, it produces some of the most unique models out there. Resorting to the most luxurious vegetable tanned leathers and remaining true to its origins, there’s a trademark craftsmanship and authenticity in everything they deliver. Stopping by their stand is a treat in every way, not only do I get a glimpse of upcoming creations (which already account for more than half of my shoe collection), but I also get a chance to keep up with my friends Luca, Massimiliano and Don.
Buttero Round Toe Derby Shoes
Buttero’s the one to blame when my bank account reaches €0,00…
Long goes the time when my footwear collection was mainly comprised of sneakers…nowadays, loafers, brogues and oxfords have taken the spotlight, but it feels nice to sport a classic leather sneaker on occasion. Up until now, I stuck with Paul Smith’s Ibsen in white leather and chocolate brown suede, but this version by Buttero in rich green was just too good to miss out on.
Tuscan brand Buttero’s SS collection has been earning some much deserved praise on the web. Aimed at delivering high-end quality footwear, this season’s focus is on their trademark vegetable tanned leathers, original recycled rubber soles and refreshing leather detailing and embellishments. From low and mid top sneakers, to boat shoes and chukkas, there’s something for everyone.
I got a chance to get hands on with some of their models over at Por Vocação and I’ve got to say these guys never cease to amaze me…