Handmade shoes for Men
Without a doubt, custom-made shoes are a luxury for the feet. The authors of this book have traced the trail of a traditional craft that remains vital today. Take a look behind the scenes of some of the most renowned workshops and experience the creation of elegant, handcrafted men's shoes - from measuring the foot to professional packaging.
Laszlo Vass, born in Budapest in 1946, worked in the Hungarian fashion house of Magyar Divatintezet as a clicker, closer, shoemaker, and designer from 1964 until 1969. In 1970, having gained his professional shoemaking qualification he joined a private workshop specializing in hand-made shoes and ladies' boots as assistant chief designer and shoemaker. In 1978 Vass founded his own workshop and opened a business in the centre of Budapest. Since 1988 he and his 20 staff have concentrated on traditional shoemaking.
Today the exquisite quality of the shoes made by the firm of Vass has earned the workshop enormous respect throughout Europe. Magda Molnar, born in Budapest in 1943, studied English literature at Budapest University. A publisher of art books, she was initially chief executive of Helikon Verlag, and since 1991 head of Vince Books; she is active on the international publishing scene. Magda Molnar's particular interest in shoemaking is rooted in her family history: her grandfather practiced the profession of shoemaker for 50 years, specializing in handmade shoes and gentlemen's boots.
"Finally, a decent book on shoemaking
Information on shoemaking is getting difficult to find. I bought this book hoping I could learn how nice shoes are made. I was very pleased with what I learned from this book. One step further into the details, however, would have made this book the last word on the subject.
If you have a little imagination, however, it is not too hard to fill in the details. Actually, since the author is a very respected Hungarian shoemaker, I can imagine it being a difficult decision on where to draw the line between "details" and "wordiness." Do you have to talk about glue viscosity (he does) or glue recipes (he doesn't, "shop secrets"). Plenty of information is included and hundreds of excellent photos make it easy to imagine yourself right alongside a master craftsman.
* taking measurements
* shoe sizes
* history and making of lasts
* characteristics of different styles of men's dress shoes
* design of the pattern (the gist of it, anyway)
* leather tanning processes
* characteristics of different leathers
* clicking, brogueing, stitching and reinforcing of uppers
* lasting the shoe (stretching the upper around the last)
* lots of detail on tacking and stitching during the lasting process
* soling (including the shank and cork filler)
* building the heel
* ornamentation and finishing
* proper shoe care
* short bios on the greatest workshops in Europe and America Needless to say, I learned alot. I had no idea top-end shoes use wooden pegs to hold the heels on or that broken glass and bones are common tools in the trade. This is a very nice addition to my library. "
K. Pace Idalou, TX United States
"The great tradition of shoemaker's art is explained here with passion, precision and clarity. Contrasting with the venerable British bespoke shoemaker John Lobb, the sophistication and subtleness of Ausro-Hungarian shoemaker Laszlo Vass reflect the glories of an empire long gone by. A must for Gentlemens' reference library."
Margaret Innerhofer New York NY
10 x 8.6 x 0.8 inches
Lasz Vass, Magda Molnar