I like art and I love shoes. When these things are combined one should logically conclude that I would love the result. In the case of Berluti shoes there is little love, but a lot of respect. I do not particularily care for the shoes nor would I wear them at this point in my life. However, I do believe they are beautiful and I fully respect the creativity and craftsmanship that they are laden with, for only the French would produce such shoes.
For me Berluti’s fall in the category of wearable art. Regardless of my thoughts on the brand I could not resist visiting the Berluti office and store on Rue Marbeouf and I was essentially turned away by both. I received that cold snobbery that is so stereotypically French. However, the store did provide me with a few booklets that were rather interesting and moderately informative. But they also told me to come back another day in what my friend and I deemed to be a ‘get out unless your buying’ sort of manner. Before I left I was able to stealthily take two pictures of a woman applying dye to what looked to be a notepad. In the above photo above you can see a variety of dyes to her right and then shoes to her left. This was certainly the highlight of the visit, for I believe this was the same process that Berluti uses to achieve their infamous patinas and colouring on their shoes. I watched her for a minute and the process seemed rather simple, dip the rag in the dye and then rub it into the leather. However, it would be ignorant of me to think that the process is really that simple. I wish I would’ve taken a video.
If you like Berluti shoes, have never seen them in person or would like to try to see their dying method the store is definitely worth a visit, even if you have no plan on purchasing the shoes (there are only a handful of stores in the western hemisphere, the only one in the States is in New York).