Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Manila's Own Bespoke Footwear

Marikina, a city in Metro Manila, is quite renowned for the shoes it produces. Cobblers from Marikina crafted a huge part of Imelda Marcos' shoe collection. Marikina also produced the world's largest pair of shoes.

But I never really considered wearing a pair of Marikina-made shoes, because, to be honest, I thought they were rather low on style and quality.

Cubao Expo: cafes, boutiques, vintage shops. From Manila Rat.

That was until I visited Solimann shoes, a shoe store in pinoy hipster hangout Cubao Expo. Everything here is made in Marikina.

Inside Solimann shoes. The guy in charge of the store is a really nice man. Photo from Lime Basil.

Solimann shoes offers a selection of mostly vintage-style footwear for men and women, as well as a bespoke service at quite a reasonable price. (Bespoke men's shoes go for about USD 85 a pair.) I spotted quite a few prospective buys: really cheap canvas combat boots, two-tone oxfords, these gray boots that I did not buy:

and the silver house slippers in the background. Seriously! There were also a pair of fabulously kitsch mint green two-inch-heeled boots, which, of course, I didn't purchase.

Now on to the things I did buy:

Taupe boots with quite a substantial heel, about an inch and a half i think. My poor man's alternative to the YSL Jonny boots.

Blue penny loafers. They're sort of a faded royal blue in person, and the leather is buttery-stretchy sheepskin.

Originally commissioned by the mayor of the province of Tarlac, he didn't pick them up so I was able to get the shoes at a low, low price. I still keep the tag attached to the sole; it feels nice to wear a pair of shoes made for a politician.

I'm thinking of having a pair custom-made. Ever since I saw this picture on Sart, I've been lusting for a pair of oxblood lace-up boots.

The guy at the shop says I can bring in pictures of what I want to have made, and I can modify accordingly. I plan on patterning mine after these boots by Carmina, old-school and sharp!

Do you have any dream shoes you'd want to have made? Or perhaps a concept for a shoe that lingers in your head? Do share.


designerman said...

yes! lilac looks incredibly fresh to me too!

Martini said...

loving the silver shoes in the background.

Giancinephile said...

I'm also considering having made to order stuff there.

But to somehow fulfill my shoe desires, I'd love to have a pair customized by Crocket & Jones in Paris. Too bad their bespoke service starts at EUR 2,500 for a pair. But I bet it's gonna be really a delight!

mond said...

dream shoessss, hmmm.
i want flat, no-heel boots.. with a slight tennis look or something.. i don't know...
i can NEVER find shoes
but i do have to say, the shoes that guy is wearing are sooo nice.. and they do make me want a pair something like 'em

thesearchforchic said...

The Carmina you posted...sublime.

I love the thought of having something bespoke.. something unique to your taste, such a great thought.

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