Sleevehead: Men's shoes: Do we need a Christian Louboutin?                                                          

Men's shoes: Do we need a Christian Louboutin?

    In this blog post, Lauren Goldstein Crowe, a luxury goods consultant, decries the moribund state of men's shoes. She may be right that it's moribund but then she laments "Where, oh where, is the Christian Louboutin of men’s footwear?" Louboutin is of course the well-known "high-end" women's shoe designer. Apparently he and Manolo Blahnik sell the most expensive and desirable women's shoes on the market.

As I describe in a comment following the article, men have plenty of choices in quality men’s shoes. In the US and UK, we have a number of quality RTW makes: Edward Green. John Lobb, Crockett & Jones, Trickers, Alden and a host of others from Italy and Central Europe (Vass, St. Crispins).

For bespoke, look again to England (Cleverley, Foster & Son, Gaziano & Girling, John Lobb St James), Italy (Ugolini, Gatto, Bestetti), France (Corthay, Berluti) or Central Europe (Vass, Maftei, Balint, Scheer).

The problem is not in the lack of quality makers for both RTW and bespoke. Quality men's shoes have been around for decades - long before Christian Louboutin ever became popular in women's shoes. The real problem is that men do not understand or appreciate quality shoemaking while the cost of labor has inexorably risen. The result is that fewer men are able to both appreciate and afford shoes made by the makers mentioned above. But that loss is I hope offset by the increasing self-education of men in this area - witness this and countless other blogs and discussion forums on men's clothing.

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