It has been a long time now that I see Enzo Bonafe making shoes that really don’t come from any collection but that are made to the precise specifications that the client asks for. That is pretty much the idea of bespoke but without the entire last/handmade from start to finish process. You get to make your own design under their MTO program which in reality is pretty far advanced for a shoemaker to offer at just an MTO price. And quite impressive to say the least, especially for the price and the fact that their shoes are handwelted. And to top it off, coming out of Italy, which in most instances you are paying just for the idea of this let alone the actual craftsmanship.
Thanks to ThunderMarch of Instagram you can see a pair of military-style boots (above and below) that he commissioned, in what seems an idea dear to my heart: i.e. taking a classic, timeless model that is otherwise quite rugged and smartening it up in a dress shoe/boot sense. Often times, there are so many great models out there but that are done in a cheap way and on a bulky, nasty sole. You love the idea of the shoe but maybe you don’t want a Made in China version on a PVC sole and a polyester lining. Maybe you want a double sole with storm welt, top-quality calfskin uppers and with lining in vegetable-tanned leather.
Or if you want a shoe from another maker that you either can’t get anymore, can’t afford the other maker, or simply want an upgrade, Enzo Bonafe can make it for you. This once happened with a model so popular that it actually became a production model, and quite a successful one at that. One client wanted a boot that was made by Saint Crispin’s originally but either didn’t want to pay that price or couldn’t afford it and had it remade by Enzo Bonafe and produce the below. It is now one of Skoaktiebolaget’s top boot models sold and often comes in various colorways.
The only issue with the immediate above is the grey area that it represents in the world of ‘copying’. I will touch base on this with another post to follow
And this is only the tip of the iceberg. To find out more, scour Instagram for all of their work. Using #enzobonafeshoes will help with that!