I have never really been one of those people who was absolutely enamored with the idea of cordovan leather. I always felt, “gosh that is a high price for some stiff leather.” But it seems to be popular for a reason and when one puts a bit of thought into it, he/she must see that there has to be something special about it which thus makes it so popular. The Spanish makers seem to have capitalized on this very same idea. Meermin, getting more and more known for their ability to make some crazy-colored MTO’s in Cordovan (as shown here) and well, Carmina has been pioneering it for awhile now. One like me who sees cordovan after cordovan longwing most likely doesn’t seem to think much of it, but when coming across a pair of monks like this, makes you think otherwise. Not to mention all of the whiskey and navy cordovan that I have seen as of late. I don’t know about you, but I am becoming more and more intrigued, thinking how I can go about sourcing it myself to make a sample in it…. But for now, I will simply leave it to Meermin and the like to remain as the kings of cordovan……
Here’s how Meermin’s Argentinian shell cordovan ages:
Slowly but surely Justin are succumbing to the dark (cordovan) side, glad to hear it : )
Can’t forget the Yanks when it comes to cordovan as Alden (and to a lesser degree Allen Edmonds) use a lot of it.
BTW, the Meermin monks in green are truly fantastic, does Meermin have a retail source in USA?
got a loafer in the works my friend…slowly but surely :-)…… but yes you are right, Alden is the kind of cordovan as a whole but I was referring to the use of colored cordovan, as the Spanish are much more known for…. No Meermin does not have a retail outlet in the US, but they are doing a trunk show in NYC from Nov. 14th-16th
what is negative?
This does not look natural though to be honest…looks like they have never been conditioned plus worn in some wet/snowy weather as you can see by the patches on the vamp on the left shoe….don’t know whey he used that pic for the post…
Come on, those boys in Budapest are the kings of cordovan, surely? Buday, atilla, bass etc do a lovely line in hand welter goiserer budapesters and cordovan seems to be the absolutely perfect material for those more robust and rotund, yet exquisitely designed and finished shoes.
I would say that Alden is the true king in reality, in terms of how much they use….but what I was referring to was the amount of different colors the Spanish use in cordovan:black, tan, mid brown, dark brown, burgundy, red, blue and green…..no one else uses all of those colors
Justin is there any truth to the idea that its hard to shape and work with cordovan leather as well as calf due to its toughness therefore it doesn’t produce such as refined a shoe? I guess you’ll find out from first hand experience if you do a trial yourself so perhaps you’ll report back. cheers.
Shell cordovan has a relatively low tensile strength compared to other leathers commonly used in shoemaking. Apparently (I have no first hand knowledge, I am not a shoemaker), this makes cordovan a difficult material to work with as it has a tendency to rip as the upper is being shaped around the last. I believe that DFWII commented on styleforum that he himself, along with other bespoke shoemakers are not fans of working with cordovan for this reason.
thanks for that!
gary, below, gave a perfect response….