When something becomes a trend, I usually stay far from it. The reason that I do this is because I like unique things and the very idea of a trend means that it won’t be unique. Therefore, when the explosion of double monks came onto the scene a few years back, I was really not that impressed. But the reason was not because I don’t like double monks, it was more because many of them looked alike, either having a very simple plain toe or a straight cap. Thinking about it now, I guess that was because many of the brands that were making them were English and after all, the English are the kings of the cap toes. But I had always felt that an apron seam on the vamp (very Italian), far more suited the pattern of a monk strap.
I remember working at Nordstrom about 7-8 years ago, when we first received Santoni’s ‘Goodyear line.’ They were the most beautiful Santoni’s that I had ever seen and one of them was a rendition of the monk above (I think that this one must be a newer version as I remember the vamp being shorter). I instantly fell in love with it and wished that I could have bought it. However, at a little over a 1000 buckaroo’s ($), it was well out of my price range. But I really really appreciated the handsewn apron and how good the Italians were at it. Therefore I kept this model in my head in order to save for a rainy day…..
Fast forward to present day. Now wanting to hop on the bandwagon on double monks but not do what everyone else was doing, I remembered back to that Santoni and took inspiration from it when designing my own version of the “new (old) double monk.” Saint Cripsins (as shown above) had actually beat me to the punch, but unlike Santoni’s sharp chisel toe and my soft chisel toe, they did it on a lovely round toe last, which is actually even less common as a combination. So, luckily for me, there is someone that does the handsewn aprons around my way (in Spain) and I knocked out a sample that came up brilliantly in the first go. Considering how strong the double monk trend is still going, I felt that offering one was a smart thing to do so long as I just put my own version/twist to it…..
Justin, “The Shoe Snob”