When you think of bespoke shoemakers and where they come from, you generally think about Italy, England, France and maybe if you are really knowledgeable, you also think of Hungary. But what you don’t think of, is the rest of the world such as Spain, Japan, Germany, Sweeden, the USA etc. and all of these other places that actually have bespoke shoemakers but they are just not on that grand level scale. Most shoemakers take on apprentices and those apprentices are not always just from the country in which the shoemaker originates. Take Norman Vilalta (pictured above right). He is originally from Argentina but left his country to go to Italy and engulf himself in the art of shoemaking. Him and I actually have a similar history (except he is way ahead of me) in that we both left our country to go and study shoemaking under Stefano Bemer, which he did for I think about 5 years (plus or minus). After his time in Italy though, he left to open up his own shop in Barcelona, Spain where he continues to work today. And while his business and shoe production is relatively small, it is on it’s way to thriving with the introduction of a ready-to-wear line in the not-so-distant future!
Pictures Courtesy Of: El Aristocrata
Norman is arguably the most talented shoemaker alive today.