The word ‘bespoke’ calls to mind a world of near-unimaginable luxury: think sharp suits exquisitely tailored on Savile Row, and couture dresses that take weeks worth of painstaking embroidery to complete. For the most part, the price of these handmade, customized objects places them out of reach except for a rarefied few. But now, shoppers have a chance to get their hands on a pair of fully-customized, handmade shoes that that will only set them back $189 – not that far off from the average price for a pair of leather shoes.
The #BuickStyle campaign has released a totally customizable, handmade driving moc made out of the same Buick Avenir leather that upholsters the brand’s topmost luxury vehicles. While the shoes aren’t technically bespoke, they come in women’s size 5-10 and Men’s 8-13, you can pick the colour and style of leather you want, and go wild with embellishments like tassels, bows and silver hardware. Once you’ve customized to your heart’s content, the shoes are hand-sewn by a trained shoemaker — the technical term is cordwainer — at Art & Sole Academy’s east end Toronto location.
If the temptation of handmade shoes isn’t enough, Art & Sole Academy offers day-long beginner’s shoemaking classes for $245 a pop. Here’s your chance to snag a pair of handmade shoes, without any of the hard labour, for a fraction of the price.