Fashion-forward men can now get their shoes custom-made in unique designs.
IT is believed that shoes make a man. Whatever pair a guy may have on says a lot about whether he takes pride in the little details that make him stand out. Shoes complete an outfit in the broadest sense.
So where does one head to find great quality and well-designed shoes? Various outlets and boutiques now carry a range of them. This, however, requires a man to spend hours shopping – something he may dread.
Well, he can now turn to custom-made shoes. Not only does it allow him the convenience of getting hundreds of unique designs from one place, the shoes can be crafted to his exact needs.
Bespoke menswear tailor Ian Chang, who runs his own boutique in Kuala Lumpur, has recently launched a service that offers men a chance to have their shoes custom- made.
He is working with Elegantology Gallery & Restaurant (located at Publika Shopping Gallery) for this new service. Utilising a 3D customisation tool, it gives customers a multitude of options in personalising their shoes.
Speaking to Star2, Chang says that he thinks Malaysian men are ready for such a thing. He explains that he has had friends coming up to him and asking him where he got his shoes.
“Unfortunately, I had to tell them that I got mine abroad. Which goes to show that the men in this country really need accessibility to quality shoes of great design,” Chang explains.
The first and foremost option that a customer has is the choice of design. This comprises a selection of men’s dress shoes (oxford, loafer, full brogue, single monk, double monk), slippers (of the dress variety) and casual shoes (moccasin, classic boat), amongst others.
One then proceeds to pick the colours. There is an impressive palette to choose from for each different part of the shoe. The colour of the inner lining, lace, lips and sole of the shoes all can be customised.
Material-wise, there are over 50 different kinds of materials, including leather, suede, velvet, linen, denim, fabric (tweed, houndstooth, herringbone) and even the more exotic crocodile skin.
Further detailing includes the addition of tassels, bows, metal bit and embroidery. It is even possible to have your name engraved on each pair of shoe, making it a little more special.
It needs pointing out that custom-made does not equate bespoke. Full-bespoke shoes are tailor made for a person’s feet – taking into consideration the exact size and shape. Shoes that are custom-made, however, follow regular sizing (Euro, US or Japan).
“It takes about four weeks for a purchase to be ready. Once completed, it will be sent straight to the customer, or to the Elegantology Gallery & Restaurant to be collected,” states Chang.
Chang adds that his custom-made shoes are affordable for the quality that is offered. According to him, prices can start from RM899, and each pair will be fully made in Spain.
Another such custom-made shoe service to be found in Malaysia is offered by Mango Mojito. This is a Thai brand and their products can be found in Isetan (Suria KLCC, The Gardens Mall) and The Underline boutique (situated in Bangsar).
When met during the launch, Mango Mojito’s managing director and founder, Silratth Sukwatthanasiri said, “The custom-made shoe service isn’t something new around the world. Western countries have long offered it.
“What’s different about ours is that they are reasonably priced. Prices start from RM499, and these are based on a particular design. We do not charge extra for different leathers, colours or additions of detailing, for instance.”
One range of shoes from Mango Mojito, named Italian Touch, features an extraordinary meeting of finest grade leather and colour. The designs also provide a classic twist to modern styles that most men can appreciate.
Available are oxfords, chukkas, penny loafers, ankle boots and more. Apart from choosing the design and colour for each different part, it is also possible to have a different size shoe made for each foot.
“Mango Mojito’s shoes are all hand-made by experienced Thai shoemakers. Our leathers are sourced from both the United States and Thailand. The time needed for an order to be processed is about one week,” reveals Sukwatthanasiri.
“Our staff will be able to assist you if you’re not familiar with getting your shoes custom made. We also have an application that can take a man through the steps needed for this.”
Sukwatthanasiri himself loves shoes. He says that he has more than 20 pairs that he uses regularly. Queried about the trend of men embracing their love of shoes, he admits that it is not usually so.
“Women of course love shoes. I would say that the men don’t change shoes so much. That said, they do indeed need good quality shoes of different designs for different occasions.”