A. Testoni, Aubercy Paris, Barker Black Ltd., Chic, Designer, Designers, Fashion, Fashion Blogs, fashion designers, Louis Vuitton, Louis Vuitton Manhattan Richelieus, Luxury, Luxury Brands, Mens Shoes, Scarpe di Bianco, Stefano Bemer, Style
Photo Courtesy of Scarpe di Bianco
There are a few items that men typically indulge in once they’ve secured a paycheck that puts them a notch or two above the “financially secure” range. One of those is a pair of luxury men’s shoes— next comes a good luxury watch, a dream car, or maybe even a vacation home. You know how the saying goes: you can tell a lot about a man by his shoes, and we have a feeling you’ll want a pair that screams success. So which men’s shoes are among the best that money can buy?
First on our list is Aubercy, an independent French family brand that was established in 1935. Shoes from the label’s classic collections are priced between $1,090 and $1,215— but these aren’t your typical ready-to-wear shoes. Each step of the design process receives personal attention from one of only 10 employees in the Aubercy’s Paris workshop— a quality in its own that should be a testament to the label’s authenticity. From the hand-picking of leathers to the hand-punched seems, Aubercy’s shoes have a personal touch and are made with the utmost attention to detail. Bespoke special orders sell from around $1,730. These “Petite Measure” shoes, as the brand puts it, not only reflect their owner’s style aesthetically, but also fit him like a glove— or maybe I should say a sock, in this case. Fittings for both feet result in the shoe’s insides becoming essentially replicas of the owner’s feet so that they fit him perfectly, while also making them truly unique. Boasting an assorted clientele that Xavier Aubercy tells me even includes national presidents, the label’s men’s shoes are top quality with their customizable aspect making them pieces that every lover of beautiful objects will enjoy.
Photo Courtesy of Aubercy
Scarpe di Bianco Italian Handmade Shoes
Handmade in Italy from top quality calfskin, Scarpe di Bianco shoes expertly blend classic and contemporary styles for an overall look that exudes luxury. Over 30 styles by the brand including oxfords, bluchers, loafers, brogues, monk straps and ankle boots are produced in a small workshop in Naples that includes the third and fourth generations of a family of skilled shoemakers. Made in a variety of finishes from burnished browns to sleek blacks, the number of styles combined with the color options result in a seemingly impossible plethora of different looks. The label’s artisanal quality is solidified by the fact that no more than 25 pairs of shoes are produced by its workshop per day, meaning that with no time limit on production, no unfinished or imperfect pair of shoes goes on the shelf. Shoes from Scarpe di Bianco’s ready-to-wear collection start at $895, with made-to-order shoes opening at $995. Finally, for a pair of specialty bench-made shoes, prepare to pay a starting price of $1,475.
Photo Courtesy of Scarpe di Bianco
Barker Black Ltd. England
When it comes to detail, not many come close to that which is found in shoes by Barker Black. While the true art of shoemaking has been put on the backburner by most brands in the industry in favor of the ease and more cost-effective benefits of mass production, the British label has brought back many of the classical operations of making traditional details, including the addition of wooden shanks. With over 200 hand operations put into each pair of luxury men’s shoes, Barker Black aims to raise the standards of excellence in design, materials, and construction by combining forgotten craftsmanship with a modern aesthetic. The collection ranges in price from $500 to $5,500.
Photo Courtesy of Barker Black
Stefano Bemer is a name that now holds a great deal of value in the luxury shoe world. While the high-end Italian shoemaker created beautiful pieces, his name may have been underappreciated or not very well known in his time. Bemer’s luxury shoes come with a price, but the attention that the designer put into his shoes should explanation that. He appreciated and observed “ancient” traditions of quality shoemaking— his bespoke shoes were made with the kind of careful manual workmanship that resulted in unique pieces resembling works of art. You wouldn’t believe the exotic skins that are used in these specialty shoes, including French and English calf, shark, hippopotamus, elephant, camel, ostrich, crocodile, kudu, stingray, toad, perch and tripe— resulting in prices from $1,235 to $2,615 for ready-to-wear and $3,340 for a pair of bespoke shoes that take between 38 and 45 hours to complete. The shoemaker’s passing less than two months ago will probably make his exquisite original works inflate in price, as these are true works of art and are obviously limited— however, relatives and apprentices of the designer will carry on the legacy of his brand.
Photo Courtesy of Stefano Bemer
Louis Vuitton Manhattan Richelieus
Though Louis Vuitton products span fashion sects across the board, one category the label has made significant fashion news for is one particular pair of men’s shoes. Back in 2010, the luxury fashion house came out with a jaw-dropping $10,000 pair of wingtip men’s shoes. The Manhattan Richelieus are finished in waxed alligator leather with intricate stitching and a subtle pattern of perforations. Like all Louis Vuitton products, these shoes emanate delicate craftsmanship with a vintage touch. They’re given a leather lining, a Rhuthenium-finish LV cube embedded in its leather heel, and hand-painted leather sole.
Photo Courtesy of Louis Vuitton
A. Testoni Moro Monk-Strap
Talk about a price tag. If you thought the last few pairs were expensive, then brace yourself for what’s next: the Moro Monk-Strap by A. Testoni tops our list at a whopping $38,000 per pair. Made with exotic alligator skin, these shoes were included in the label’s Spring/Summer 2010 collection and are made for durability with Norwegian construction techniques. What makes these shoes special is their ability to provide the utmost protection in any kind of weather while also being incredibly light. These qualities are achieved through a rigorous process of being constructed, then deconstructed, then put back together again. The lengthy process justifies the almost unbelievable price tag, along with the glove-soft goatskin, hand stitching with custom-made linen twine, and the rich gold and diamond buckle on top.
Photo Courtesy of A. Testoni
By Nicolle Keogh