The savoir-faire of bespoke shoemaking is endangered. There are fewer independant craftsmen: around 30 high qualified professionals are still working in France today. Related to fashion, and haute-couture, this know-how is a demanding job. It requires a high master of the hand movement and a strong knowledge of the material.
In the 4th millennium BC, the very first shoe was created in Armenia. It was just a piece of stitched leather recovering the front part of the foot as a loafer. Since the creation of the first shoe, shoes have evolved alongside clothing history.
The bespoke shoemaker creates entirely by hand. He meticulously applies all steps of realisation like the cutting or the stitching. His work starts with an imprint of the foot sculpted on wood. Then, he manipulates leather pieces by punching, gluing, reveting, stapling and finally polishing.
As an independent shoemaker, he offers his expertise to customers, designers and creators who are keen to develop new styles and new models that combine tradition and modernity.
Philippe Atienza explains his vision of the craft: “Being a shoemaker today means working with contemporary materials and styles while using time‐honoured machinery. We want to pay tribute to those who went before us by reusing the original tools that were developed for our craft. To create genuinely “bespoke” products, you need to be able to understand the needs of your customer, be sensitive to their dreams and their feelings, and have the ability to translate them into the expressive shoes that are going to envelop their feet.”