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November 12, 2008

Manila's Own Bespoke Footwear

Marikina, a city in Metro Manila, is quite renowned for the shoes it produces. Cobblers from Marikina crafted a huge part of Imelda Marcos’ shoe collection. Marikina also produced the world’s largest pair of shoes.

But I never really considered wearing a pair of Marikina-made shoes, because, to be honest, I thought they were rather low on style and quality.

Cubao Expo: cafes, boutiques, vintage shops. From Manila Rat.
That was until I visited Solimann shoes, a shoe store in pinoy hipster hangout Cubao Expo. Everything here is made in Marikina.

Inside Solimann shoes. The guy in charge of the store is a really nice man. Photo from Lime Basil.
Solimann shoes offers a selection of mostly vintage-style footwear for men and women, as well as a bespoke service at quite a reasonable price. (Bespoke men’s shoes go for about USD 85 a pair.) I spotted quite a few prospective buys: really cheap canvas combat boots, two-tone oxfords, these gray boots that I did not buy:

and the silver house slippers in the background. Seriously! There were also a pair of fabulously kitsch mint green two-inch-heeled boots, which, of course, I didn’t purchase.
Now on to the things I did buy:
Taupe boots with quite a substantial heel, about an inch and a half i think. My poor man’s alternative to the YSL Jonny boots.

Blue penny loafers. They’re sort of a faded royal blue in person, and the leather is buttery-stretchy sheepskin.

Originally commissioned by the mayor of the province of Tarlac, he didn’t pick them up so I was able to get the shoes at a low, low price. I still keep the tag attached to the sole; it feels nice to wear a pair of shoes made for a politician.

I’m thinking of having a pair custom-made. Ever since I saw this picture on Sart, I’ve been lusting for a pair of oxblood lace-up boots.

The guy at the shop says I can bring in pictures of what I want to have made, and I can modify accordingly. I plan on patterning mine after these boots by Carmina, old-school and sharp!


Do you have any dream shoes you’d want to have made? Or perhaps a concept for a shoe th
at lingers in your head? Do share.

5 Comments

  • designerman
    November 13th, 2008 at 1:37 am

    yes! lilac looks incredibly fresh to me too!

  • Martini
    November 13th, 2008 at 11:02 am

    loving the silver shoes in the background.

  • Giancinephile
    November 13th, 2008 at 1:20 pm

    I'm also considering having made to order stuff there.

    But to somehow fulfill my shoe desires, I'd love to have a pair customized by Crocket & Jones in Paris. Too bad their bespoke service starts at EUR 2,500 for a pair. But I bet it's gonna be really a delight!

  • mond
    November 13th, 2008 at 9:46 pm

    dream shoessss, hmmm.
    i want flat, no-heel boots.. with a slight tennis look or something.. i don’t know…
    i can NEVER find shoes
    but i do have to say, the shoes that guy is wearing are sooo nice.. and they do make me want a pair something like ‘em

  • thesearchforchic
    November 18th, 2008 at 2:32 pm

    The Carmina you posted…sublime.

    I love the thought of having something bespoke.. something unique to your taste, such a great thought.


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