Saint Crispin's is simpy one of the best shoe brands in the world. In terms of quality, design and finish Saint Crispin's shoes are ranked among the top tier on the market. Especially details and design are things that distinguishes them compared to for example the best British manufacturers.
For example the soles of Saint Crispin's shoes are like work of art with their extremely beautifully shaped waists and toe plates. I had the pleasure to take a closer look of Saint Crispin's shoes in Stockholm while the owner Phillip Car was visiting the city. They had a trunk show together with Spanish Meermin which I attended. Check out also my earlier post regarding Meermin shoes.
Saint Crispin's shoes - handmade shoes with utmost quality
The history of Saint Crispin's goes all the way back to 1980s. The company started to produce their first hand made bespoke shoes alongside with producing shoes for various, international shoe manufacturers. The name of the company comes from patron saint of cobblers.
Today Saint Crispin's is proud to offer handmade shoes individually, and of the top quality. The shoes are produced in the classical Austro-Hungarian style. This means full formed counters through the arch, hand welted soles and pegged waists. Each Saint Crispin shoe is the culmination of over 45 hours production time. All shoes are made exclusively in Saint Cripsin's workrooms located in the Carpathian Mountains in Romania. It is worth to mention tha it is also the only atelier still producing both shoe and lasted shoe-tree under the same roof.
Materials for the shoes are sourced only from the best suppliers in Europe. An extensive collection of leathers is available for selection including for example shrunken calf, llama and hand polished crust leathers. At the moment Saint Crispin's concentrates most of all to made-to-order and bespoke shoes. In other words shoes are manufactured uniquely based on the customer 's wishes. In MTO case the prices starts from 1200 euros. In general the price includes the leather and details of customer's choice. But the shoe is still made based on existing Saint Crispin's lasts. If you want to invest in something completely unique and create a shoe made only for you, go for the bespoke option. The prices for bespoke shoes starts from 2500 euros.
In addition the company produces some ready-to-wear shoes for premium boutiques around the world such as Michael Jondral, Leffot, Leather Soul and The Armoury.
The man behind Saint Crispin's - Phillip CarRecently Philip was kind to take his time and answer few question regarding himself and the company. Thanks a lot Phillip, here's what we got.
1) "Who are you"?
Born in Munich, Germany and raised in Vienna, Austria I was following my fathers footsteps as an architect and studied civil engineering. After having finished the university I started to work for 3 three years as a IT consultant. By that time I had the luck that my cousin, who founded SC in 1992, asked me if I want to join his little bespoke shoemaking project and start a first Pret a Porter line. Frustrated as I was from being a consultant I switched from a well paid but depressing job to a badly paid but highly satisfying one, this was nearly 12 years ago.
2) Saint Crispin's makes some of the most beautiful shoes in the world, could you shortly tell a bit about the manufacturing process / steps of making a pair of Saint Crispin's shoes?
Our production process is based on the single pair order, which means we do not have to rely on series. Due to that we can answer to nearly all special requests from our customers without big up charges for single pair orders. A made to order pair has a turnaround therefore for approx. 6 to 8 weeks.
3) How would you describe Saint Crispin's style? What makes the difference between you and other shoemakers?
My description would very classic and conservative but with a little, special twist. Our shoes are really hand made in the terms of hand stained, hand welted, hand stained, hand sewn. I think the secret of our success is the flexibility and the possibilities we offer, next to a very short delivery time for a Made-to-order pair, 8 weeks.
4) How do you find inspiration for new designs?
Next to the big archive every shoe making company has I like to listen to our customers. This is best inspiration for us.
5) And finally, Your one and most important style advice for men?
A gentleman should be dressed properly in order to serve the purpose and simply look better. But first you have to know the rules then you can adapt you personal style which shall be authentic. Only then you will feel comfortable AND look good.If you ever get a chance to go and see these shoes in real, I highly suggest you take it as the quality, design and details are something you need to see yourself to realize what shoemaking is all about.