Those who know me, know that I love my shoes.
As with any good addiction, there’s always room for one more pair. My overflowing shoe racks, already weighed down with pairs for every imaginable occasion, disagree with this principle most strenuously, causing me to operate a strict “one in, one out” policy.
Which leads me to “the grail shoe”.
As coveted as the Holy Grail and rife with similar symbolism although marginally more attainable, these are the shoes I yearn to have. They are what I consider to be the archetypal pinnacle of a niche, for which I would sacrifice an existing pair to acquire the grail.
At my apex of the black loafer ecosystem is the Andy from Berluti, pictured in a lighter colour at the top of this post. It is named for Andy Warhol, who was the first bespoke customer of the brand’s current scion, Olga Berluti. The sleek and shapely Andy is available in the ready-to-wear range and would be perfect in black, with just a little mottling and bronzing to add depth of finish. I would happily swap out my current Ermenegildo Zegna Couture black loafers for these.
My second grail pair would be Corthay’s Vendome:
This oxford wingtip shares similar sweeping lines to Berluti’s Andy, but effortlessly adds the detail of brogueing and medallion without overwhelming the look. These more informal elements would allow for a more unusual colour, and I think the Vendome would be stunning in a dark green, similar to that of the Bucy (also Corthay) pictured below:
I am not quite sure which existing pair would lose its life in my wardrobe so that the Vendomes could live. Probably either my dark green suede John Lobb court slippers (worn only seldomly with black tie, and I already have alternate shoe options for that dress code) or a pair of dark brownish-red Salvatore Ferragamo Tramezza monkstraps (which I currently wear with similar outfits to those that I could pair to the hypothetical Vendomes).
As you can tell, I have a very different shoe ethos to New York’s Mayor Bloomberg but any man who cares enough to resole his shoes rather than just bin them is A-OK with me.
I wonder what your shoe ethos is? A shoe for every occasion, or one pair to rule them all? And would you sacrifice them all for a grail pair?