Now that the artisans are manually measuring, cutting and stitching the leather to create your products, let me take you backstage and introduce you to one of the most important members of our team: Oscar.
Oscar is one of our business partners and he manages the workshop we have in Bogotá. For a long time, we partnered with different factories, until we decided to start producing directly. There are many benefits to this: It allow us take you behind the scenes, have control over processes and the quality of the components, but most importantly, have a face-to-face relationship with the artisans, and make sure that working conditions are fair.
Oscar is the most experienced and talented person in our workshop. Not only is he very involved in the manufacturing processes, but in fact, he’s the person that design our lasts and patterns. Check the following video where Oscar is tracing an insole pattern:
Don Gabriel -Oscar’s father- raised his family in the midst of his shoe factory. In fact, Oscar remembers that when he was six years old, he would go to the workshop to chit chat with workers and help with minor tasks. When he was 16 and having finished high school, he decided to take a huge step to honor his family tradition as shoemakers: he would go to Italy to learn from the best shoe designers.
Having learned Italian in Bogotá, and with Don Gabriel’s aid, Oscar landed in Vigevano, a small town in Northern Italy. Close to Milan, Vigevano is pretty well known for its expertise in shoemaking. It even has a “Museo internazionale della calzatura,” the first public institution in Italy dedicated to the history of shoes.
For a year, Oscar took full advantage of his classes in shoe design, and when he returned to Colombia, he knew he would take shoemaking to the next level, and started working shoulder to shoulder with Don Gabriel. When his father passed away, Oscar inherited the workshop and continued with the legacy of shoemaking until he became a local legend.
“You see, shoemaking is like gourmet cuisine,” Oscar says. “You can decide on either buying the best ingredients to make a great meal, or just going to your regular market to make an edible dish. In my case, I prefer the first option.”
While sitting at his desk, Oscar analyzes with exacting detail some new lasts that we’re trying out. After thoroughly explaining why he prefers one last model over other, he adds, “We’re definitely on the right path, and we have achieved great enhancements with all the hard work and patience throughout the years.”
In the back of his small office, we can observe a modest library with books and magazines about fashion and design, a reminder of Oscar’s universal love for shoes. One shelf above, we see a growing collection of paraphernalia: A tableau in stamped metal that represents the Andes, a figure of a shoemaker in the midst of his labour, a compass, and a Beckett Simonon dust bag. All these small details tell us the story and reveal the passions of a man who has consecrated his life to creating wearable art pieces.
With Oscar managing production, we can tell you that artisans are now focused now in hand-cutting leather pieces, tracing eyelets, opening inserts for buckles, and punching the brogue details in your shoes. While this process is more labor intensive, each of the artisans is in charge of one task, and hence, they always pay close attention to details.
Hand-cutted pieces for uppers, waiting to be stitched
After these processes are completed, we will move on to the stitching and lasting of the uppers. Everything is on track to delivery in July, and in the next update we'll be already in the finishing steps of your products.
Finally, remember that our June campaign is alive, so don’t forget to check out our exclusive products by clicking here.
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