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PRODUCTION UPDATE #3: LASTING YOUR SHOES


Hello there,

I would like to welcome you to our third production update for the July campaign. I hope you have had a wonderful time during your summer.

As Labor Day is approaching, it is time to have one more long weekend before saying goodbye to the warm season. Why not have a barbeque or spend a day at the beach?

While you think about your plans for this coming weekend, I would like to give you some exciting news about your products. As you read this, all uppers on shoes have been sewn, and we’re in the process of lasting your shoes.

So you might be wondering what the lasting process is and why it is important for your shoes. Let me help you with that.

The lasts: half art, half science

Let’s say you’re baking your favorite apple pie this weekend. What do you need? Of course, ingredients like apples, sugar, butter, and pastry for the crust.

But let’s not forget something very important: Your apple pie pan or dish with the typical scalloped edges, for a classic-shaped pie. This mold is critical when cooking your dessert. It will help your pie to cook evenly and will give it a substantial and firm shape.

We also need a mold when it comes to giving shape to your shoes. These are called lasts. A last is a three-dimensional mold used for shaping the leather uppers. They determine the look, fit, and beauty of a shoe.

Other companies buy pre-made lasts from a last supplier. This results in shoes which can be easily replicated and look generic.

In our case, we develop our own lasts, and throughout the years we have developed different lasts for our various shoe styles. This is a process that is expensive and time-consuming, but we believe it is worth it.

It allows us to think about the finer details of our shoes like the type and thickness of the leather, the elasticity and type of lining, the patterning, the insoles and the construction and processes employed.

By designing our own lasts, we can make sure your shoes are anatomically correct, and also aesthetically pleasing. They will not only result in a comfortable and durable shoe but also one with a contemporary and beautiful shape.

Making lasts is an art and a science. A good last should be comfortable, well proportioned and visually attractive.

They're the result of extensive study of ergonomics and human anatomy. They are also the manifestation of aesthetic sensibility.

Like an artist carving a sculpture that people will actually wear and, most importantly, enjoy.

Now, let’s meet Hector, one of the most experienced artisans who works in our studio. He’s the person in charge of placing the uppers on the lasts and we have a great story to tell you about him.

Hector is lasting your shoes

Before lasting the shoes, uppers look like something you could wear as a weird hat, or use as a lampshade. They’re not shoes just yet!

It is only when they’re are lasted that they begin to take their shape. We can say the last is the soul of the shoe. And it is Hector who gives your shoes a soul.

I pay Hector a visit on a Tuesday morning. The sun is rising over the mountains that surround Bogotá. I practically traverse the city to visit the studio. It is located in a traditional shoemaking neighborhood.

When I arrive, the artisans are already working. As background noise, I hear hammering and sewing machines. I also hear the mumbling of a radio station that plays an old, romantic song.

Before I go to see Hector, I say “hi” to some of the artisans I have met before. As always, they’re very kind and won’t let me go until I accept a cup of the coffee they have made.

After my stop for coffee, I finally reach Hector who is completely concentrated on his tasks. As he places the uppers on lasts with extreme patience, he tells me his story.

He has worked in shoemaking for 40 years. He came to Bogotá when he was only a teenager, looking for better opportunities.

When he was old enough to work, the first job he got was as a shoemaker, working on the minor tasks for making shoes. But with time, he learned the most difficult techniques.

It was then when he fell in love with the art of making shoes.

For several decades, Hector worked for different shoe factories, including one called Manhattan. This company belonged to an Italian-Jewish family which had migrated to Colombia after WWII.

He also worked for another traditional company called Vitello. Finally, he came to our studio, and he came here to stay.

Hector already has a retirement pension, and he doesn’t need to work anymore. His kids are grown up, and he only lives with his wife. But he loves to make shoes, and that’s why he preserves his job.

Through all of this experience, Hector learned the more than one hundred techniques to make shoes. He's specialized in the lasting process, which requires a lot of patience and expertise.

Hector is happy to show me all the processes he does. He explains every step with a smile, taking great care of how he expresses himself. He’s as careful with his language as he is with shoes.

While he finishes lasting some uppers, he tells me about his passion for soccer. He followed all the World Cup matches. Even while he was working, he had his radio on to listen to all the games when Colombia was playing.

Laughing, he adds that he keeps the morale high even though the team was sadly eliminated. Now he has moved on and is paying attention to Nairo Quintana in the Tour of Spain.

It is Hector, a warm-hearted human with an unforgettable experience, who is lasting your shoes. It is him, with his skilled hands, who is giving life to the shoes you will soon receive.

***

Thank you for reading this update! Everything is on track for our delivery in October.

Make sure you update your shipping or contact information before we start with the shipping process.

Don’t hesitate to send an email to service@beckettsimonon.com, use the live chat on our website or call us at 1-844-423-2538 (Monday-Friday, 9am-5:30pm EST).

That’s it for now. Remember I am here to help. If you think someone you know might be interested in these updates, don’t forget to share them.


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