A selection from Corthay’s latest collection
I thought stylish shoes were strictly for females –until I discovered Corthay. The Parisian shoemaker, who recently opened its first boutique in Hong Kong, has a cult following among celebrities including Clive Owen and Kevin Spacey (apparently Cate Blanchett is a fan too!)
The brand was founded by cobbler Pierre Corthay who started his career at 16. He learnt the craft the traditional way, under master bottiers at renowned brands like John Lobb and Berluti (he also became a member of Les Compagnons du Devoir, an organisation dedicated to French artisans and craftsmen). By the late 1990s he set up his own atelier creating bespoke pieces for maisons such as Lanvin and Dior Couture, as well as a boutique in Paris. In 2003 he added a ready-to-wear line to his offerings, with everything handmade in the atelier.
The best-selling Arca model (above)
Although many of Corthay’s styles are based on classics like wingtips or brogues (the Arca is still their bestseller) they have a cool fashion edge that sets them apart from other luxury shoe brands. The Electrochoc collection for example includes styles crafted from python, orange croc or neon patent leather, while the Schizo line makes a statement with its two-tone brogues and lace ups decorated with a funky degrade effect.
Of course the true beauty in each pair comes down to the way they are crafted and the attention to detail that goes into making them. Arches are made from Beachwood while styles like the Satan are constructed from just one piece of leather for the ultimate luxury. Colours range from traditional to cutting edge with shiny leathers tinted in cocoa, wine, ruby red and green.
The Hong Kong boutique (above)
For that extra touch, many of the ready-to-wear styles can be personalised with details including the colour of laces and piping. Everything is done by hand so expect to wait four months, while bespoke shoes take six months.
Corthay is at The Landmark, Central, Hong Kong (tel: +852 2523 8877). www.pierrecorthay.fr