Redefining Luxury

by Joshua Sailo

by Victoria Rainbolt

Devika Jajoo

Posted on 07 July 2016

The word ‘luxury’ in fashion is most commonly associated with ‘authenticity’ and ‘craftsmanship’. In today’s wired world, when the human hand is more likely to be poised over a computer keyboard than grasping a tool, the ancient figure of the artisan seems to have taken a nostalgic glow.

Fortunately, this is not the case. Pierre Corthay, the creative genius behind the bespoke shoes label Corthay, not only leads the label but also himself makes the shoes by hand. In fact, he apprenticed with a 900 year old organization called Compagnons du Devoir that is committed to ensuring that artisans from a wide range of traditional métiers (carpenters, bakers, and so on) pass on their skills to the next generation. The following image shows Maison Corthay at work. 

 In Corthay’s Paris operation, one would normally come across a three-dimensional cardboard pattern that will eventually be transformed into a leather prototype. Normally, it would take about five months to complete a pair of bespoke shoes, depending on the model and the client. It is heartwarming to see a label purely focused on the craftsmanship. The best part? A pair of Corthay’s shoes will last you 20 years!

 After all, luxury is not about mass retailers churning handbags in factory lines and promoting them through sophisticated advertising. The real purveyors of luxury are the craftspeople—the artisans who weave magic into the high quality leather and transform it into a work of art.

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