July 2010

We just sent out a RBBAL1 in the new Gunmetal Shell Cordovan for Horween Leathers to a client in California.  Ordered with a natural midsole (no stain) this boot will stand out in a crowd, for sure.  Thanks FY!

Leffot Blog » Blog Archive » The Ivy Shell Game.

Thank you very much, Steven – I am as happy with the results as you are!


There has been alot of talk recently about the re-issue of ‘Take Ivy’, and I get it.  I never really knew the original (I’m a Catholic School boy from Baltimore…I thought prep style and various takes on same were just ingrained in us from birth – sort of like Confession) but have looked with great interest at all the, well, interest.  My own guidebooks, however, are old Line catalogues from long gone – and generally forgotten – men’s shoe companies.  My real prize is a Fall 1964 book from E. E. Taylor.  You may know them….if not the British Walkers line then the Cole Haan line for sure.

Here is 100% pure American style at it’s best:

Take a close look.  This book would be as relevent today as (I assume) it was in 1964.  Just outstanding.


ps – there is a further story on these pages if you want to look for it – something about how the marketing guys get ahold of a brand and sell it out.  You find it.

Doing everything possible to avoid the depressing NJ Turnpike ride into the City, Lisa and I took the roundabout I95/I83/I78 route from Richmond – NYC last week.  One of the (few) percs of spending countless hours behind the wheel, looking for open-minded merchants willing to give new lines a shot to the buying public, is the chance to visit local merchants of all sorts of goods.  We couldn’t resist the sign on 78 directing us to ‘Dietrich’s Meats & Country Store’ – and Lisa doesn’t eat meat.  We found a fantastic old world deli and butcher….offerings not seen by these eyes in many a year….and a half dozen ‘Baka’s’ who kindly offered to make us sandwiches to order – even though sandwiches are NOT on the menu.  Perfect:

I suppose this is a hopin’ place…certainly big enough to show the’ve been around a long time – but it was new to me.  And I can’t wait to stop by again.


Welcome to Baybrook in Japan and Blake & Goodyear in Paris (Rue de Longchamp)…..coming this Fall.  Thank you!

This time to ‘Zepher’ in Japan.  My agent is busy…..thanks!


Been underground…..finishing up all the details for the Martegani Fall stock work ahead of the shows starting this month.  I’ve come up with, what I think, is a very nice program and new issues’ for Fall 2010.

The main change in the line going forward is the use – throughout the Collection – of ‘Iron’ calfskin uppers.  Those clients of mine who have ordered direct over the years will be familiar with this leather as I have ‘pushed’ it on MTO shoes for many years now.  We were using this leather for ‘special’ shoes long before the term ‘Crust’ became part of many high-end shoe customers’ lingo and understanding.  We start out with a full grain calf from France (Tannery Annonay), only tanned, and hand apply the aniline and antiquing inside of our factory in Giussano.  The finish is simply beautiful and, without the over-glossing that so many are doing at this time, provides a unique and elegant appearance with subtle antiquing throughout.  We are even doing our Black in this way….’Antique Black’ I am calling it.  You’ll also notice that I have keyed in on very simple, versatile, clean patterns for the Collection – all the more to show off the hand-finishing and offer versatility for your wardrobe.

The next new range I am adding here in the States is the ’43 Last’ group.  43 last is a re-make of a last that was very popular for the factory in the late 70’s, early 80’s and we remade with a higher instep and better lines than the original.  Tweaked it a bit, basically.  What we really did that I am most pleased with is develop the outsole so that we could trim it more closely to the lines of the last/upper.  43 last calls for an elegant trim – and we nailed it I think.

Finally, I have FINALLY added a Bit pattern to our stock offerings here….long time coming, and I waited for the Lama to be available to go ahead with this shoe.  In my opinion, the long lines of 7D last and the soft textured grain of Lama Calf makes this another versatile addition to anyones shoe wardrobe.

You might say I’m a little familiar with the production and offerings of most Italians on the market – and I am fully aware of some of the more ‘advertised’ brands and what they put into their shoes – and I really believe that you can compare the new Martegani Collection for Fall with ANY other shoe out there in the $800 – $1200 range and you will find VALUE in our $650 shoes.

We are working hard throughout the Summer to get them on the best retailers shelves around the country for Fall….if you like what you see please feel free to jump into your local shop and ask for ‘Romano Martegani’ shoes!