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CONFESSION OF A SHOE ADDICT

Whether you like it or not, but people judge your appearance and the first thing they always notice is your shoes.  It always amused me how a pair of shoes can drastically change overall appearance.  Just pair your Brioni suit with a crisp white shirt and a tie but forget to put your shoes on and appear barefooted in public, and you will immediately understand the importance of shoes in your wardrobe because at that point nothing will save you from being a subject of a tremendous ridicule.   

If I would have to put all the shoes into a few main categories, I would divide them between two major groups.  The first group will consist of vast majority of mass-produced shoes from big famous brands.  The second group will have a much smaller number of companies that are family-owned but produce high quality products while nurturing the dying art of shoemaking.  One company like that I would like to talk about.

Unhappy with the lack of choices when it comes to patinas and shoes’ styles on the local US market, I started to surf the net looking for companies that offer something else besides conservative black or brown shoes.  So, imagine my amusement when a few years ago I discovered a French company I never heard of that offers not only some unique styles of shoes and boots but also a large pallet of colors and patinas.  I felt like a kid in a toy store!!! 

The company is called JMleGazel and is being ran by father and son team, Dominique and Jean-Marie.  But keep in mind that the products that JMleGazel offers is not for everyone. 

JMleGazel’ shoes are not John Lobb or Edward Green. But they do not intend to be them, either. JMleGazel is simply after a completely different clientele—someone who is daring to be different and not afraid to experiment with styling and colors.  If very traditional, very conservative and very boring shoes is what you are after then by all means, pursue John Lobbs of the world.  And good luck getting a purple patina from them.  However, if you are not afraid to add a little color and style spice to your shoe collection, then JMleGazel’ products will definitely appeal to your vanity. 

Comparing to the majority of shoes of similar quality from famous brands that would cost you two-three times more, 500-700 US dollars spent at JMleGazel will get you not only a pair of quality constructed shoes made from superior materials but also a blank canvas for your own expression, making your shoes truly unique to you.  Do not get me wrong, JMleGazel is not the only player in the patina’ game.  But what separates them from other similar companies is a LARGE VARIETY of patinas.  Not only they offer a wide range of colors schemes they have developed themselves, but the company is open and even encourages their clients to choose their own patinas.  Add to this mix a high-quality product produced by real shoemakers from superior leathers and an old school great customer service, and you will have a winning formula for success.  With 21 pairs (and counting!) ordered since I have discovered JMleGazel less than two years ago, you might say that I made my choice about the place where my next pair will come from.  I can’t dictate you what to do with your money but when it comes to spending Benjamins on the item of your wardrobe that people notice first and foremost, I would rather invest my money in elegantly looking and uniquely appearing shoe than some ugly plastic-looking Prada footwear mass produced in China.  But that’s me!  You might be different….

 

Andre K.