Custom shoes are becoming a necessity in this increasingly personalized world. If you customize your kitchen, your car, your Internet browser, your smartphone settings, and countless other things, then why not customize your shoes? Shoes express your personality a lot more clearly than all of the above. Shoemakers have long understood that. Of course, in the olden times, any shoes of quality were custom made. Nowadays, in the “everything is mass-produced” world, having your shoes “made to order” is far from the rule, but custom shoes still have their place.
Magrit, a Spanish luxury shoemaker with a long and illustrious pedigree, specializes in “made to order” shoes. The company has a studio in Madrid, called “Magrit Couture“. It is located at Principe de Vergara 56, 1º 8 in Madrid‘s Salamanca district, famed for its luxury fashion boutiques. Companies like Magrit that have been around for a while have collections of tried-and-true shoe lasts. The shoe lasts then become the basis on which you can build your custom shoe. There are various degrees of “custom made“, of course. At the very top are those that are created according to your own personal shoe last that you get personally measured for. This is a great luxury and luxury comes at a great cost (except if you are a winner of “The Woman with the Best Shoes” contest, then you get the royal treatment absolutely free).
Custom Shoes by Custom & Chic
More recently, all over the world, new companies have sprung up that took the whole custom shoes business online. Spanish shoemakers, so long specialists in custom shoe design, came up with a few of their own. One of them, called Custom & Chic, was created only three years ago by two women entrepreneurs – Isabel Silvela and Macarena González Carretero from Andalusia. They designed a digital platform that makes ordering intuitive and easy, and the shoes themselves are manufactured in Elda, a very important Spanish shoe manufacturing hub. A Custom & Chic creation that captured my attention just recently was this T-strap pump, designed in collaboration with Juan Duyos, a prominent Spanish fashion designer:
I love three things about this pair: the exuberant crystal embellishments that look like an unwieldy bouquet of fresh country flowers, the exquisite faint pink of the suede, and the presence of a T-bar. I am a total T-bar junkie. As far as color choice is concerned, it turns out that the designer, Juan Duyos, was inspired by different shades of fine wines. The shoe in the picture above obviously resembles a rosé. A lovely association, and not a surprising one, as the Spanish love and know their wines.
Though young, Custom & Chic has already collaborated with a number of fashion designers, for whom the platform is a godsend: they can create any shoes they want for each of their collections.
How It Works
You have to register to be able to design your shoes. It is very simple and straightforward. The design process is also hassle-free. If you want to get some ideas before you start designing away, you can click on the “inspiration” shoe in the corner of the screen. This will take you to the designs that have been already created and ordered.
One thing: the website is in Spanish. But that’s what Google Translate is for!
This pair is my personal favorite:
These “Graciela” pumps definitely have the WOW factor, plus a distinct “Dorothy” vibe to them. If I didn’t have an occasion to wear them, I would create it.
Some other shoes by Custom & Chic:
Custom & Chic offers a number of basic models to choose from. There are three pump styles: rounded toe (typical Spanish pump), peep-toe, and pointed toe, two ballerina flats: a classic and a scrunch, and two shoe-booties: one regular, and one peep-toe.
The design process is separated into four stages. Once I chose the basic style, I had to figure out whether I wanted any straps. Initially, I reached for the T-bar, but then changed my mind. I decided to design my own version of the classic Spanish pump, which I talk about here.
After that I got to decide on the heel height and whether or not I wanted a platform. Next, I had a choice of embellishments (bows, roses, and such) – decided against them. On the same page, you got to decide whether you want your custom shoes to have a trim or a bare cut. I chose the trimmed option. Then came the fun part: you get to choose colors and textures for four different elements of the shoe: main upper, trim, heel tip, and front edge. Materials include napa leather, satin and glitter fabrics. All very tempting, but I finally came up with this:
Now all I have to do is buy it. Do you like the Spanishoegallery pump? I really like the fact that because you are a registered client, you get to store your digital custom shoe designs on the Custom & Chic website.
All in all, I love the way Custom & Chic does this custom shoes thing. Did I mention that they deliver worldwide?