Leather care requires knowledge, technique and craftsmanship and the world’s best leather savants put their skills on show recently at the World Championships in Shoe Shining and Patina.
In the heart of London, Showcase.co took over 12 Regent Street as part of The London Super Trunk Show and brought more than ten exhibitors together to celebrate shoemaking, shoe shining and shoe patina.
With support from leather care brand Saphir, the championships share knowledge and the savoir-faire of independant shoemakers, shoeshiners and shoe aficionados while The London Super Trunk Show attracts the best artisans around from the UK, Japan, Italy, France, Russia and beyond.
The Shoe Shining main event saw three finalists with Japan’s Yuta Sugimura from Y’s Shoeshine taking the win. The runners up were Alexey Vrublevskiy from Shoesing shoeshine and cobblers in Moscow, and mens wear retailer Calebb Malss.
A number of different technics were on show. Yuta, a shoe shiner of 10 years, used his fingers to apply the wax to the shoe, before moving on to a cloth. All contestants started with Mirror Gloss wax, which is a harder product.
The second-place Alexey used similar Japanese techniques with finger application and cloth, while Calebb used his cloth in a more traditional way.
The Patina event also had three finalists, Andrew Olender from Poland, Stephan Villette from France, and Samuel Norsworthy from the UK. With Saphir dye, shoe cream and wax they had five hours to breathe new life into a pair of TLB Mallorca crust leather shoes from retailer Skolyx.
Time was against them but the results were magnificent, making it tough for the jury to pick a winner. In the end Stephan Villette’s shoe with its striking green transitions took the title, making him the first world champion in shoe patina.
The patina competition was a collaboration between Saphir Beauté du Cuir and Saphir Médaille d’Or. All the dyes used were from Saphir Beauté du Cuir including the 1925 cream and the Pate de Luxe from Saphir Médaille d’Or to finish.
The superb exhibitor list included: Altan Bottier, Bolero, Carmina, Gaziano & Girling, J. FitzPatrick Footwear, JSEP, Japan Shoes Export Platform (Miyagi Kogyo, Oriental/Matsumoto and Kiten), Norman Vilalta, Project TWLV, Shoepassion / Heinrich Dinkelacker and Skolyx / TLB Mallorca