A few years ago, I bought Aubercy shoes dating from the 70s at a small flea market. Despite the shoe’s small wrinkles, I immediately fell in love with them. I got the impression that I had found an exceptional vintage pair that I absolutely had to have. Unfortunately, due to lack of time, these shoes have stayed in my closet for a while.
However, thanks to a recent meeting between the passionate Xavier Aubercy and Francois Gillard, a fourth generation cobbler, the high-quality Aubercy workshop opened last year at 9 rue de Luynes, in the 7th district. In line with the spirit of Aubercy, the Parisian house had to have exceptional service repair for their shoes (as well as the shoes of others houses).
Last week, I had the chance to experience their traditional, high-quality approach to shoe-repair.
After analysis and disassembly respecting the style, Francois gave me a bitter diagnosis. The shoes had been in the hands of a lazy and careless cobbler.
My Goodyear welted shoes underwent a risky repair with a juxtaposition of a blake stitching construction above the original cut. Over time, this had destroyed the stitch. Furthermore, the shoes had been given poor soling sheets and their irons were misplaced.
Here are the detailed steps for the revival of my Aubercy shoes :
Click to enlarge the pictures… (copyright www.high-toned.fr)
My vintage Aubercy shoes
Disassembling the heels, toe taps and soling sheets
Cutting the old sole at the inlet rise
Remove the dust
Cleaning with continuous sanding belt made of light grain
Cutting the sewing with a ‘tranchet’, sharp knive
Remove the lock stitched seam with an awl
Separate of the insole from welt
Sewing of the welt on 4 points
New leather sole moistened with water few days
Processing the soles
Cutting the leather lining by hand
Gluing the leather lining for the comfort
Laying the soles
Sewing the leather lining with an old Singer sewing machine
Detail of the new sewing
Protection of the sewing
Craft manufacturing of tap toes in golden brass
Tap toes are imitating the tailcoat shape
Creation of the new heels
Set up the tap toes in golden brass
Hot Stamping “Haute Cordonnerie Aubercy”
Painting in tailcoat shape
Quick shoe shine
Monsieur François Gillard
After two weeks, the amazing skills of Mr Gillard enhance my ‘wabi-sabi’ Aubercy shoes !