image courtesy Orlando Sentinel
Well, I won't lie to you: despite the decades of shoe-making experience, Zabellos probably will not be able to repair these... but they are so dang cool, we're going to share the news with you anyway. (Like we wrote the other day, Zabellos's love of shoes extends to all shoes, not just the ones we are able to repair.) According to the Orlando Sentinel, Disney is now selling a line of ornaments inspired by the animated characters in some of the most famous movies of all time.
How many of the above shoes can you identify? Despite not having watched a Disney movie in many years, I was able to identify three of them: the Queen of Hearts (although that was kind of easy, with the tiny playing cards painted inside the shoe), Cruella De Vil, and Maleficent.
The ornaments are all about 3.5-inches high and retail for $22.95 each, for sale in Disney theme parks or online through the Disney Store.
image courtesy Esquire.com
Sure, we want you to repair your shoes rather than buy a new pair. We've listed why many times, and you probably have a great pair buried in the closet somewhere that - with a little heel/sole/leather repair - would be perfect to wear this summer... but sometimes it just feels good to buy a brand new pair. There's no denying that.
We're in the repair business, but we love all kinds of shoes, even the brand new ones that don't a thing done to them. So if you're in the market for a new pair for summer, we want to pass along a great feature we found on Esquire.com: Best Shoes to Wear for Summer 2013.
There are photos of 16 different shoes, all of which will be in fashion this summer. Some of my favorites:
Lace-Up Espadrilles from Ovadia & Sons. Espadrilles are a great, laid-back summer shoe
Suede Oxfords from Noah Waxman. I have not had a pair of suede shoes since I was in high school - a G.H. Bass pair that I ruined, if memory serves me, in less than three weeks. But I'm older now and more mature and I take much better care of my possessions, so I think I might check out a suede pair at some point soon.
Leather Lace-Up Shoes from Botticelli. These might be out of my price range. (My most expensive pair, some Allen Edmonds that I've had for years now, cost about $200 less than this pair.) But man, these are beautiful.
What do you think about the spread? Is there a pair you would like to add to your collection?
image courtesy thehindu.com
We've mentioned more than once that shoe repair is not just a profession for us at Zabellos; it is a passion. It is in our blood. That's why we are always interested in the stories of shoe repair around the world, such as the article we came across today on thehindu.com.
D. Govinda, a cobbler in India, has been repairing shoes for more than two decades. He says that in the past, people have often looked down on him, dropping money for the repairs at his feet rather than handing it to him. Thankfully, this is not something we have in common with him; our customers have always been very appreciative of the work we do, as is evidenced by all the compliments we have received on our testimonials page. (I imagine it is a cultural thing, no? I admit the Indian culture is not one with which I am familiar.) Fortunately, Mr. Govinda reports that attitudes have changed of late, and people seem to be more respectful towards him and appreciative of his work.
We enjoyed reading this short blurb about a fellow cobbler who also wishes that more people in the world took time to repair their shoes, rather than just tossing them out and moving on to the next pair. It is interesting to hear that this is not just an American phenomenon, that it happens in other parts of the world, too.
This article caught my eye today: Tips from the Fashion Guru for staying trendy at age 50. At first I planned to just browse it - I have quite a ways to go before I hit 40, let alone 50 - but as I started reading, I realized that the tips are appropriate for men of any age. It's not like fashion advice for someone of middle age won't apply to everyone.
And it's not surprising to see that most of tips involve keeping high-end pieces of clothing in good shape. Zabellos can help with any of the following:
Invest in a good belt. If you have a high-quality leather belt that needs any kind of repair, let us fix it for you. In addition to making the leather look new again, we can also make new holes in the belt if you need to make it larger or smaller.
Buy a good leather jacket. I have a leather jacket that I have owned since I was a teenager. I keep it in really good shape but at one point the zipper broke. If this happens to you, we can definitely help.
Shine those shoes. Do we need to say any more? Every man should have one pair of really good dress shoes that he keeps in good shape. If yours are in need of a little restoration, you know where to turn.
We've told you many of the reasons why shoe repair is often better than buying a new pair:
It's cheaper than purchasing a new pair
If you've found a pair you like, it's obviously much better to hang on to them
It's better for the environment to save a pair than throw them out
You don't have to go through the uncomfortable process of breaking-in new shoes
It turns out there is another reason: you can make new friends.
I have a pair of Timberland Oxfords that I have owned since just after I graduated high school - that's more than 15 years. I have worn them in Europe; I have worn them all over this country. In rainstorms, to nightclubs, sporting events, weddings... any occasion I can think of. And they definitely got beat up over the years. But instead of throwing them away a few years ago, when the toes were scuffed and the heel was coming loose, I decided to repair them.
The other day I was coming back from a Memorial Day Weekend escape, riding the train into the city, and a guy sitting across from me complimented my Timberlands. I said thanks and he started asking questions about how long I'd had them. I explained that it was more than a decade and a half and that I'd had them repaired after wearing them during a rough winter in Colorado - where he had once lived, too - and before I knew it we were talking about places we liked all over the country. We talked for almost an hour, making the ride back much more pleasant.
So if you have a pair of shoes that are getting worn down and you're not sure if you should throw them out or repair them, here's another reason you should consider repair: it might lead to great conversations with strangers.
Now here is a heel repair with which Zabellos might have a hard time (and we don't say that often): students at Rice University have found a way to generate electricty with the energy we create while walking, which can in turn charge your phone or any other small electronic device.
We've written about the concept before, and even shown links to prototypes, but we don't recall ever seeing it put to use... and certainly not by a group of students. They designed the shoe so that the force that is generated from the heel striking the ground is channeled through a wire to a belt-mounted battery pack.
What do you think of the concept? Something you're interested in trying? I walk a lot, several miles each day, so I could certainly keep my phone charged all the time... but I just don't know if I would wear these. I think I'd rather just plug in the phone when I get home.
Los Angeles Magazine - in their new "Summer Issue" - has a fun feature for the ladies: three outfits to get you through this Memorial Day Weekend:
For a daytime barbecue, the feature recommends Manolo Blahnik "gladiator sandals"
For hanging out at the beach, or around the pool, or somewhere informal, Tory Burch sandals are the shoes of choice
And for going out in the evening, Aperlai suede wedges (with a thick sole) are on display
Myself, I'm going out of town for a few days. I'm packing my new UA Spine running shoes I featured last month, for getting in a quick run in the mornings; my laid-back canvas shoes for barbecuing and hanging out by the pool; and a pair of leather loafers - with recently repaired soles - in case I go out to dinner one night.
What shoes are you planning on sporting this holiday weekend?
Dang, just a few more days and Memorial Day is upon us, the "unofficial start to summer." How'd that happen? It feels like New Year's Eve was a month ago. I'm going out of town this weekend and grabbed my baseball glove to pack - there is nothing I love more than throwing around a ball on a lazy-summer-weekend afternoon - when I noticed the strings were coming undone. I started thinking about other things that might need to be repaired for the summer. I have a few.
We've written this before, but some people aren't aware: Zabellos does more than just dress-shoe repair. Sure, we are experts at it, but that makes us experts at pretty much anything involving leather.
Baseball gloves. If your glove is banged up like mine, we can help.
Cowbot boots. Do any of you like to ride horses in the summer? Anybody going to a dude ranch? If your boots need repair, we can almost certainly get the job done.
Luggage. Do you have a big trip planned and you suddenly realized that your leather bag is split, or the handle has come loose, or the zipper has broken? Not a problem for us.
Formal and/or dance shoes. I have three weddings to attend this summer, what about you? And my brown shoes could use a cleaning. How about you?
Golf shoes. I'm not much of a golfer but most of my friends are. We repair scuffed-up golf shoes all the time.
To see a list of just some of our custom packages, please take a look here. If it's leather, we can handle it.
It brought a smile to our face yesterday when we read the news on CNN of Henry Linder, a 93-year-old cobbler who promises he'll never retire.
Linder starting repairing shoes when we was 17 years old, during the Great Depression, and - other than a few months of retirement two decades ago at the age of 72 (which only lasted three months before he went back to work) - he has been repairing shoes ever since. He admits he is not financially wealthy, but he is rich in friends and he can look back on all the decades of work with pride.
We at Zabellos understand Mr. Linder's passion: decades ago, our fathers learned the art of shoemaking from European masters and they passed that passion down to us. When we repair a person's shoes, it fills us with no small amount of pride to hear our customers tell us what a great job we have done.
If we are still repairing shoes and putting smiles on people's faces when we are 93, we will consider ourselves lucky indeed.
Remember a few weeks ago when we told you about Pope Benedict's shoes? Well, we have some news about his replacement, Pope Francis's shoes, thanks to Catholic News Angency.
Unlike the famous red shoes, Pope Francis prefers to wear the same traditional black shoes that he has worn for decades, from a shoemaker outside the Pope's hometown of Buenos Aires, Argentina. And recently, he called the cobbler for help in repairing his shoes.
We at Zabellos would be happy to repair the Pope's shoes any time, but we doubt he will take us up on the offer, and we understand why: Pope Francis knows that repairing a beloved shoe is better than simply buying a new one, and part of that routine involves using a trusted cobbler.
We have our loyal customers, too. (If you've never tried us, please consider doing so - we bet you will become one of them!)