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Monday, August 4, 2014

A Quick Chat About Patina With Dandy Shoe Care’s Alexander Nurulaeff

It's very hard to find anyone to do a patina in Australia. Those shoe companies that offer patina in their range very rarely have a stand alone store in Australia and quite often the Australian shoe enthusiast will have to return to Europe or England to have their shoes restored and a new patina applied. More importantly, those said shoe companies are not interested in making a patina for shoes you purchased somewhere else, especially since each house will pride itself on a unique technique. 

There is a gap in the Australian market for a) a customised patina when purchasing shoes and b) restoration of patina or 'reverse patina' which is taking old shoes and stripping them back to perform a patina on them. 

There is however a company in Italy called Dandy Shoe Care which offers you the chance to post off your shoes and have a patina performed on them. Though I am not interested in the 'camouflage' movement in menswear, I know that many of you out there love it and one of the most visually interesting works that Alexander Nurulaeff, principal of Dandy Shoe Car, has performed of recent is a unique camouflage service for leather shoes. Alexander was able to shoot back an email to give me some advice on my amateur weekend pursuit at patina. See what his responses are below but for more information on his service visit his website

Alexander, I am having a terrible time trying to do patina myself. I have stripped the shoe, then sanded the shoe, then dyed the shoe before finishing the shoe but for some reason I am not achieving the kind of ‘old wood’ look that I find on other shoe blog sites. Can you tell me what I might be doing wrong?

One of the reasons why something went wrong with your shoes is that every kind of leather is different. That’s why Dandy Shoe Care’s first step is always to make a ‘diagnosis’ of the type and characteristics of the leather, in order to choose the right techniques and materials suitable for those particular shoes. It’s quite a mission impossible for amateurs.

Alexander, owner of Dandy Shoe Care -
a company that offers patina for just about any shoe

For Australians, as far as I can tell, there is NOT ONE PERSON that can offer a patina service in our country. Do you service people in Australia and if so how can they utilise your service or select the service they want?

There are very few patina specialists in the world, and most of them are in Europe. DSC is the only one that offers a trustful international luxury service for customers from all over the world. To get a patina from DSC is very easy: 1) Send an e-mail with a request, including some pictures of the shoes 2) if the shoes are suitable for DSC treatments, we send an estimate of the cost, 3) the client sends the shoes to DSC, Italy.

I have noticed that camouflage is big at the moment for patina – can you tell me a little about this process?

The Camouflage on luxury dress shoes was created by DSC three years ago, and they’re still very requested. The secret of this success is that it’s a full hand painted Camouflage, and not made out of printed leather; every Camouflage from DSC is unique: there are not two DSC Camouflage alike in the world.

What is the most exciting brand of shoe that you have performed a patina on?

All shoes are a challenge for me; that’s why I really adore what I do, and I always do my best to make a masterpiece.

What are your top three favourite shoe companies in the world?

Sorry, my policy is not to mention any specific shoe company.

Between the methods Blake Rapid and Goodyear Welted shoes, which do you prefer?

I usually prefer Goodyear, but I don’t dislike even some Blake Rapid.

What is your favourite colour for patina in 2014?

Deep Red.

I have a pair of Ivan Crivellaro shoes that are both crocodile and calf leather, what is your favourite mix of skins that can be used on a shoe?

I like canvas+ leather, plain calf+grained calf, plain leather+ suede. They’re a 'must have’ for every  gentleman. 

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