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It all starts with car filler

Posted by Sarah Sclarandis on

The two items could not be any more different. When you open the SCLARANDIS box and take out the shoes for the first time, you’ll feel the soft textures, take in the smell of the leathers and even admire the outsolesole with “Vero Cuoio” (“Real Leather”) stamped on it. Car body filler is quick-drying putty primarily used in patching up dents and rust holes on cars. It’s messy and smells awful. And it’s integral in the shoemaking process.

In the construction of the last for a shoe prototype, the lastmaker often adds the filler onto the wood, primarily for the toe shape. He (in all of my years I have yet to meet a woman lastmaker) then must sand down the last to create the desired shape.

The construction of a last is a constant process of trial and error, of editing, collaborating and fine tuning. The designer needs to be physically present as the last is being created, to provide edits in real time. If that designer is Italian and can speak in the lastmaker’s native tongue, that’s even better.

And if that designer has known these lastmakers for more years than she cares to count and can speak frankly as to her vision, then what you have is … SARAH SCLARANDIS.

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