Friday, July 19, 2019

The making of a perfect gentleman

Dec 18. 2018
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By THE NATION

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Bespoke French leather goods store Berluti opens a boutique at Central Embassy

ONE THE leading names in leather goods for men, Berluti recently celebrated the official launch of its flagship boutique at Central Embassy by flying in its master shoemaker Patrice Rock to demonstrate the craftsmanship of French style shoemaking.

The opening party was hosted by Pranapda Phornprapha, director of House of Patina, the official importer and distributor of the world-renowned brand.

Since 1895, Berluti has cultivated its own unique style by bringing together audacity, fantasy and classicism. The brand, which is now part of French multinational luxury goods conglomerate LVMH, believes that expertise in shape, leather patinas, fabric selection and precision of cut are the signatures of the ideal male wardrobe.

The brand has been making shoes for the elegant man since it was founded and has been built by four generations of shoemakers. The Duke of Windsor, Jean Cocteau and Andy Warhol were amongst the brand’s A-list clients. 

Its story began at the end of the 19th century, when 30-year-old Italian Alessandro Berluti, brought his creative energy to Paris in order to practise his craft as a master shoemaker. He named his first model, a lace-up shoe, after himself, Alessandro, and the House took his surname, Berluti. Since then, every generation of the House has cultivated exceptional savoir-faire in the mastery of form and working with leather and patinas. The result is models that are incomparably elegant and comfortable as well as representing a certain art de vivre and distinguished character.

The new boutique reflects the customary Berluti decor where the cabinet of curiosities meets the gentleman’s club. Traditional materials in contemporary configurations are accessorised as urbanely and impeccably as the House’s best customers in an easy blend of leisure and sophistication. It’s quiet but luxurious with classical material choices, of which smooth wood, warm brass and leather furniture are the mainstays.

The wooden floor laid in a traditional herringbone pattern has been given a modern twist with oversized blond-grey planks. Plaster walls are hand-finished in a warm-grey tone to evoke the subtle effect of natural stone. Display fixtures combine vertical slabs of onyx, smooth grey-lacquered shelves and hand-polished bronze frames. Even the cashier’s counter is elegant made from Portoro Gold marble, the intense black marble unique to the Mediterranean. The look is as masculine as it is discreet.

The new boutique displays the complete lifestyle range of the House including shoes, leather goods, amongst which are the bespoke Alessandro Berluti shoes, the lace-up dress shoe made from a single piece of leather with no visible stitching. Also available are the Un Jour or Deux Jour briefcases in Venezia leather with scritto, and fast track sneakers.

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