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Altan shoes: primary colour

21 February 2011

Altan is a small bespoke and ready-to-wear shoemaker in Paris, with three locations across the city. Old Mr Altan, the father of the boys currently running the business, trained with Berluti and Lobb. He still does bespoke, and makes some lovely models – some of which you can see below.


But the ready to wear is possibly more interesting. For around €350 you select one of 25 designs of shoe, find the right fitting by trying on a version made of white leather, and then choose how you want the shoe coloured. This can lead to some rather extreme choices, as you can see in the pictures at the top. But it can also produce subtle, personal patinas (below). 


Starting from white makes a greater range of colours possible. Shoemakers like Berluti can create very personal patinas, but they all start from a base of black, brown or tan, so bright colours are difficult.

Altan’s style is quite slim and pointy, though there are rounder-toed models. As Mr Altan told me, “we’re about halfway between the English and the Italian”.


Bespoke starts at €2500, with knee-high boots only €3000. Interestingly, Altan also makes bespoke women’s shoes, which in some ways is a harder discipline given the amount of leather involved and the pressure created by a high heel. [Also pictured below – bespoke boots in elephant skin.]