New Shoe Additions:
Leffot Adds Luxe
To Christopher Street
To Christopher Street
August 6, 2008
There is perhaps no city more full of shoes than this one.
Even on the slowest of days, the shoe departments at Bergdorf's, Saks and Barneys buzz with activity, and while there's certainly no shortage of men's shoes to be had, they tend to be outshined by their flashier ladies' counterparts... until now.
This past May, Steven Taffel opened Leffot on a shady corner at the quieter, eastern end of Christopher Street where a little enclave of luxury shopping has been forming around Lucien Pellat-Finet and Scandinavian shop [hus].
Leffot's carefully curated selection of footwear can be best described as tasty, meaning tasteful, certainly, but with a little something extra to catch the discerning eye of the connoisseur. The less astute may peer inside and see an array of classic, traditional shoes, but the shoe savant will find familiar brands (Church's, J.M. Weston, Edward Green) and others less well known (Graziano & Girling, Pierre Corthay, Aubercy) from England, France and Italy and immediately recognize peerless craftsmanship and dizzying price tags. Inside, the shop is hushed and sparely appointed, with shoes lined up and down a single ash table.
On it you'll find, for example, a sleekly tapered evening shoe from Corthay ($1,150 at left) in soft calf with a two eyelet lacing and edges touched by the faintest tracing of gold. Unexpected, but not dramatic or showy, It makes a patent leather oxford from Brooks Brothers look like an old steel-toed work boot.
If you can appreciate these and other recherché subtleties, then you will likely find yourself at Leffot either dropping a bundle or sighing and praying for a really good clearance sale.
The thing about fine shoes is that they will spoil you rotten, and once you have spent the day walking around in handcrafted footwear, there's no going back to cruder, cheaper brands, no matter what your bank account says. Forget how they look -it's how they feel that really matters. Taffel sums up his philosophy on his store's blog, (a must for shoe mavens) with a quote from Moonstruck:
I think Cosmo Castorini expressed it perfectly when he said,”There are three kinds of pipe. There’s aluminum, which is garbage. There’s bronze, which is pretty good, unless something goes wrong. And something always goes wrong. Then, there’s copper, which is the only pipe I use. It costs money. It costs money because it saves money.”
And that’s basically how I feel about great shoes. They cost money. They cost money because they save money.
Sure, the old "costs money because it saves money" routine.
OK, we're sold.
Leffot 10 Christopher Street at Gay Street, West Village