March 06 2010
Everyone knows that San Francisco isn’t one of the world’s great fashion centres, unless you count the khakis and button-downs that built Gap’s global empire (and I don’t). But the one store I never miss is owned by a local cobbler, Paolo Iantorno, who makes funky, well-priced shoes (and a few bags) for men and women.
His designs are refreshingly sophisticated for such a fashion wilderness, and wouldn’t look out of place in London or Milan. I still regularly wear a five-year-old pair of tan Oxfords that have aged beautifully, scuffed and butter-soft like handed-down heirlooms.
I wasn't surprised that this pair has lasted so well – the reason I first ducked into his store was when a local friend tipped me off that 31-year-old Iantorno manufactures in Italy at the very same factories that produce some of the big fashion names we all know.
Even better, each design is only issued in around two dozen pairs, and the cobbler doesn’t wholesale outside the city. Translation: there’s no risk of running into anyone wearing the same shoes. Just please don’t wear them with Gap khakis.
Shoes and boots from $219, handbags from $259.