Women's Fashion | The Reconnoisseur

Where the fashion elite take their shoes to be repaired

It began with a dog-ravaged pair of Helmut Lang mules

Where the fashion elite take their shoes to be repaired

Image: © Corbis

April 23 2011
Anna-Marie Solowij

Kentish Town in north London is hardly the height of chic, yet some of the most fashionable types regularly trip their way along Brecknock Road, past the chippy and the minicab office, to Classic Shoe Repairs, the best cobbler in London, if not the world.

I first met Costas from Classic Shoe Repairs back in the late 1990s when I entrusted a ravaged pair of Helmut Lang mules to his ministrations. My dog, who associates shoes with going out for a walk, had been cheated of a stroll one morning and in a fit of weird doggy logic held these particular shoes responsible, neatly nibbling across one foot strap, making the pair completely unwearable. My fury – and tears – were calmed by a friend who had just picked up a pair of snakeskin boots that had been repaired for her by Costas at Classic Shoe Repairs. So along I went, cradling the ruined mules.

One week later, and with a new strap in perfectly matching black silk satin, the mules were back on and the dog was permanently removed from the vicinity of any footwear. Since then, Classic has revived endless pairs of shoes and handbags for me (their hand-cleaning service for pale leather handbags is superlative), including replacing the soles of Louboutins with shiny new red lacquered leather (they’re a recommended service centre for Louboutins). They handle repairs for most of London’s designer shoe departments (Harvey Nichols, Selfridges, Harrods etc) as well as Bond Street boutiques and private clients with fashion creds including the staff at Vogue. One New York friend even ships her repairs to me, for Classic’s attention, claiming that their superior service is worth the investment.

£7.95 for heel tips (ladies’ high heels), Louboutin red leather soles, £37.50.

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