I know that many of you have been waiting for a very long time to read last Spring’s feature article on our visit at Pierre Corthay’s. It also included an interview with Xavier de Royère (former director of Loewe) who took the helm, with the eponymous shoemaker himself, of the much beloved label.
The reason why we ended up deciding not to publish it is simple: save for explaining that Corthay was up and running again and that the new head had beautiful and lofty ambitions for the future, there was frankly nothing new to sink our teeth into in terms of information and new products.
The only things worth remembering back then were that the Corthay label had been saved from certain doom (to our great relief), and that the Corthay-De Royère duet seemed on the same wave length and that, despite appearances, a master-shoemaker-master-tour-de-France-partner and an former LVMH executive could talk, if not the same dialect, at least the same language… Which is pretty encouraging.
So I decided to give these gents’ shared work a bit of time before re-opening the case, and to fashion my opinion on the question that is on the mind of all who love the rue Volney house. Will Pierre Corthay be able to progress alongside a known professional of the luxury industry (whose most notable feat is the launch and management of the Louis Vuitton flagship on the Champs Elysées) without jeopardizing his integrity and his soul?
In other words, will the identity and values of a label deeply rooted in bespoke and tradition be able to cohabit with an ambitious business model based on the –unarguable- experience of a high level manager of the luxury industry?
It seems that the answer is yes.
And here is the first proof ; a few pictures that we are delighted to post as a sneak peak. A prelude to the grand re-opening of the newly renovated historic shop of Pierre Corthay (rue Volney).
Pierre Corthay and Xavier de Royère proudly say that this shop should give an idea of what Corthay shops will look like in the future. Indeed, a London shop is due to open very soon…
Of course, the atmosphere has changed rue Volney. The endearing chaos we have learned to love, in a boutique as small as its owner is talented, gave way to a much more refined and professional setting. But I can assure you that the Corthay essence is still very much present in this temple of beautiful shoes which, incidentally, now includes a bespoke salon finally worthy of the label’s ambitions.
The materials are beautiful and precious, the display is a a little bit “artsy” but thankfully remains focused on boot making (with still the ever-impressing lasts). The shoes are displayed in a very subdued manner, except for a few displays that pits the flagship models against a colourful monochromatic background.
This new shop is certainly a true success — and proves without a doubt that Corthay is still Corthay… Which is great news !
Numerous projects are being worked on, but it seems too early to know the details. The only “confession” we got from the master shoemaker is that Goodyear welt will continue to rule the Corthay world and that any potential Blake assembly would be, in all likelihood, limited to a few select models.
We will follow the upcoming developments as closely as possible. PG loves Corthay, and we will relay the news as we get them, which hopefully will be ahead of more mainstream medias !
But for now, and as the display says: “Let them grow”!