You can tell a man by his shoes, and for the dandy about town there’s one emporium sartorialists swear by for swanky hooves. When it’s time to upgrade from trainers, hightail it to Beijing’s Maison Corthay.
This elegant French men’s footwear brand, helmed by Parisian brothers Pierre and Christophe Corthay, offers one-off custom pairs of classic Oxfords, suede boots and even Japanese denim loafers, and has been a huge hit with Beijing’s best dressed. It’s your go-to for shoes with hand-finished patinas, complex hides and skins, striking colours (cobalt blue suede ‘Brighton’ loafers will get you noticed), radical shapes (such as the sculpted-toed ‘Fantôma’) and even ribbons for laces.
A bespoke, artisan service, Corthay is a far cry from the usual major labels that dominate luxury shoe sales. Tucked inside upscale Shin Kong Place mall, surrounded by big-brand rivals, its second-floor store is an intimate affair. Amid the vibrant displays of handcrafted, comfortable, elegant shoes, a polishing table holds court, where staff members add colour and sheen to bare brogues. You can request unique touches, two-tone hues or contrasting red laces, ensuring your pair is a one-off. The most popular shoe so far is a brogue that combines denim and leather for a smart-casual look.
Maison Corthay’s Beijing boutique has been such a hit that they’re planning future launches in Shanghai, Chengdu and Hangzhou. Remember where you saw it first!Maison Corthay / Shin Kong Place / 87 Jianguo Lu / Chaoyang / +86 10 5738 1306 / 10am-10pm daily / corthay.com