Diamonds may be a girl’s best friends, but they don’t make a bad companion to men either… or so French luxury bootmaker Aubercy would have us believe. Their exclusive diamond studded shoes have been on the market for several years now, and despite their jaw dropping $4500 price tag, their popularity seems to be in no danger of waning anytime soon. If you fancy kicking it with the rich and famous, get yourself a pair of these beauties and you might just be in with a chance… after all, looking the part is half the battle, right?
Known to those in the know as the “Phil”, Aubercy Diamond Shoes are fit for royalty. Artisan, personally customized shoes have become increasingly popular in recent years (after all, who wants to be seen in the same bog-standard pair of loafers as everyone else?), with the Phil at the forefront of the new trend. In their essence, the shoes are a classic leather evening shoe, but as anyone who’s ever seen them will know, their appearance is as far from boring as the North Pole is to the South. Each pair of these exquisite, handcrafted shoes shine with hand-sewn, perfectly placed diamonds. While the number of diamonds per pair can vary according to the requirements (and budget) of their lucky owner, their general air of opulence, extravagance, and beauty is the same. To keep the shoes exclusive (as after all, nothing boosts price like rarity does), only a limited number are produced each year- if you want a pair for yourself, you’ll need to get your name on a waiting list asap (although you might just want to check your bank balance beforehand).
Aubercy was founded in 1935 by boot- making extraordinaires, André and Renée Auberce. Their original premises (which is still in operation today) was at 34 rue Vivienne in Paris, just next to the historical Paris stock exchange. The pair quickly established themselves as the leaders in a growing market of high-end, luxury footwear. Their vision was simple: to create shoes with the sturdiness needed by English country gentlemen, the elegance demanded by Italian aristocracy, and the artistic sensibility obligated by the French nobility. That same vision is still in place today, having survived intact through each generation of new owners. As of 2019, Aubercy is the last independent house left in Paris, as well as the lucky recipient of a coveted “Entreprise du Patrimoine Vivant” title, a form of recognition that is doled out only to those few French firms that have demonstrated excellent craftsmanship and a commitment to the artisan tradition.
In addition to the Phil, Aubercy produces 6 varieties of ready- to- wear shoes (all made by hand, all limited edition and all with pretty significant price tags – expect to pay at least $999 for the cheapest offering). Each model from the ready- to- wear collection (which ranges from a size 4 to 14 and comes in 8 different widths from A to H) can be customized according to leather, welt and color. In addition to its ready- to- wear collection, Aubercy also offers a made- to- order option- if you have the money (and don’t mind waiting 4 months for your shoes to be made) you can take your pick of material, lining, burnishing, stitching, seam, color, and finishing. if needed, you can also get each shoe customized to fit the exact measurements of each foot… perfect if your feet fall into different shoe sizes. If all this sounds just to common for your high standards, you’ll be happy to know Aubercy provides a fully bespoke service, allowing you to work hand in hand (or foot in hand, as the case may be) with an artisan boot-maker to design your own fully unique, fully customized, and fully expensive pair of tailor-made shoes.
What price style? In the case of the Phil, the answer is a pretty staggering $4500. Or thereabouts, anyway. One of the main draws of these little gems is that their color, leather, welt and size can all be adjusted to your exact specifications, as can the placement, number and size of the diamonds. As Luxury Launches notes, if your overdraft won’t stretch to the full quota of diamonds, a few less stones in a slightly smaller size will get you a pair for a much more affordable $3010.
In recent years, many shoe- makers besides Aubercy have been catching on to the trend for artisan footwear, with the result that the market is now flooded with handcrafted, highly individual offerings designed to make your feet look great and your bank account look empty. As Global Blue reports, in an effort to replicate the success of the Phil, Nike have produced a $50,000 limited edition of its Air Force 1 sneakers complete with a dozen 11 carat diamonds. Italian brand Testoni, meanwhile, has made a much more reasonably prized pair of formal evening shoes out of alligator skin and a diamond and golden buckle … a steal at just $38,000 per pair.
Are They Worth Buying?
Obviously, this question is rhetorical to 99% of the population. But if you’re feeling richer than Rockefeller and can’t decide whether to splash your cash on a new yacht or a new pair of shoes, I’d heartily recommend the later. If the old maxim that you can tell a man by his shoes is true, then you’ll be making all the right statements with these glittering beauties. And yes, you could probably buy about 50 pairs of normal sneakers for the same price, but would you get the same level of comfort, the same extraordinary craftsmanship, the same beautiful execution, stunning design, and incredible sophistication as you would with a pair of Phil’s? No. Comparing a pair of average shoes to these stunners is like comparing Beethoven with Bon Jovi… and anyone with a degree of taste and an ounce of musical appreciation knows how that particular comparison will end. What’s more, don’t forget that fine shoes are like fine wine; they just get better with age. If you’re tired of disposable fashion and yearn for shoes that are uniquely and completely yours, then the Phil is the pair for you. Better get saving …
Written by Garrett Parker
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