Once more Saphir Médaille d’Or was the proud main partner of the Super Trunk Show in London, organised by Jesper Ingevaldsson (shoegazing.com) and Justin Fitzpatrick (theshoesnobblog.com) and we were, as always, present with a stand where one could buy all our products as well as have their shoes shined as part of our free shoe shine service.
This years Super Trunk Show in London was the second edition after a 2 year Covid break, and the annual go-to event for shoe lovers and people from the shoe industry has once more topped its previous visitor count.
Like every year the venue on 12 Regent Street in the heart of London welcomed over 1300 visitors from all over the world, that came to see the several exhibitors as well as the finals of the world championships in shoe shining, shoe patina and shoe making.
The list of exhibitors featured many well known brands from the world of shoes like ACME or Paolo Scafora but also newer brands like Yearn Shoemaker or the British sneaker brand Goral.This year the list of exhibitors also featured for the first time a market place for second hand shoes, Abbots Shoes, who had over 100 pairs of high quality second hand shoes on display and for sale.
Katia Moura of Saphir Médaille d'Or with the 2023 world champion in shoe shining, Naomi Hayashida. Source: shoegazind.com
As always one could witness the final of the world championships in shoe patina which took place for five hours during the event. This year the three finalists were Alberto Suastez from the United States, Rod Baudry and Philippe Yang, both from France.
To qualify for the final they had to send in photos of their work and were then chosen by the jury. During the 5 hours they had to create a patina on a pair of undyed shoes from the Spanish brand TLB Mallorca. They were provided with colours of our Saphir Teinture Francaise of their choice as well as other creams and polished from our product range.
Philippe Yang of Septieme Largeur managed to win the world champion title in shoe patina this year with his pair of shoes that features a very dynamic greenish patina.
The winning shoe by Athanase Sephocle and Philippe Yang, the winner of the Patina world championship. Photo by Samuel Norsworthy
While the patina artists took a break during their competition the final of the world championships in shoe shining took place. Albert Gjukaj from Switzerland, Paul Black from Northern Ireland and Naoki Hayashida from Japan were the finalists and had 20 minutes time to polish one shoe to the highest shine possible using our Mirror Gloss and Pate de Luxe polish. Japaner Naoki Hayashida was able to win the final and become world champion in shoe shining this year.
Last the award ceremony for the world championships in shoemaking closed the event. The 29 shoes that entered the competition after a pre qualifying were on display during the event and many visitors took their time to admire the outstanding craftsmanship. This year it was required to make a boot for the first time, to be specific a balmoral boot in black calf leather. As always the shoe had to meet certain requirements. It had to be hand welted with a hand stitched leather sole and a hand built leather heel. Like every year the level of craftsmanship and creativity keeps evolving and some of the shoes were truly astonishing.
This years winner of the gold medal was French Athanase Sephocle who is a shoemaker for Berluti and works in the workshop in Maine et Loire. His shoe had a horse shoe heel that was probably among the thinnest in this competition so far and also featured a cut out in the forepart of sole which was unprecedented in the competition so far.
The winner of the Silver Medal was Victor Vulpe from Romania. The self taught shoe maker made a shoe with a lot of detailed stitching on the upper as well as a heel that is truly breathtaking with an included brass spur that sits between the layers of leather.
Kirby Allison, Louis Lampertsdörfer and Victor Vulpe (left to right) in an interview after the ceremony. Photo: Samuel Norsworthy
The bronze Medal went to German based shoemaker Louis Lampertsdörfer and his brand Mogada. His boot had some very classic and elegant proportions together with extra fine outsole stitching at 20 stitches per inch, a narrow fiddleback waist and a horse shoe heel with an inlayed brass plate.
Like every year a truly amazing event for everyone interested in classic shoes and craftsmanship. We hope to see you all again next year!