While at Pitti Uomo in January, I met up with Alexander Nurulaeff, the very large, very friendly Russian behind Dandy Shoe Care. I’ve admired his patination work from afar for quite a while, but this was an opportunity to have him try out his technique on a pair of my shoes.



I gave him a pair of JM Westons, cherry-red whole cuts that are around five years old. They had some signs of wear, as you see on the pictures of the toes below, but were generally in decent shape.



What I really wanted was for Alexander to alter the colour. I have two pairs of red shoes, including these, but I find I rarely wear them. They work well with a navy suit, white shirt and dark tie, but rarely persuade me to shape an entire outfit around them.


I therefore asked that they be darkened, specifically to mimic the dark-brown ‘Mark’ patina he shows on his site.




The result, received in the post a couple of weeks later, was extremely impressive. I have seen repatination done very badly, with the results cracking across the vamp of the shoe or simply chipping off after a few weeks of use.


There were no such problems here. The finish was smooth, has lasted very well and after one or two coats of cream it looks as if the shoes were always that colour. I also had an Hermes belt painted a dark, variegated brown and that turned out very well (pictures some other time).




The only point of criticism would be that the finish wasn’t quite the ‘Mark’ I had requested. It was more black than brown and faded to red rather quickly towards the mid-section. Alexander explained that the brown wasn’t quite possible, given the colour of the shoes – fine, but could perhaps have been communicated earlier – and the fading was something it was hard to specify exactly – I agree, though I would try to be more specific next time.


Overall, a beautiful piece of work. Only Berluti has matched Alexander’s work in my experience (see my Berluti repatinationhere).

Photo of Alexander: Luke Carby
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
18 Comments
Oldest
Newest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Håkan

“The only point of criticism would be that the finish wasn’t quite the ‘Mark’ I had requested.”

Did you go by the photo on the website or did you see the ‘Mark’ irl?
This sounds like the classic:”-hey! that color looked different on my laptop…”
Just a thought…

Omar

Colour looks awesome, reminds me of G&G’s vintage rioja!

Alexander Nurulaeff

Dear Simon, thank you very much. I remember to all of your readers, that I will be very glad to answer to any of their questions, if they have some. Best regards
AN

Anonymous

Damned nice work. This guy is a professional.

Ivan Vlasak

This guys does great work, Can you recommend someone in the US who can do high quality work like this?

Anonymous

How do we get our shoes to Alexander and Dandy Shoe Care? Please post a url or phone number. TY.

Anonymous

Hi,
thinking of having something done like this with Alexander. Can you let us know how the re-patination has stood up after time? does the colour fade at all revealing the original ?
Thanks, Ralph

merie joy flores

A pair of shoe from an old one now it is very amazing! there was a big changes in the shoes.

Anonymous

The former pic has no shoe tree and the latter does

S

Simon,

Is there a place in London you would recommend for refurbishement / repatination of a dress shoe?

I have a pair of black C&J Alex shoes where the colour has come off a bit and am looking for a good place in London to fix them.

Thanks,
S

Oliver

Have you every done this with Suede Simon? I have a lovely pair of Saint Crispin shoes in a light brown but I think I would get more wear out of them if they were darker.

Peter S

Hi Simon,

Thanks for all the effort expended on your blog and these wonderful articles. I am looking to get my shoes re-patinated by Alexander (indeed, have already sent a pair his way and looking to send several more over). Understanding that you may have had your shoes done several years back – is your assessment still the same? Have they held up well and has the service been to your liking? Thanks!