24 June, 2014

Man About Town: Men Are Like Shoes

24 June, 2014

There’s a moment in Sex and the City when Carrie, stuck for column ideas, wonders if Randall – the sandal guy, would make for an interesting read.

After having bared and shared my dating life in last month’s column and fielding numerous inquiries as to who this dashing gentleman actually was, I wondered how to retain the attention of the typical Sassy reader, month after month… I mean, what do I know about men and relationships, let alone the lives of professional women in the city? It came to me, one rainy evening when I was watching re-runs of those handbag-holding harridans.

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A recent study showed that women’s brains lit up like fireworks when shown pictures of shoes. Even the sheer mention of the word gets my gal pals all riled up, talking a mile a minute about the latest stiletto by Christian Louboutin. And so dear ladies, here it is… my sudden realisation that men, are like shoes.  Not all of them are your style. Some of them fit better than others and you have to go through a lot of them to find the one that is most comfortable.

Take Will for example – our first date, as you know, was magical.  The second date, was no Disneyland fairytale. And the third?  Well let’s just say it shouldn’t have happened. So this brings me onto the burning question. Where are all the good shoes… for your men?


Hipster haven, SquareStreet, offers their own line of shoes, named Gram. Swedish designers Alexis Holm & David Ericsson recently launched their brand new edition of the SquareStreet 1000’s limited edition canvas sneakers, which come in four twin colour-block styles and my personal favourite, the animal paw print (which was designed in collaboration with Hong Kong’s Clean Air Network).

This shoe is the man equivalent of the “Artsy type”. You saw them (him) and thought ‘hmmm different, but beautiful in their own way’. You took them home and tried to dress them up, dress them down, for work and play… you just don’t know what to do with them.  But they are so unique and comfortable, that it doesn’t matter.  You like them just as they are.


If you like your men to be gentlemen, then look no further than The Armoury, who stock some of the world’s best hand-crafted shoes, including Carmina. Carmina’s line features beautiful hand-crafted, Goodyear welted shoes in a variety of leathers. The Forest tassel loafers with leather soles are the perfect summer slip-on to dress up a Sunday brunch outfit or dress down a three-piece suit.


Like Carmina, Italian shoe brand Rivolta offers made to measure, bespoke shoes. The step-by-step process of getting your own piece of Rivolta bespoke on your feet takes up to forty working days. In order to create a bespoke shoe, clients must pick one out of the four traditional shoes. It is then up to the client to choose from a range of colours and fabrics, which go from suede to crocodile, to elephant or shark leather! The next step will be the measuring of the feet, for which Rivolta uses an innovative digital scanning technique for maximum accuracy.


While most bespoke shoe-makers require their clients to wear a test shoe for fittings, Rivolta skips the fitting process, as its digital scanning technique creates an accurate plastic last of the client’s measured feet. It’s because of this modern technique that their bespoke gems are realised within a time slot of forty working days, instead of the several months (which most bespoke shoemakers need).

Rivolta has shops in Milan and Beijing, but RTW is available at Tassels and MTM is by appointment at The H Space. My personal favourite is the Aria moccasin!

Screen Shot 2014-06-20 at 12.14.10 PMImages sourced via Pinterest

These shoes scream sophistication, class, elegance and poise. The man who wears made-to-measure is no chump. He has a real job (probably in finance, real estate or law) and he is proud of the money he’s earned. This charmer will wine and dine us, expect a great lay in return, and demand that we keep our bodies in good shape (after all, so does he with his lavish cross-fit membership).


As Ms. Bradshaw so eloquently put it, sometimes it’s really hard to walk in a single person’s shoes. That’s why we need really special ones now and then to make the walk a little more fun.

So although dates with Will didn’t pan out to white picket fences, somehow, in my cold, hard heart, I still hold a faint hope that if I just kept on trying on one more man, I might find the one that fits.

Tassels, Shop B64-65, The Landmark, Central, Hong Kong, www.tassels.com.hk.

The H Space, The H Space, 5/F, 50 Wyndham Street (next to new Opera Gallery), Central, Hong Kong





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