Norman Vilalta – Ones to Watch
As someone very much into their footwear it’s always a pleasure to discover new and exciting brands and individuals plying their trade. I was grateful then to discover a few shoes by talented Norman Vilalta who is a bespoke shoemaker who learnt his trade in Florence. His shoes have a wonderful craft to them, embracing traditional lines and silhouettes that also have threads of his style expressed through various details and leather fabrications that are quite stunning. Following a rigorous training he honed his skills through various processes including foot measuring, sculpting the lasts, cutting the leather, as well as practicing hand needlework.
“I found that searching for perfection of technique was not enough. Quickly, I learned what bespoke meant for me, I understood that there had to be another kind of perfection to go after. My search led to capturing the personality of my clients to create of a pair of shoes that express them. There are no limits, as a result I build personal collections of shoes for each one of my clients.”
What appeals to me is the attitude. The nice point in the toe and thick soles in different treads that give the shoe an aggressive but nonchalant character. With his bespoke work, his mentality his that he isn’t producing a restricted shoe, but building something that reflects his client. Taking a similar attitude with his ready-to-wear collections, Norman takes the spirit of bespoke where he is the one expressing more. With that in mind he approaches it with four ‘landscapes’ to fit various collections in to. Currently, there is No.5 which is a reflection of his atelier address in Barcelona and is a represents his reflection on classic models. Next is Savile Row meets Rock ‘n’ Roll collection which deconstructs those classic models. The next two landscapes are Wabi Sabi and Speed that are both personal approaches that reflect the work of a shoe maker. Wabi Sabi being the focus on the “Beauty of Imperfection” and Speed looking at the way we presently live and the traditional heritage of Norman’s craft.
Savile Row meets Rock ‘n’ Roll