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Maison Patina Takes a Traditional Approach to Customization

Emmanuel Farre brought his patina workshop to the trade show floor at Project Sole in New York City this week. The self-taught patina artist is the mastermind behind Maison Patina, a Toronto-based luxury fashion brand which distinguishes itself in its custom patina services.

The brand works closely with the Paris-based men’s boutique brand, Lodging, to produce Chelsea boots, monk strap shoes and “whole cut” dress shoes made with leather sourced from Belgian, French and Italian tanneries. Footwear retails for approximately $700.

Or, sartorial customers can send in their favorite leather items—from footwear and bags, to passport covers and belts—to be transformed into a one-of-a-kind piece. Patina options span a fiery “Torro Rosso” and to a more classic “Firewood” and “Gunmetal,” or Farre can create something entirely original.

While silhouettes in men’s footwear rarely change, Farre said men like to play with color. His own love for fashion lead him to launch Maison Patina. “I like vintage. I follow my own rules and I had to adapt my shoes to fit my wardrobe,” he said.

Farre points out that consumers receive a more bespoke experience from Maison Patina than they would from a mass produced luxury brand. He patinas just 8 to 12 pairs of shoes a week and treats each custom design like a doctor delivering a diagnosis.

While European customers tend to know exactly what they want, Farre said North American clients rely on his opinion. “They expect more from me. I’m like a doctor in leather,” he said. “I like to speak with customer to get a better understanding of what they do, how they dress and then recommend the best options for them.”