There's something about putting on that brand spanking new pair of leather shoes for the first time—that constant worry of the (inevitable) first scuff or scratch, and the attempts at minimising creases with every movement. The latter is something I struggle with at times. Sure, leather shoes are supposed to crease and show signs of wear over time. But it only takes one wrong move that could create that deep, unyielding crease right across the vamp.
Ah. As they say: the first
cut fold is the deepest.
Louis Vuitton's latest footwear innovation is the French maison's answer to leather formals you don't necessarily have to be as precious with. The Vendôme Flex collection—as it's so appropriately named—is a trio of timeless styles that have been created using a new flex technique. Essentially, the entire line can be bent and folded with little to no consequences. And that means that there's almost no need to break them in like one would with regular leather shoes.
The Vendôme Flex Derby, Chelsea boot, and loafer styles are each crafted by artisans at the Louis Vuitton shoe workshop in Fiesso d’Artico, Italy. They're made using a Goodyear-welted construction that's been enhanced with flex qualities. The new flex technique includes having to rework the approach to the traditional Goodyear-welted sole, lining and upper leather so that they're as soft and supple as they can be, right out of the shoebox.
Flexible Goodyear-welted shoes are not new in the footwear industry. But Louis Vuitton is one of the first few mainstream luxury brands to introduce it as part of its footwear offerings. If anything, it's a sign of how we're increasingly valuing comfort just as much as style and elegance.
The Louis Vuitton Vendôme Flex collection is set to launch in Louis Vuitton boutiques and online from September 2021.