Exotic Shoes from Paul Parkman

Ostrich Bumps

If you have a taste for the unusual in your footwear, then you should turn your attention to Paul Parkman shoes of Hawthorne, California.

Parkman specialise in making limited edition shoes by hand using unusual leathers and finishing techniques. The green Derby shoes above are made to order from Ostrich leather, with goodyear-welted double sole and Bordeaux leather lining.  If you have never worn green shoes before, you might be surprised to find how wearable the colour can be. I like the nobbly bits on ostrich leather, or the vacant quill follicles if you want to be technical., which are used in the grading process of ostrich leather — well-developed nobbles equalling a  better grade.

Stingray Beads

However, if you wish to be a bit more discrete, yet have a hankering for the exotic too, then these black Derby shoes in stingray leather might be more your bag. They have the same sole and lining construction as the ostrich. The beaded texture is from calcium deposits on the skin, which are more pronounced at the white diamond.

Stingray leather — or shagreen, which was particulalrly popular as a leather in the Art Deco period — is a very durable leather and naturally water resistant. As the leather ages, the white of the beads shows through more and the leather takes on a unique patina.

Do I need to say that both of these types of leather are eminently sustainable? Perhaps I do. You know how angry people can get about everything nowadays.


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