This season our designers have explored a number of new artisanal techniques to use across our collection, to bring you truly unique, unexpected detailing on your boots. Amongst the team here at DuoBoots there has been a lot of excitement about our hero style this season, Paragon. This stand-out style has been crafted using the finest Italian taupe and black nubuck leather. The key feature of this bespoke Chelsea boot is its diagonally patterned, hand stacked leather heel, that is sure to get you noticed. On a recent trip to our family-run factories in Portugal, our designer interviewed Joao Borges, the craftsman himself…to find out how exactly this showstopping heel is made.
In 1993 Joao’s business started out purely making different types of buckles, it was only when he made a connection with people in Spain that he was introduced to the world of extraordinary heels. Joao started out with a small range, just one style in four heights, and almost instantaneously his team were inundated with work. Very quickly, Joao realised his true passion was for making heels and he soon dropped the buckle-making element of his business to focus on his passion, heels. Now in 2019 he has 11,000 different heel molds and makes bespoke heels for a number of big labels seen at catwalk shows.
“The footwear world has changed so much in these last 26 years. Trends do repeat, people are now wanting the shapes I made back in 1993 so I am reopening old molds to make the heels again!”
Technological advancements have allowed Joao and his team to turn your wildest ideas into a reality, using laser printing to develop prototypes, then wood, acrylic, and leather. He is the type of craftsman that sees a crazy idea as a challenge and perfects the process to achieve that idea with meticulous attention to detail.
The process behind our custom designed heel:
Layers of leather are stacked together in the required pattern and glued, then pressed.
The block of leather is then sliced into thin layers.
These thin layers are then wrapped around the heel (this is the stage our heels were at when we visited). Fernanda is the artisan in charge of heel wrapping and does so with meticulous precision and care.
The heel then goes through a number of stages in finishing. Wax is applied then the leather is polished and buffed to perfection.
One heel goes through at least 10 pairs of hands before it is sent over to our bootmaking factory, where it is put onto your pair of DuoBoots…now that’s craftsmanship!
At DuoBoots we pride ourselves on supporting fellow independents, whether that be our neighbours on Bath’s High Street or our family-run factories who we have been working closely with for over a decade. Our aim is to see independent businesses thrive for many years to come; just like Joao’s, who hopes to pass his business down through the generations, starting with his daughter.