The London Super Trunk Show 2023

Written by: Jesper of Shoegazing with edits and addendums by myself.

The London Super Trunk Show 2023 is complete – another amazing shoe day to remember. Almost 1,300 visitors came to the event last Saturday and explored the shoe offerings from the 10+ exhibitors, second-hand shoes, shoe care, and accessories, plus followed the three world championships contests.

Here’s a substantial summary of the day:

It was the busiest event to date. There was more consistent foot traffic than ever from visitors (despite a train strike which may have affected locals a bit) who also in many cases had traveled in from around the world. Also, people seemed to stick around the event longer, talking to each other, spending time with the exhibitors, and so on. The atmosphere in the venue on 12 Regent Street, almost as central as one can be in London, was lovely the whole day. It was bustling and you could feel it. I, as well as Jesper of Shoegazing, who both organize the event, were really grateful for this turnout.

Again a new visitor record, with almost 1,300 persons, very encouraging.
Our biggest turnout yet!

DSC03538 scaled 1


Photo May 13 2023 6 30 14 AM rotated 1


At the entrance towards Regent Street where thousands of people pass by every day.


DSC00216 1

Patina artists worked the whole day, as always many sat down a while and watched them create their magic.


DSC03349 scaled 1

Shoemaking world champs entries on display.

The Patina contest of The London Super Trunk Show 2023 kicked off 15 minutes after opening when the three patina finalists sat down at their tables to transform a pair of crust TLB Mallorca Artista shoes into something spectacular. At the event, they use Saphir leather dyes, creams, and waxes to complete their magic. The finalists this year were Alberto Suastez from the US, Rod Baudry from France, and his countryman Philippe Yang. The latter took the crown after five hours of work throughout the day, with an incredible patina job that had both contrast, depth, and finely executed details. Also, the other finalist’s work was of high class, with different styles. You can read more about the finalists, in this article.

DSC03333 scaled 1

In the morning when the patina final recently had started. From the left: Alberto Suastez, Rod Baudry and Philippe Yang.

DSC03322 scaled 1

Crust leather TLB Mallorca shoes beginning to be transformed.

DSC03601 scaled 1

Jars with dye.


Getting there.

Photo May 13 2023 11 29 53 AM scaled 1

The winner being announced in front of the big crowd.

DSC03756 scaled 1

The finished shoes. Painted by, from the left: Alberto Suastez, Rod Baudry and the winning pair by Philippe Yang.

DSC03775 scaled 1

Magnificent work.

DSC03780 scaled 1‘Tired but pleased finalists. Alberto Suastez, Philippe Yang, Rob Baudry.

In the afternoon it was time for the fifth edition of the World Championships of Shoe Shining. Always a spectacular happening, and the crowd was huge in front of the stage. The three finalists – Paul Black from Northern Ireland, Japanese Naoki Hayashida, and Albert Gjukaj from Switzerland – had 20 minutes to use their Saphir Medaille d’Or waxes and shine the Loake 1880 Aldwych shoe as neat, beautiful, and shiny as possible. Once again an Asian shoe shiner took the title, with Naoki Hayashida as champion in Shoe Shining 2023. You can read more about the contestants in this article.

DSC03680 scaled 1

Naoki Hayashida in action.

DSC03672 scaled 1

To achieve a really high shine in just 20 minutes requires a lot of elbow grease.

DSC03671 scaled 1

Finalist Paul Black…

DSC03676 scaled 1

…and Albert Gjukaj.

IMG 2456 scaled 1

World shoe shining champion Naoki Hayashida from Japan, together with jury member Katia Moura of Saphir.

DSC03741 scaled 1

The winning shoe with its non-polished sibling.

DSC03724 scaled 1

All the finalists’ final shoes, shined by, from the left: Naoki Hayashida, Albert Gjukaj, Paul Black.

Spread across two tables greeting the people as they entered the venue were 29 bespoke black balmoral boots. These were the entries of the World Championships of Shoemaking 2023. Surely a sight to behold. This marked the first time we had a boot to be made for the contest, which meant new challenges and opportunities for the shoemakers. We had participants that came from no less than 14 different countries around the world. The jury of shoemakers and shoe experts, who met during the afternoon before the event to judge the works, awarded the French bespoke maker Athanase Sephocle (who works for Berluti) the gold medal. Second place went to Victor Vulpe of Romania, and third to Louis Lampertsdörfer of Germany. Gladly, the two latter makers were both present at the award ceremony to collect their prizes.

See also  Amazon Takes New Legal Action to Combat Fake Product Reviews – Footwear News

The trio will share a prize sum of £6,000 which comes from contest sponsors Kirby Allison, Master Shoemakers, and Parker Schenecker, brother of shoe enthusiast Edmund Schenecker who sadly passed away two years ago. The three winners also get a handmade shoemaking awl made by Phil Norsworthy. You can see more of the top three in this article, and much more of them and all the other contest shoes will come in two huge articles later on (it takes a lot of time to put that together though, so bear with me). An incredibly high level of competition from the top three, both in terms of difficulty, execution, and creativity. These shoes along with the patina winner will go on a world tour later this year, will be more info about that coming as well.

DSC03361 scaled 1

A bunch of the shoemaking contest entries.

DSC03340 scaled 1

Victor Vulpe who finished second together with 11th-placed Attila Kovacs inspects the shoe of winner Athanase Sephocle. A lot of shoemakers, also those who haven’t entered, travel from near and far not least to be able to see the contest shoes in person.

DSC03355 scaled 1

£6,000, shoemaking awls, medals, and being part of a world tour – in the prize pool for the top three.

Photo May 13 2023 11 44 55 AM scaled 1

During the award ceremony two on the podium were present, Victor Vulpe, 2nd, and Louis Lampertsdörfer, 3rd. Here with me Jesper Ingevaldsson of Shoegazing and Justin FitzPatrick of The Shoe Snob.

Photo May 13 2023 12 37 15 PM scaled 1

Winning masterpiece by Athanase Sephocle, who works for Berluti in France, next to the gold medal.

IMG 2482 scaled 1

Victor Vulpe and Louis Lampertsdörfer with their shoes.


Youtuber Kirby Allison interviewing the medalists.

New for this year was a second-hand shoe marketplace, where Abbot’s Shoes had brought more than 100 pairs of their quality second-hand shoe collection. Some visitors also brought shoes to have them sold on-site, which added even more value to their offering. This marketplace surely was an appreciated addition. Partner Bresciani, from Italy, showcased a range of their absolute top-class socks, versions in cotton, silk, and wool, in conservative classic styles as well as bold ones. The main event partner, Saphir, had a nice updated display where they showcased their Saphir Medaille d’Or shoe cream and wax polish range with open jars, giving visitors both a better view of the color ranges as well as a better feel for the quality of the products. Saphir, together with Marc of Bowbells Shoeshine, offered a much appreciated free shoe shining service throughout the day, where the line at times was quite long.

See also  Lucy Hale Goes On A Shopping Spree In Classic Suede Chelsea Boots – Footwear News


DSC03377 scaled 1

The second-hand shoes corner of the event, with loads of shoes from both Abbot’s Shoes and visitors.

DSC03405 scaled 1

Over 130 pairs to browse through.

DSC03419 scaled 1

People trying on second hand shoes.

DSC03435 scaled 1

Free shoe shine service by Saphir.

IMG 2471 scaled 1

Large parts of the day the line to get ones shoes shined was long.

DSC03441 scaled 1

Great new display on Saphir’s table.

DSC03455 scaled 1

Open jars.

IMG 2438 scaled 1

Crowded around the table of Bresciani.

DSC03465 scaled 1

World-class socks made in Bresciani’s own factory in Italy.

Yearn made their first appearance for The London Super Trunk Show 2023, and many visitors were impressed by their fully handmade shoes with sleek silhouettes and fine designs. They are still located in the midrange price segment despite the high level of making. Next to them, Bridlen from India had their table, with their classic classy shoes with old-school welting directly to the insole, and what was nice is that now with the second time participating, they had a bunch of sales to people who got acquainted with them last year and finally took the plunge. From Hungary, we had Attila, a merging of traditional Austro-Hungarian styles and rather bold modern stuff, fully handmade at great prices.

Photo May 13 2023 11 01 13 AM scaled 1

Loafers by Yearn.

DSC03642 scaled 1

Neat split toe derby with natural coloured edges and contrasting seams.

DSC03624 scaled 1

Bridlen display.

DSC03628 scaled 1

Zahan Anees of Bridlen had a busy day.

DSC03577 scaled 1

Great two tone full brogue by Attila shoes.

DSC03595 scaled 1

Natural sole finish.

CNES from Vietnam has established itself as one of the best bang-for-the-buck brands out there, with Goodyear welted and hand welted shoes at an impressive price tag, with a wide range of styles and last shapes. Talking about bang-for-the-buck, one of the quickest growing brands in Japan is Raymar, also offering Goodyear and hand welted at excellent prices, more British in style and also it turned out with their international lasts working getting much praise for a good fit by the visitors. The Noble Shoe, based out of Sweden, showcased Carlos Santos shoes, some Italian goodies from Enzo Bonafè and Paolo Scafora, plus other stuff like the first samples of shoes under its own brand.


Summer-style stuff from CNES.

DSC03561 scaled 1

Wide range of styles.

DSC03556 scaled 1

Nice sole on a Raymar shoe.

DSC03551 scaled 1

Suede derby with rubber soles.

DSC03525 scaled 1

The Noble Shoe table packed with shoes.

DSC03530 scaled 1

Very cool button boot by Enzo Bonafè.

At every super trunk, we also try to showcase shoes also of the absolute highest level. This is why Catella, the brand of former world champ Daniel Wegan and now also Sam Norsworthy who works with Daniel, was present, with among the best bespoke shoes in the world. The specialized UK premium sneaker brand Goral showed that sneakers can also be crafted in a good way with fine materials, they are Blake stitched with real leather lasting boards and felt filler, then sidewall stitched to the cup soles. Finally, we had Acme, who already has marveled the world with their basically bespoke standard RTW, now they also introduced the slightly simpler, more affordable Marvel range. For those who wonder, Paul Sargent sadly had to pull out of the event at a very late stake.

See also  Mallet London to Launch ‘Neptune’ Sneaker Inspired by Gherkin Building – Footwear News

Now Jesper and I will switch focus to the premiere New York edition of the super trunk show on October 14th, 2023, but of course, the London event will be back again next spring, we look forward to seeing you all again then!

At the bottom, you’ll also find the live stream videos from the three world champs contests as well as a tour around the venue.

The most expensive shoe on the exhibitors tables was likely this bespoke alligator wholecut by Catella.

DSC03507 scaled 1

A sole to die for.

DSC03488 scaled 1

A table of real premium sneakers, by Goral who has their own factory in Sheffield.

DSC03496 scaled 1

Also sneakers can be made with proper materials like real leather insoles/lasting boards, leather board stiffeners and so on.

DSC03472 scaled 1

Acme’s table of goodies.

DSC03478 scaled 1

Natural grain leather chukka boot in grey.

IMG 2473 scaled 1

Also during the calmer periods during the day it was still crowdy.

DSC00139 1

An old sample from John Lobb London made during the Victorian era in the 1800’s that were brought to be compared with this years contest shoes in a Kirby Allison video.

DSC03421 scaled 1

Contest shoes examined.

Photo May 13 2023 6 31 34 AM scaled 1

A very spectacular entry.

DSC00205 1

Emiko Matsuda, previously Foster & Son now running her own brand, was one of many shoemakers there during the day.

DSC03386 scaled 1

Shoes shined.

DSC03535 scaled 1

Bold sole work on a Scafora shoe.

DSC03589 scaled 1

Stingray by Attila.

DSC03574 scaled 1

Visitors chatting.

DSC03654 scaled 1

Sweeping wholecut by Yearn.

DSC03558 scaled 1

Also Raymar has started to offer patina, here a subtle dark green.

DSC03567 scaled 1

Sole options by CNES.

DSC00168 1

A world champion concentrating.

IMG 2479 scaled 1

The patina contest wrapping up.

DSC03446 scaled 1

Saphir products.

DSC03708 scaled 1

Naoki Hayashida with his shiny winning shoe.

Photo May 13 2023 10 53 49 AM scaled 1

Chunkier boots by Bridlen.

DSC03498 scaled 1

Veg tan Maryam leather on Goral’s sneakers.


Catella classic.

DSC03513 scaled 1

Patina options.

DSC03414 scaled 1

Abbot’s is a UK based retailer focusing on quality second hand shoes, who hosted the second hand market here.

Photo May 13 2023 11 10 34 AM scaled 1

Second hand Tricker’s loafers on sale.

DSC03482 scaled 1

Beautiful sole on an Acme shoe.

Photo May 13 2023 11 48 21 AM rotated 1

Nice stuff on visitors’ feet.

IMG 2468 scaled 1

See you all again in about a year! Pictures: Shoegazing, Sam Norsworthy, Patrick “Ticho” Gessner


Videos from the event

Source link