Belgian shoes are probably a small work of art on their own. This is because a product that turns out to be a hybrid between a shoe and a slipper for lounging around at home and, although it is hard to believe with the previous description, as seen, deserves at the very least such a qualifier.
These shoes.... Slippers, we beg your pardon, we don't know how to define them, were born in the 40s by Henri Bendel and his Belgian Shoes store in NYC. A small store that remains unchanged over time, ignoring any remodeling process promoted by the fashion industry and, above all, the Big Apple.
Doing business like this in New York for a long time is only available to a few. Belgian Shoes is one of them. The store, on 55th St, is filled with a multitude of comfortable slippers and in endless variations, from animal print to plain white. All of them dressed in an elegant bow.
Belgian Shoes. Photo Belgianshoes.com
Henri Bendel, back in the 50s, copied his counterpart Bass with the Weejuns and, with the help of Belgian shoemakers, launched this product with the aim of reaching the WASP (White Anglo-Saxon Protestant) market. He succeeded and began to become popular among the young posh elite of the Upper East Side, The Hamptons and other high birth areas of New York State.
Back in the 80s, there was nothing in the fashion world of such caliber. A product that was only sold exclusively in that corner of the East Side. In short, a work of art, a product that became an icon, like the aforementioned Weejun or like the Gucci moccasin. Like these, Belgian shoes are a trend, and all of us wear them, from the Upper East Side to Albacete.
Henry Bendel and his Belgian Shoes. Photo Belgianshoes.com
We don't know if the judge was thinking precisely of that figure when he sentenced Madoff to 150 years in prison. The American was accused of fraud for 64.800 million dollars. Worth a few pairs of Belgians, of course. Celebrities like Elle McPherson or Tommy Hilfiger are also fans.
The Neapolitan tailoring firm Rubinacci made them go viral among the #sprezzaturos, and the French Allan Baudoin, and his Sagans, catapulted the Belgian loafer to any scene linked to good dress.
Sagans by Baudoin & Lange
Berwick, a Spanish brand, also manufactures Belgian shoes. Unfortunately these are only available to its Asian customer. But don't worry, Spain could not be left behind and if you have not yet planned a trip to NYC, the young firm Moira Creations, a Huelva native, has recently launched its own Belgian loafers. We have tried them and we only have more than good words to say about them. So much so that we have decided to raffle one among our dear and appreciated readers.
Belgian loafers by Moira Creations-- Spiff Magazine giveaway
By the way, these can be bought here, in Spain and… Surprise! Very soon in Spiff Magazine. Stay tuned, they fly off the shelves. Below is a video to start salivating, enjoy !