I love a good pair of monks, I really do. No fussy laces to painstakingly adjust and re-knot, the monk strap is past its popular revival and now firmly entrenched in carefully considered shoe cabinets across continents. As an eternal optimist, I’m always on the look-out for new monk straps that will bowl me over and the pair I’ve selected here have done a pretty good job of making me a firm believer. What’s cool is that the first is a home-grown local label and the other is a french brand specializing in custom patinas, which has been introduced to the island by two Singaporean friends
ed et al
It was the color that first caught my eye, that deep molten chocolatey brown. I was mesmerized. It is hard to find a good shade of brown, it’s a color that in the wrong hands can turn out so…blah. But find the right tone, the right hint of rich caramel or toffee or even a light walnut shade (it seems that food and brown shoes go hand-in-hand, I can’t describe one without the other) and voila! Love at first sight. It helped that they were double monk straps with a simple toe-cap design. Clean, functional and elegant—all the better to show off its beautiful colour.
What’s cool Edwin Neo, the man behind the ed et al, started out learning about shoes by repairing them. After furthering his skills under a master shoemaker in Budapest, Hungary—he returned to singapore to design and create bespoke shoes for men who wanted something they couldn’t find off-the-shelf on the island. Now, in addition to a bespoke shoe service, potential clients can also check out his seasonal collections of well-made and affordable leather shoes.
Price The Merlion II in dark brown is priced at SGD300.
Location 9 Raffles Boulevard, Millenia Walk, #01-67, Singapore 039596. 11a.m – 9p.m, Sundays & Public Holidays: Open
Bespoke services by appointment only
A Parisian brand originally started up by an uncle-and-nephew duo Marcos Fernandez and Mathieu Preiss, the local branch of Septième Largeur is run by Singaporeans Jacky Ye and Lucas Tan, who have undergone intensive training to learn how to apply patination directly to the raw calf leather of their basic models.
What’s cool You can choose the color that your shoes will be colored from their range of patinations. Start off with the Last 206—the Rennan in raw calf for patina, and then have the pair customized to your tonal specifications. Because the patination is done by hand, each shoe will be unique and no two pairs will look alike even if they are colored in the same color. Considering they have colors ranging from a rich royal blue to olive and deep purple, you’ll be spoilt for choice.
Price Retailing at 630SGD for the Last 206 Rennan raw leather, with an additional 120SGD to add on the shoe patina.
Location Septième Largeur Singapore 3 Pickering Street #01-16 Singapore 048660 Mondays to Fridays: 11 a.m. to 7.30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays: 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Meanwhile, stay tuned for more posts about beautiful men’s shoes.