How could I go from blissful contentment to totally obsessed with a clog maker I've just discovered in less than 48 hours? It all started last week when a clog fan from Portland, Oregon tipped me off to an intriguing style I'd never seen before. (See yesterday's post for the full story.)
As I dug deeper into the web to find more about this unique pair of clogs, I learned that they were just the tip of the iceberg! There's a whole world of clogs for you and me to explore thanks to the creative vision of a craftswoman from the Saint-Bertrand-de-Comminges region of France (about 150 km southwest of Toulouse, not far from the border with Spain). I assure you I'm looking forward to telling her whole story as much the language barrier between us will allow. In fact I hope to feature her with an interview in the new year. But for now, let me just whet your appetite with a few mouthwatering details about...
In brief, Isabelle Segonzac-Estrade is a clog maker or sabotiére who has been carving wood and cutting leather for 10 years now. Isa's husband, the son of shoemakers himself, helped her perfect her craft, and today she can create a pair of sabots in 3 to 4 hours. But what a remarkable range of styles she creates! Just pay her well laid out website, Les Sabots d'Isa a visit and see for yourself. As an article in LaDepeche.fr declares,
les sabotiers ne sont plus très nombreux (14 en France) et qu'Isa a fait souffler un vent de modernité sur les collections. Les coupes sont originales, les couleurs bigarrées et les prix très raisonnables compte tenu de la qualité : entre 80 et 130 € selon les modèles.
[shoemakers are not very many (14 in France) and Isa was a breath of modernity on the collections. The cuts are original, colorful colors and prices very reasonable given the quality between 80 and 130 € depending on model.]
The good news is that Isa loves private orders. The clogs she designed with Jeremy Sultan (featured in yesterday's post) were a rare moment of collaboration. As she explained in an e-mail this morning
As a rule I work only for private individuals, not for professionals. Jeremy Sultan was an exception. Since I make everything by hand and to measure, it’s very long process so I prefer private individuals. Otherwise, it is out of control for a small workshop such as mine!
Even better news is that she caters to customers around the world...including North America. ("I have 2 customers in the USA!", she says.) All that's necessary is to send her your measurements with an outline of your foot and to be prepared to pay for the costs of shipping and customs.
Worth noting in light of our recent discussion of men's clogs here is that Les Sabots d'Isa do include quite a number of fresh styles for men in sizes up to 48. (The pairs fully lined in shearling are novel to my eyes.)
One quick bit of navigation assistance here (courtesy of reader Jicky), Isa's website is completely in French, but you'll do all right just by clicking on the obvious links.
There's lots of "oooing" and "aaahhing" to be done so I'll let you get to it. (Be sure not to miss the photos in the gallery (the menu link is marked galerie photo). And if you do get in touch with Isa, do let her know where you read about her! À bientôt!
[On my feet today: My new Kybele clog boots from Nine West! Got 'em back from the cobbler yesterday (the original heel cap was too slick on concrete) and now I think I have a new default pair in my arsenal.]