Friday, May 16, 2008

ModernGear Men: Brad Pitt's fancy footwear for guys

Everyone keeps talking about Brangelina, aka Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, on the red carpet yesterday in Cannes for Kung Fu Panda. The pictures speak volumes about their relationship as well as their personal sense of style. She looks like a Mother Earth goddess in a green Max Azria gown and just-right flowing hair and makeup, and Brad is well put together as always. There was one thing I couldn't get my eyes off of though, and no, that wasn't Angelina's fabulous twins-on-the-way cleavage (though it's quite yummy) was Brad's shoes.

You don't see that style of shoe on the average joe, and shoe lovers have been abuzz. I can't be sure of the designer he was wearing, but I can tell you one thing about the style...namely, that the strap that goes over the shoe is called a monk strap.

The design is based on one that monks used to wear centuries ago, and is considered to be casual, though I would describe these as more dressy, myself. It's probably best that I stop ruminating, though, and leave the rest to the shoe experts.

Some of the very best Monk Strap shoes are handmade in Europe (often by people who have made shoes for generations), and here are my favourites:

London, England
Designer: Edward Green Shoes
Walpole in Black Calf (with a great description of the model of shoe, click on picture to see larger)

Paris, France
Designer: Aubercy
Elmo model

Designer: Pierre Corthay, whose ready-to-wear line debuted in 2001.
Modèle 6, Jouvet
Modèle 7, Montaigne
Designer: J.M Weston, French shoemaker since 1891
Monk Strap model, Derbies, model 531

Double Buckle Derby
Designer: Gaziano Girling
Carlisle in Vintage Pine

Windsor in Vintage Cedar
Carnegie in Bordeaux Calf

Milan, Italy
Designer: Santoni
Model 8507

Designers will typically have stockists lists you can refer to for where to find these, and in Canada and the U.S. I'd venture to guess they're at the finer clothing stores! I did find some Santoni monk strap styles with a quick search on Nordstrom's site:

Santoni 'Jadwin' Loafer
Santoni 'Jaron' Cap Toe Monk Strap Oxford
I think most fashion pundits are sort of missing the point when they're talking about the plug Angelina graciously gave for her shoes as we didn't get even a glimpse of them under her long dress - here's a picture:
and a link for those of you who are wondering what she chose (and I'll be blogging about them sometime soon). She said they were Cole Haan with Nike Air technology in the soles, and I'm sure the company is grateful for the shout-out but I'm more interested to see how the market and the public responds to Brad's dapper footwear choice.


Anonymous said...

I really like the shoes. It’s not so much the Monk strap, but the strap buckle that makes a difference. Amidst the monotony of a black suit and black shoes, the buckle is a stark but appreciated contrast. Any bigger of a buckle would be over the top. The heel is a bit high, though.

Lincoln Chan
Vancouver BC

Misty Harris said...

Maybe my taste is too middleclass, but I hate the shoes. The strap reminds me of the maryjanes that Catholic school girls wear. Cool post though. Love the shoe roundup!

Sherman Hu said...

Tamara, luv & dig the monk strap shoe. Lincoln is also right. The strap buckle can make a statement if its "bling". Plus really dig the double strap too!

I have a brown suede monk strap pair. Come to think of it, I haven't worn that in awhile. Time to dust off and BAM! Monk-style it baby! [wink]

Thanks for a superb post!

Tracy Lydiatt said...

I like the Ashby! As well, the ones from long as they are not hurting some endangered animal. I think a man that feels comfortable to wear these is a star. They are different, daring and SO very European. Yum!

Terry McLay said...

The monk strap is only good when it is on a quality pair of shoes. The cheaper the shoe the cheaper the look. Also helps being Brad lol

Nice post though :)

Vanaudio said...

I like the derbies , but I'm not crazy about the length of most of the others. They seem to be over Compensating for something...

Anonymous said...

Nice shoes! I like the look of the strap with the buckle. They look like they can go with just about anything.Plus they would make my feet look bigger!!

Nice work Tamara!


Brenda Leatherland said...

hah i noticed his shoes straight away, i am up and down on them, they are very stylish yes, just ot sure if i really like the strap. love her cole haans though! they would be really comfy!

Anonymous said...

Those shoes Rock. Wow I love the old becomes new again!!! The Monk strap really does it for me. I guess I have to go shoe shopping again. Thanks for the mens shoe update.

David Thorsell
Airdrie Alberta

Anonymous said...

I really like the shoes. The buckle gives that extra bling to a classic black suit look.

Les Klein

Anonymous said...

The heel is a little to big for my liking. The strap with the buckle is a little tacky, but then again on Brad anything goes...
I am more of a John Fluevog kind of guy...

Calgary, AB

The Job Search Coach said...

My husband is a shoe-fanatic and he loves the shoes with the monk strap. In fact, he already has a pair or two.

I love the shoes Angelina was wearing. Smart looking, sexy, and comfortable. An over 30 woman's dream. :-)

Sontza Design Works said...

I love the shoes!! Some of them seem a bit feminine but I love the Ashby ... as did my husband!!

You rock girl .. always on the lookout for the best things to pass along!


Anonymous said...

They're Tom Ford shoes.

Lucy said...

they all look fantastic

ModernGear TV said...

I love how this topic is generating a lot of conversation! Thanks to anonymous who identified them as Tom Ford - not surprising, LOVES me some Tom Ford! Thanks for the discussion and comments, folks.

mens sport sandals said...

I thought i had a sense of style with the pair of shoes I've recently bought until i came across this page. damn you! lol! These look utterly gorgeous.