Let’s Make Sandals With The Palatines, Shall We?
You know what’s tougher than making a shoe look cool with buckles and studs and fancy detailing? Creating a pair that stands out without all those bells and whistles. After trolling L.A. for a factory that could get the job done, Jessica Taft Langdon launched The Palatines—kicks that, as she puts it, have a “minimalist-modern inflection.” Here’s how her sicker-than-sick Of a Kind slides attain their enviable sleekness.
“This is an image of the uppers of the shoes before they get assembled. The thong part is that long tail. These sandals are made of cow leather. The piece of leather is about 50 square feet in its raw shape. We make a pattern for each different shoe size and then cut each shape by hand.”
“This shows what is called the last of the shoe—it’s the form that the shoes are made on. Here we have the insole marked with a hole for the thong.”
“Next we line up the upper with the insole and thread the thong into the hole that’s stamped into the insole. We apply glue to the bottom of the insole and take the excess leather around the last, gluing it to the bottom. The glue is a contact cement. It acts just like a rubber cement you used in high-school art class.”
“This is a machine we call the grinder. We’re buffering away the excess leather that’s been wrapped around the insole. We do this so when you attach the insole to the midsole, there aren’t any lumps.”
“After the excess leather has been removed and the outsole has been buffed, we glue the outsole to the rest of the shoe, sandwiching it all together.”
“Now we stick the shoe into this machine called the presser, which makes sure that there’s an even amount of pressure all the way across the sole of the shoe. You definitely don’t want to get your fingers anywhere close to the pressing side of this!”
“After a few more finishing touches, you get this—the final product!”