The company’s founder, Pierre Corthay, began his apprenticeship in 1979 at the French Compagnons du Devoir, one of the world´s most rigorous training schools for artisans. With time and lots of effort and commitment, he began working for renowned footwear firms—such as the legendary John Lobb and Berluti—soaking up everything and learning their secrets. In 1990, he opened Maison Corthay in Paris, alongside his brother Christophe. One of his first orders: 150 pairs of tailored shoes for the Sultan of Brunei.
For Maison Corthay, the interaction between the shoemaker and his client is essential to achieving a perfect pair of shoes that, with the proper care, can last a lifetime. They argue it is indispensable for the shoemaker to understand the personality of his client, to be aware of his desires and seek perfection according to his demands.
The company believes shoes can only become unique if they are designed on the basis of friendship, sustainability, and maturity because a custom-made shoe should fit the foot as if it were a glove. They should define the individuality of the client, his style, tastes, and conception of elegance.
Maison Corthay also produces ready-to-wear shoes, known for their exclusivity and excellent design. Their luxurious collections are made with beech wood handles to ensure the rigidity of the arches. The company uses natural cork to provide perfect insulation, and the finest leathers cured for a year in order to obtain a uniform and dense fiber.
The leathers and skins come from around the world to the Paris Le Puy tannery, where they are given proper shape and texture. In addition, the perfect finishes of Corthay footwear, with aniline and casein polishes, produce unparalleled transparency and depth of color. The shoes feel smooth and exciting to the touch.
The patina is respectful of raw materials and ennobled with pigments that highlight and enhance the natural colors. Such manufacturing approach is unique in the world of luxury prêt-à-porter footwear.
Renowned for his talent, Pierre Corthay received, in 2009, the title of Maître d’Art on its merits as a craftsman, from France’s Ministry of Culture. Currently, Maison Corthay has stores in England, Japan, South Korea, USA and other countries in Europe and Asia. Their shoes—custom made by skilled craftsmen—are synonymous with quality, durability, and exquisite taste. ■