The Cobbler is the go-to place in Dubai for breathing new life into leather goods.
Expanding on their already successful business, the Dubai-based leather experts have launched their own sleek, minimalist sneaker line.
We spoke to Morgan Papin, Partner and Chief Technical Officer at the only premium and traditional leather expert in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and the Middle East to understand the genius behind their new sneakers.
Tell us about launching your own sneaker collection – how did this come about?
Although manufacturing formal dress shoes is our core expertise and passion, we wanted to explore sneaker territory. Covid 19 changed our behaviors and attire, our customers shared with us that they were expecting more of a casual range at The Cobbler – they actually asked us to launch a sneakers range. So, we did!
The sneakers are minimal and clean, was this the direction from the outset?
The idea was to keep the identity of The Cobbler, classic and understated elegance incorporated with the high standards of quality that are our backbone. We have therefore launched a beautiful Patina Cognac model, with subtle brush effects that make every pair unique. We have also a sleek “iconic” white model that suits any attire. And we are very excited about new models that will hit the shelves by the end of the month.
You have a new sneaker cleaning service – was this a response to requests from current clients?
In short yes. We wanted to address the demand arising.
How does the process work and how long does it take?
The process takes up to 4 working days which starts with a deep inspection of the material to provide the right assessment. The first step is to stitch or fix what had become loose before proceeding with the cleaning.
We use a powerful steaming machine acquired in Italy to do the cleaning. The machine sprays steam (exactly the right amount to preserve the original – and often fragile – texture) to remove dirt and marks. Then we provide touch-ups if necessary. We mix colours to recreate the same shades as the pair and restore any faded parts. Finally, thanks to a strong UV light, we can restore the original white colour of the soles.
What causes the discolouration in sneakers and how can we avoid this?
Due to the climatic conditions in this part of the world – discolouration can happen very quickly and turns the sole yellowish. The best way to avoid it is to let your sneakers rest in a dark place when you are not wearing them. Keep them in a dry place, avoiding humidity. Bringing them to The Cobbler for regular cleaning will also help – don’t wait for them to be completely yellow before bringing them.
Nevertheless, we have worked very hard in developing a technology that brings back the original whiteness of our customers’ precious sneaker’s soles. We are applying a mix of chemicals and leave the pairs under a strong UV light to do so. This is a very tricky step because time is of the essence and this requires a lot of attention. It is a bit like baking a cake, it cannot be overcooked!