Have you ever walked the sole right off of your favorite pair of shoes? Ever have a heel cap fall off your stiletto, leaving you clicking down the sidewalk? Found a pair of vintage sneakers you’ve been coveting, only to realize they could use a makeover? Meet ‘The Cobblers,’ the most modern answer to all your shoe needs.
Located in Magic City’s Innovation District, ‘The Cobblers’ is anything but your average shoe repair shop. You know the ones, the been-there-forever, mom and pop shop where your grandma most likely took her shoes to be resoled. The building itself is impossible to miss. Perhaps it’s the giant sneaker or Louboutin sculptures outfront. Just past these larger-than-life statues, the 13,000 square foot, warehouse housing ‘The Cobblers’ sits like a beacon of art and design. Inside, it’s a wonderland of shoe and handbag repair and sneaker creation and recreation, all set against the backdrop of a very chic and uber cool artsy lounge-like environment. The space is the creative pairing of Kobi Karp, interior/retail specialist Helga Tapias of Melon Design and Parisian artist Erik Artik. Think of it as a marriage between two worlds: Old World cobbling meets New School Sneakerhead sensibilities.
In a time where every penny counts, shoe repair is at an all-time high. ‘The Cobbler’ Entrepreneur Warren Barthes noticed, however, shoe repair needed an update, bringing an otherwise dusty and dated service into the now. “Add to that Warren’s astute observation of a booming sneaker industry and general shift in everyday footwear trends, and boom, a super-brand was born,” Antonio Font, executive creative director for “The Cobblers’ explains. That super brand: ‘The Cobblers’ Sneaker Rescue & Leather Works. “One that marries enduring traditions in shoemaking or ‘cordwaining’ with fresh new-school tricks for sneaker-wearing aficionados,” Font says.
The Cobblers made its Miami debut in August 2020, smack in the middle of the pandemic. Bringing with it something it calls luxury Fash-Tech for conscious consumers. “It’s a world of fashion powered by technology,” Font says. “An unprecedented e-commerce platform. A convenient mix of 300-plus services, including both traditional shoe and leather repair services as well as all of our services for sneaker fans: expert cleaning, restorations and customizations, all under one roof.”
So, if you consider yourself a bit of a sneakerhead, this is your Mecca. Think re-dying, playful illustrations and unique, decorative designs like pop art, hip-hop, etc ... There’s also laser etchings, airbrushed options, hand-painted designs and oh so much more. “We can also take a sneaker apart completely before creatively reinterpreting and reconstructing it with any number of choice materials, custom colors, patterns, exotics (reptile skin, etc.),” he says.
“We actually just created an amazing pair of custom All Stars for someone; using an old, vintage Louis Vuitton purse that was basically out of commission in order to reconstruct the pair of ‘Chucks’ with pieces cut from the swanky bag. The results were rather remarkable and extremely well received,” he says. Be on the lookout for hydro-dipping to hit the menu soon. One of one bespoke sneakers are just the tip of their services.
Restoring priceless Hermes handbags, re-redding red bottom Louboutins and cleaning up Chanel flats are the others. Wondering what they can do for you and your leather treasures? ‘The Cobblers’ offers complimentary video consultations per a customer care department and ‘e-cobblers’. “It’s a white-glove retail experience, A-Z,” Font says. “Not only have we digitized an entire industry that nobody dared to touch in this way, our online-offline convenience-enhancing services and capabilities are completely ours.” Prices for the 300-plus services range between $20 and $2,000—all worth it to bring your beloved item back to new.