By now, everyone is well aware of Carmina, the Spanish mid-to-high end shoe maker out of Mallorca.
Positioned in the Passeig de Gràcia, the heart of Barcelona’s prominant shopping district, it’s easy to see Spain is in a deep economic crisis. Although the current generation is arguably the most skilled it has ever been, the current unemployment rate in young people is in excess of 50%. Talking to the locals, I’m told once the teens have finished their degrees, due to the difficulty in obtaining a job (and outside of job hunting outside of Spain where skills are lost) means many teens simply return to University to commence further studies.
Luxury brands are few and far between - spaced out - and when compared to the streets of Milan or London, Barcelona is hardly a shopping hot spot.
Carmina’s success despite the hardship is driven first and foremost by it’s high quality leathers, goodyear welted construction, and strict quality control procedures, but also through e-commerce, key luxury stockists and more recently, social media.
The shop assistants love their shoes, and are only too happy to discuss lasts, shoes and shoe construction and any further questions you may have.
I’m lucky enough to own many pairs, all different lasts, leathers and styles and I can vouch for their quality and construction, even against more expensive competitors.
I was almost had by a rather unique pair of suede double monks - brass hardware, and semi brogued (not available on their website) - but walked out with a pair of calf / suede lace up wing tips (pictured) in the rain last - a handsome shoe even if I do say so myself.