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A family-run shop near Canal Street, in Manhattan's fake handbag district, has actually been turning out some of the world's dandiest handmade footwear since 1879. At E. Vogel, each hand-sewn pair of leather shoes and riding boots begins with wooden lasts carved to match the client's foot. It takes about four months to create a customer's first pair of shoes, starting at $1,375. Lasts are stored for future orders, which take six to eight weeks.
Over the years, E. Vogel has outfitted Paul Newman, Jackie Kennedy, the U.S. Equestrian team, and Henry Kissinger. "I learned to make shoes and boots from my father and uncle, who spent their working lives in the business," says Dean Vogel, who runs the shop with his cousin Jack Lynch. "The highlights are manifold, but at the top is being able to create beautiful, functional footwear that delights the customer." 19 Howard St., New York, N.Y., 10013, 212 925-2460