As I mentioned in some of my earlier Barcelona posts, I had a chance to pick up a pair of Carmina shell cordovan shoes while I was traveling. There's definitely a benefit to dropping into one of the shops, as you can try on a variety of models in different lasts and leather colors. After hearing so much about the company's work with shell cordovan, I was looking forward to seeing some models in the flesh, so to speak.
I wasn't disappointed. While the Barcelona shop had a somewhat limited stock, there were definitely enough offerings to choose from. I ultimately selected Model 957 in the Burdios or Bordeaux color, on the Forest last. I believe this is Carmina's burgundy color, but its really more of a rich, dark brown to my eye. The Forest last was very sleek and elegant, much more so (again, in my opinion) than any lasts I've seen for shell cordovan shoes from Alden, Crockett & Jones, or Vass.
The leather stitching appears to be very well-done, and the sole work is equally impressive. There is the requisite channeled sole, and the slightly bevelled waist is both subtle and refined. It might not as impressive as what you'll see on a sole from John Lobb's Prestige line, but Carmina's offering is also close to 1/3 of the price.
All in all, Carmina offers well-made shoes at a very competitive price. [Above photos by Jessica Butler]
In natural light: