Brands You Should Know

Fifth Avenue Shoe Repair

The Swedish fashion design duo that spends their time balancing traditional and experimental looks, not polishing lace-ups.

Fifth Avenue Shoe Repair's Stockholm concept store interior, designed by Swedish architectural firm GUISE

Should we get the obligatory cobbler joke out of the way right up front? Yeah, we think so too. To that end: No. Fifth Avenue Shoe Repair can’t resole your well-worn wingtips. What they can do is craft a collection of sharply-tailored wardrobe essentials that’s set off by a number of more adventurous pieces. Which, as it happens, is exactly what they’ve been doing since 2004, when Swedish designers Astrid Olsson and Lee Cotter banded together and borrowed a name from an old shoemakers shop in London (a nod to the shop’s respect for craftsmanship).

The duo’s traditional-experimental balancing act caught on, and in 2006 they opened a store in Stockholm. That year also marked the label’s first fashion show and the introduction of their men’s line, which immediately earned acclaim for its creative interplay between classic menswear and sometimes-androgynous, forward-thinking designs. Since then, the brand has opened new shops—one inside central-Stockholm department store PUB, one in Singapore—launched a line of exclusive small leather goods, and collaborated on a line of bags with old-guard Swedish luggage manufacturer Alstermo Bruk. And just in case that doesn’t sound like entirely too much work for two designers, consider the fact that they’ve done all this while maintaining a made-to-order imprint collection called Shoerepair by the no., as a means of showcasing their most dramatic pieces.

So no, they’re not going to fix your shoes. But they’ve probably got enough on their plates regardless.

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