I would estimate that for 99% of readers of this post, a pair of Carmina laceups would be the best shoes in your closet. I would say that they’re the best shoes in mine. I would further estimate that 99% of the readers of this post have never even heard of Carmina. That’s partly the point of this series of posts – bringing to light little known makers of the highest quality goods.
Whereas, in my initial ‘What One Guy’s Buying on eBay’ post, I talked about Martin Dingman (a cursory search of eBay will turn up over 100 listings), this post focuses on a much rarer beast. eBay can often go for a month with only one Carmina shoe listing in one size; yet, when your number is called (i.e. your size becomes available at a good price), I can’t recommend more that you pounce on them. For example, there’s a pair of Carmina shoes on eBay at this very moment, in size 7.5US that are amongst the most elegant shoes I’ve encountered (the listing can be found here). Judge for yourself, they’re the same shoes as are pictured above, except in brown. At the time of this post, the current bid is $102 (no reserve), with a Buy It Now price of $250. While $250 may seem like a bit of an investment, keep in mind that ‘The Armoury’ men’s store in Hong Kong, one of the only places online to purchase Carmina shoes, has these precise shoes for sale at a cost of HK$4,500 (or, nearly $600 Canadian), and these shoes will last a lifetime with proper care. Sometimes Carmina shoes are listed at higher prices – but quite regularly a diamond in the rough will appear.
Shoes, like watches, are one of society’s (and, more importantly, women’s) clearest identifiers of social status and taste. So, when the opportunity to thrust your shoe wardrobe into the upper reaches of the social strata for $200 appears, DON’T HESITATE – JUMP ON THE CHANCE!
Also, I’d be remiss not to point you to The Armoury’s online store and website at thearmoury.com. If you can’t quite track down the pair of Carminas you’re looking for on eBay, than this Hong Kong store is likely your best bet. Beyond that, their website is well worth a perusal as they sell some of the finest men’s clothing and accessories in the world (Drakes ties, Fox Umbrellas, John Smedley knitwear, to go along with stunning tailored clothes) and their Tumblr site may just be my favourite place online right now for men’s style photography: thearmoury.tumblr.com.
Thanks for reading and please feel free to add comments below, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow me on Twitter, @oneguysstyle. For the first installment of the ‘What One Guy’s Buying on eBay’ series, please check out my post on Martin Dingman belts here.