Shoe fetishists have long patronized Hollywood's Willie's Shoe Service for its impeccable repair skills and shoemaker-to-the-studios history. Now one of its young talents has stepped out on his own.
The just-opened Don Ville is a hybrid store and workshop. Exquisite, handmade women's and men's shoes of Italian and Spanish leather are displayed like sculptures on antique tables and consoles. Customers sit on sumptuously upholstered couches to try on ready-to-wear shoes or to be fitted for lasts (used to make custom pairs). Windows overlook a workshop full of cobblers, cutting and sewing future pairs.
Owner Raul Ojeda worked at Willie's for 10 years to learn his craft and we've been dreaming of his work since a recent visit. Should we have a pair of pumps based on 1940s styles ($750)? High-heeled boots ($875)? Or maybe we'll opt for a pair of Repetto-like oxford flats ($550), which come in blue-and-white leather and can be ordered in a rainbow of other colorways? We're delightfully spoiled for choice.
Don Ville Shoes, 113 N. La Brea Ave.; 323 932 9874 or donvilleshoes.com