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SS: All right we're here at capsule. This is the elite of the elite little shows in this whole big crazy thing of footwear and fashion. We're here with PS Kaufman. Paul is the founder and guru designer and everything for these amazing shoes. Paul, tell me a history about the shoe thing. You know, we've both done this forever.
Paul: Sure. We've actually probably known one another three decades. It's crazy. I originally was a designer, creative director I guess, of Nanna, which is the brand from the eighties and nineties. They're very successful. They brought Doc Martins to the U.S.
SS: Small company. You may have heard of them.
Paul: Maybe so. I spent many years designing Docs. We created our own collection as well. That also result in Chloe Sevigny, the actress, buying a vintage pair of mine in Texas. I read a story about that. She mentioned that it was one of her favorite brands, so I eventually hooked up with Opening Ceremony.
SS: More small brands that you may have heard of also.
Paul: We did a collaboration with them, which took me back to the original factory that was making the shoes. I talked into this factory. Literally, I got goosebumps. The sound, the smell, everything was really different about the way the shoes we used to make.
SS: So the inspiration for your new line is your history in this.
Paul: And also in the way the shoes are made because the process was invented in the eighteen hundreds so it's a really unique way, a dying way, unfortunately, of making shoes. And so, that inspires a lot of the references that I have: the eighteen hundreds, early nineteen hundreds
SS: Romantic. The romanticism.
Paul: At the same time as that kind of crazy, just, how messed it would have been to live then, and how hard it would have been to live then. My first collection I wanted to cover in mud because it would have been like walking in mud.
SS: Yeah, the streets of mud.
Paul: The streets of Leadville, Colorado. Mining town, miners, dance hall girls, that's what inspired me to get this thing off the ground.
SS: These are all handmade in Mexico, right?
Paul: Yes, yes.
SS: In an area we both know, Leon.
SS: And you do some amazing finishes and burnishes. Like you were telling me about this guy. This was an orange leather.
SS: Then you washed it.
SS: Then you dyed it again and washed it again.
SS: And THEN came up with this amazing finish.
Paul: Yes, and what's great about it is that it just gives it so much extra life. Leather's already like an amazing, beautiful quality and character. It gives it so much personality. So when you add the washing, it gives it the flexibility and character.
SS: And you wash the as a whole not just as a hide.
Paul: Yeah, the shoe as a whole. Once the shoe is made, we're painting it, washing it, in this case two times.
SS: So it has an amazing patina to it, and you guys are hand painting these, the metallics. So we have stuff for fall and winter 2014 and there's spring and summer 2015 after that.
Paul: This particular paint job is three steps to give it that feel.
SS: Yeah, You were showing me. We walked in, and you were like "there's still stuff under my nails from doing this."
Paul: Exactly. Well I have to say that one of the great things about what we do is that we're really, really involved in the process of getting the shoes made.
SS: It's a passion. I mean you have a passion about it. Like you said it's a dying breed of passion and artisan quality footwear. It's sad. It destroys me as well as you that everything went out to China, and there's very few craftsmen left in the industry. You know?
Paul: Well what's great and what keeps me really motivated and passionate about it is because of the way they're made, these things will last forever. And people will realize that, hey it's a little more expensive, but in the end you'll feel better. They last longer. These are comfortable. There's cork under the foot bed.
SS: Strangers will stop you on the street and say "Where the hell did you get those things? They're amazing." So I want to come to the factory. I want to bring him and film in the factory. It'd be cool to see some of the process and stuff.
Paul: Yeah, yeah, yeah. It's amazing.
SS: Paul, you're awesome. And the line's super cool. They're available this fall at citysoles.com and of course at our store in Chicago. We're psyched about them for spring and summer 2015.
Paul: And for those of you men who have maybe been looking at my website, There'll be men's styles available as well as through City Soles. We're super excited to finally be in Chicago.
SS: I'm excited to have you. And he put on his Playboy shirt today. He had that in the interview. Paul, you're amazing. Thanks, man. Thanks for watching.