Victor Wembanyama, the star of French basketball, shines in luxury Weston shoes made in Limoges
Paris, 26 June 2023
At last Thursday’s NBA Draft at the Barclays’ Center in New York, Victor Wembanyama made French basketball history by becoming the first player from France to be selected in the first round.
But it wasn’t just his talent and potential that caught the public’s attention. Victor also caused a stir with his luxury footwear, a pair of calfskin Richelieu shoes created especially for him by the French fashion house J.M Weston, based in Limoges, Haute-Vienne.
The collaboration between Weston and the world of basketball goes back several years.
With previous partnerships with players such as Rudy Gobert and Bilal Coulibaly, Weston quickly established itself as the shoe manufacturer of choice for high-profile basketball players.
However, the collaboration with Victor Wembanyama is a watershed moment for the brand, as it has never before created a pair of shoes in such an exceptional size.
Victor, who has roots in Haute-Vienne, found a natural connection with Weston.
Gilles Aulibe, head of partnerships at Weston, explains: “The Bastin tannery, where we produce our leather, is located in Saint-Léonard-de-Noblat, the same region of origin as Victor. What’s more, thanks to our expertise and our ability to work quickly, we were able to create a pair of shoes tailored to his size.
The creation of this unique pair of shoes required an exceptional collaboration between Weston’s craftsmen and the various French tanneries.
The process began with precise measurements being taken in the brand’s boutique on the Champs-Élysées in Paris.
Victor could choose from a selection of thirty models, and after careful consideration, he opted for a straight-toe Richelieu in box calfskin.
The measurements were then sent to the Limoges factory, where around twenty highly skilled craftsmen worked on every detail of the pair of shoes.
The sole comes from the Bastin tannery, the lining from the Alerand tannery in Mazamet, and the uppers from the tanneries in Le Puy-en-Velay.
Each component has been carefully selected to offer optimum comfort and superior quality.
The main challenge lay in the exceptional size of Victor’s shoes, which were between 56 and 57.
Yann Tena, head of Weston’s design department, said: “We didn’t have a last of this size in our factory, which made the task tricky. But thanks to our experience and know-how, we rose to the challenge.
Photography Credits: J.M Weston and France Bleu
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