Ever since Chasse Gardée shuttered its doors, West Queen West has been a bit lacking in the shoe department. Jeff Brodawka is here to change that with his brand new shop, Brodawka & Friends. Opened in May, the shop offers hungered shoe aficionados a selection of goods in the former Champagne and Cupcakes space (which just moved further east).
After working for famed shoe designer John Fluevog for years — both here and in Van City — it was time for Brodawka to branch out on his own. Each shoe is crafted in Léon, Mexico, and Brodawka notes that the goods are all cut and lasted by hand, with around four or five people tending to each one (usually, a factory-made shoe is the responsibility of over 30 people). Although he doesn’t design the patterns themselves, Brodawka does have full reign over the colour combinations and the leathers used.
The selection is concise, and shoes are displayed on pedestals visible from the street. For the ladies, there are six designs on offer; gents can pick from three styles — each pair is available in two different colour combos. Overall, the designs have a Fluevog-meets-Camper feel to them thanks to the vivid colours and whimsical approach.
One style ($275) contrasts black and grey leather with a licorice red heel and laces — ideal for running around town, thanks to a sensible heel. Meanwhile, the Milan ankle boot ($300) stars a trio of leathers — grey, hot pink and mauve — and will instantly make everyone else’s shoes look ho-hum in comparison. For men, the caramel-coloured brogues ($225) are a standout.
In addition to the shoes, there is also a selection of women’s bags available (we liked a black-on-black number with exposed zippers, $300) as well as linen socks from Japanese line Fog Linen Work, ideal for summer due to their breathability.
Brodawka & Friends, 1114 Queen St. W., 416-893-0173