Hungarian shoemaker Attila Kovács has won four gold medals and the grand prize in the men’s shoe category at the Inter-Schuh-Service international trade exhibition and competition in Wiesbaden, Germany. The master shoemaker from Miskolc crafted each of the award-winning shoes himself, from design to tailoring to polishing.
Kovács entered the competition with four shoes, including two male and two female designs. One of the men's shoes was made of alligator leather with a layered, hand-stitched sole and a horseshoe-shaped heel. The grand prize-winning piece was a brown leather shoe with a bark-like surface. The shoe featured a full-length tree carved on the leather sole and a tree branch on the other to highlight the theme. The heel's leather layers were arranged in the same direction as the grain of the wood, with a knot-like appearance from the side and a wooden leg-like appearance from below. He also crafted a blue women’s shoe with silver trimmings and one made of iridescent golden snakeskin.
Forty-six master cobblers from sixteen countries participated in the competition with handmade footwear. A professional jury evaluated the basic idea of the shoes and their realisation, how well their message comes across, how coherent the harmony is, and the techniques, professionalism, materials used and novelty.
The Art of Shoemaking
According to Kovács, wearing handmade shoes is different from wearing normal manufactured shoes because they have "souls." Master cobblers like Kovács demonstrate that shoemaking is an art that requires skill, talent, patience, and passion.
Attila Kovács' success at the ISS international trade exhibition and competition showcases the talent of Hungarian shoemakers and highlights the importance of preserving handmade craftsmanship in an increasingly industrialized world.
Questions & Answers
Who won the Inter-Schuh-Service international trade exhibition and competition in Wiesbaden, Germany? Attila Kovács, a master shoemaker from Miskolc, Hungary, won four gold medals and the grand prize in the men's shoe category.
How many countries were represented in the Inter-Schuh-Service international trade exhibition and competition in Wiesbaden, Germany? Forty-six master cobblers from sixteen countries competed in the competition with handmade footwear.
How many shoes did Attila Kovács enter in the competition? Attila Kovács entered the competition with four shoes, two male and two female designs.
What is unique about Attila Kovács' shoes? Attila Kovács makes every shoe, from the first designs, through the tailoring and sewing, to the final polishing. Each pair of shoes is designed and crafted individually from every aspect. For his winning piece, he made a brown leather shoe with a bark-like surface, on which he carved a full-length tree on the leather sole and a tree branch on the other to further accentuate the theme. The heel’s leather layers were arranged in the same way as the grain of the wood, making it look like it has a knot in it. From the bottom, it looks like a wooden leg.
What are some of the criteria that the professional jury looks at during the Inter-Schuh-Service international trade exhibition and competition? The professional jury looks at the basic idea and its realization, how well the message of the shoe comes across, how coherent the harmony is. They look at the techniques, the professionalism of the craftsmanship, the materials used and their novelty. They also look at how well the materials meet the challenges of the times, and what technical innovation the creation brings.
What does Attila Kovács believe is different about wearing handmade shoes? Attila Kovács believes that wearing handmade shoes is different from normal ones because they have “souls”.
What are some other "Hungarikum" products? According to the source article, even the "Orbán inflation" could be recognized as a "Hungarikum", but no further information is given.