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In the beginning

A talented shoe designer with a passion for crafting unique and distinctive men's shoes

A talented shoe designer, had a passion for crafting unique and distinctive men's shoes from a young age. In the early 1980s, while living in London, he would sketch designs of shoes that he envisioned making. In 1984, he took his sketchbook to the London Olympia shoe fair and approached a company called Avalon with his designs. To his delight, Avalon agreed to sell his shoes.

Excited by the opportunity, Dominique approached the well-known brand Trickers and showed them three designs. The first was a tassel loafer with a lantern-style tassel that was closed at the end and featured a brass piece to provide "light". The second was a simple loafer called The Boxer, which had a box stitch on either side of the vamp. The third was a single buckle monk shoe that came with or without brogue detailing. Impressed by his designs, Trickers invited Dominique to their factory in Northampton to work on perfecting his designs.

Unfortunately, Dominique's first production order of 48 pairs was delayed until the following year, causing disappointment among his pre-sale customers. Despite this setback, Dominique never lost his passion for shoe-making and eventually pursued a career in banking. It wasn't until over twenty years later, when he returned to Vietnam, that his shoe-making career picked up again. He met an elderly Vietnamese shoe maker named Mr. Ngoc who had once made shoes for kings and invalids. Dominique was inspired by Mr. Ngoc's craftsmanship and asked him to make some of his old designs, including the iconic lantern tassel loafer with a real pearl in place of the brass piece.

Throughout his life, Dominique had been a keen observer of the best men's shoes, buying and researching extensively in England, France, and Italy. His early inspiration came from classic European shoe styles, but he always believed that there was room for unique tweaks within the conservatism of classic menswear. He went on to design a number of Vietnam-inspired styles, incorporating elements such as the Vietnam star made from mother of pearl.

In conclusion, Dominique Saint Paul's passion for crafting unique men's shoes and his extensive research and observation of classic European shoe styles, combined with his connection to Vietnam, have been major sources of inspiration for his shoe designs.