“ I’m a great romantic. I used to read Balzac when I was young and I loved human comedy. I loved those feelings. Then as a psychoanalyst, I saw people get transformed into therapy. What a joy when they rise again and find the way to love ! That is what gives sense to life. I find this ingredient everywhere in my job as a shoemaker. I love to work with my parents who kept the soul of the house, with the same humility as my grandfather, putting themselves at the service of the shoe and the others. I enjoy also working with the house’s employees and craftsmen who are our wealth and pride. They have an incredible dexterity and perpetuate the gestures of the trade by bringing each of them, their personal touch related to their history, their passion and their culture. They are real professionals and authentic people. François, for example, our shoemaker, cuts by hand the fitted irons. And to please the customers, he shapes them like in a special way : a wave or a symbol, according to their desires. It is unique to take the time today to do this and it is all the spirit of our house: to make pleasure whatever it takes. Finally it was for the customers that I took over the family business. I have watched them from my earliest childhood and loved their simplicity. Whatever their social position or their reputation, they come to the store to tell us their dreams, to tell their joys or their sorrows, and this special relationship moves me so much ! They are such beautiful people with noble heart, acting without appearances and without making differences between people. It is this sincerity that makes authenticity.
There is a certain form of duty when one is the heir of a house of tradition. And I pledge to give the best of myself in each of my creations; I do that out of respect for the business of my grandfather, for those who work there, and for the client, who sometimes travels around the world to come and see us. This taste for good quality work, done in full consciousness, requires time directing all our intentions towards joy and pleasure. I like this philosophy that says do to others as you would have them do to you. Taking care, choosing the best and loving. Human richness becomes the foundation of each of our actions, because the ultimate goal is to allow happy encounters, memorable experiences and unforgettable moments. And we contribute in our way by creating elegant shoes.
Then I like to respectfully recognize men and moments that are behind each shoe. Because for me, luxury is above all what is not seen, and in everything that touches you. This can be contemplating a sunrise in the morning because you are with the right person, or to be in a very simple place with hosts who go out of their way to please you. I recently discovered with my wife an incredible restaurant in Venice, which I keep as a treasure. A tiny trattoria with a mamma cooking traditional dishes and spending her whole day in the kitchen. You have to see her recognition when you tell her how much you appreciate her eager to please, really falling over herself to help and serve. I have not lived a moment like this for years! Luxury is therefore authentic. That’s what makes us spend a real moment. It is not inlaid, it is not worked, it is the envy of a person who meets that of another, in the present time. There is also a rare aspect in luxury, unlike abundance as we would have us believe. Finally, there is a commitment to luxury; a total commitment that meets an absolute desire.
It was my grandfather who breathed the human side into the house that I run today. Isn’t it originally a love story? That for my grandmother; that of his trade; that of the men he met. And all his life, he wanted to learn and try to progress to behave in a certain way, and become respectable by his actions and not by his appearance. I admired him for that and he brought this requirement. That’s why I want to keep this same humility today. If there is a star here, it is certainly the shoe, the leather, the history of a shoe model, the one that made it behind, or even a desire of a customer and what beautiful experience it produced in its existence. That’s the greatest part!”
Interview held by Carine Mouradian on September 29, 2017, in Paris
Link to the Maison Aubercy website
Read also the Portrait of Xavier Aubercy