The rake

The modern voice of classic elegance

CraftNovember 2018

The Rake x Shoeshine UK

Steven Skippen of Shoeshine UK demonstrates that shoe-shining is, without doubt, an art form. Based in the London Hilton Hotel for 19 years, he uses his fingers to turn your feet into mirrors.

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My first memory of shoe-shining was many years ago as a young schoolboy. It was a chore, a compulsory Wednesday night activity that we had to partake in every week and nothing more, for our shoes were only to be truly scuffed by the gravel-lined playground the following morning. Those were the days, and fast forward 20 years or so life is now serious. Coinciding with my maturation, my perspective on shoe-shining changed significantly. Now, it’s anything but a chore. If you’re doing it yourself, the hands-on experience presents a few moments of respite, reflection, and appreciation of your finely-made shoes. If you’re not doing it yourself, and prefer the experience to be done by other hands, it’s unequivocally a form of artistry, particularly if Steven Skippen is waving his magic fingers around your Oxfords.

Based in the London Hilton Hotel, Skippen, founder of Shoeshine UK, has been shining shoes since 2001. He’s a household name in London, and one of the foremost shoeshiners in this great city of sartorial splendour. He can, quite literally, do anything – from bringing back to life a pair of dusty, old shoes that were on the brink of extinction to some incredible recolouring – which is why we’ve partnered with him on a very special promotion using Saphir Médaille D’Or products. 

For a limited time only, if you are to purchase a pair of shoes from TheRake.com, from Edward Green’s Piccadilly loafer, to Belsire’s Ginetto Oxford, regardless of the price, the service applies. There are two offers here, a  ‘Cap and Heel Shine’ to a military standard. Then there’s an ‘All-over Military Shine’, which will have your feet glistening. 

If you’re in the area, pop in to see Steven, your shoes won’t regret it. If you need further convincing, check out his Instagram account where he posts some incredible before and after shots.

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5 Tips Using Saphir Médaille d’Or Pate Products 

1) Nourish your leather.

2) Take your laces out.

3) Rotate your shoes.

4) Less is more, so aim to build up small layers of polish.

5) Don’t use brushes. Use your hand and get in there.

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Contributor

Benedict Browne

Benedict is The Rake's Associate Style Editor.

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