Bespoke shoes and acoustic guitars – evening with Saint Vacant

In the early spring Foundry had a club event hosted by Saint Vacant. The raising Finnish shoe and accessories brand is a child of designer Janne Lax who hails from the background of bespoke shoemaking.


With Saint Vacant Janne’s vision has been to combine some of the best features of bespoke shoes into his factory produced designs. To demonstrate this he gave us a step-by-step walkthrough of the process of making bespoke shoes.


When you see all the stages of the work you start to understand what sets the bespoke shoe apart for the factory made – and why two grand is after all not that much for all that precious and time consuming work that makes the shoe pretty much eternal, since it’s always repairable. Actually if you are interested in getting a pair for yourself, visit the workshop and Rauhankatu because Janne still makes a few pairs a year to his clients.


Janne also gave us a sneak preview to Saint Vacant’s new collection, which is now available in their online store, as well as from selected local dealers. One of the interesting additions is their collaboration summer shoe made from 100% recycled denim with Pure Waste & Costo.

Read more about Saint Vacant and check out Janne’s interview from Creating Helsinki blog.


Janne shares a design studio and workshop with architect Jarno Vesa – how also happens to be enthusiastic builder of acoustic guitars. We got a nice deep dive into the process of building guitar and fine-tuning the sound of the instrument with different choices the craftsman has to make during the stages building. As usually, if you start to cut corners and costs, these compromises affect the outcome. And one of our missions with Foundry is share the knowledge of this process, so our club members and friends would know what to look for when they are in the search of good stuff.


It’s truly fascinating to see the attention to detail that builders like Jarno are putting in their work. We also got some very handy tips for those who dream to build their own guitar one day. And apparently the woods you use for building are pretty good investment nowadays – so start stocking.


That Thursday were smiling all the evening since along the stories from Janne and Jarno we got to sip Balvenie single malt whiskeys – ranking from your “regular Thursday malt” to some rare finds aged for 30 years. Jyrki Tarvonen from Balvenie was also nice enough to gave us probably the funniest – and most truthful – introduction to how to taste and enjoy your whiskey.

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Posted in Featured, Foundry Curator's Club.