Sunday, November 26, 2006

The Devil Wears Joseph Debach

In looking over my new categories, and going through my posts to label them, I realized that there was a glaring void. Shopping. In my nearly 3 months of blogging, I haven't written one post about anything having to do with shopping here in the capital. I guess that's kind of shameful, but here's the thing: I don't like shopping. Now, don't get me wrong--it's not that I don't like buying things. In fact, I was definitely one of the early adopters of shopping online. I just have never particularly enjoyed that ritual of going into stores, trying stuff on. I have flashbacks of me as a kid during the yearly back to school blitz, hiding in the racks of Sears trying to avoid corduroy pants, velour shirts, and velcro shoes. But, I digress. The point is, I'm going to make more of an effort for voi. But in order for it to end up here, it's really gotta catch my eye.

That's why, to inaugurate my new category, I would like to introduce you to Joseph Debach. Unfortunately I don't have a photo of him, because I found his store in the evening after it was closed, and chances are he doesn't even work there but has his own secret workshop somewhere else, but you can see him on his website. Which, incidentally, has a little wooden puppet and sound effects that made me realize just how easily I am amused.

So, that shoe photo up there? It was in his window and stopped me dead in my tracks. Now, I took my photo in the name of blogging, but let me tell you people that his window had no fewer than six women gaping at it, one of whom was also taking photos. I had to kind of elbow my way up to get the shots. This guy's stuff is really something.

Just one question, however: who wears these? Wait, don't answer that. Maybe the better question to ask is: where do you buy the shoelaces?

Well, what can I say--this tiny shop is definitely worth its weight in pitchforks. Whatever that means. And just in case you have no idea where Mr. Debach got his inspiration for that shoe, in case perhaps you've been spending some extra time under a rock lately, or you just aren't as much of a victim of advertising as I am, click here.

Joseph Debach
Vicolo del Cinque 19 (Trastevere)
Tel./Fax: +39 06 5562756


Shirley said...

Ah ha, I walked passed this store yesterday along Via Corso and saw a few people taking photos, must have been you Shelley.

Shelley - At Home in Rome said...

Ciao Shirley! Must have been a different shop...this one, as far as I know, is only on Vicolo del Cinque in Trastevere... have you discovered another one? Do tell!

J.Doe said...

I'm also curious. How do you walk in those?

Darbs said...

Hey Shelley!!! I don't like to shop either. I mean, I love, love, love to buy things - but I just don't like to have to "shop around" for them!

Anywho...these shoes/boots are a RIOT...I'm with you - do people REALLY buy and wear these??? God Bless 'Em!

I'm excited about your new "Shopping" category...I'm always curious about what is available for "your shopping pleasure" in other countries!

Thank you for all of your kind comments...wish me luck...tomorrow's the first day!

Julie said...

I can't believe those shoes. Even more than that, I can't believe I kind of like those tan boots.

Amanda said...

I can't decide if those boots are ass-kicking boots or screw me boots. Damn. I like them, actually.

Shirley said...

Im really confused now! Perhaps it was in Trastevere that I saw the shop, I was all over the place yesterday and did walk through Trastevere. I can just recall thinking what cool boots when I came across the window.My head must have been in the clouds!

Sara said...

I went into a shop called Stefanel that I really liked... and my wedding heels were from Rome as well. I left a comment in your blogbit about 'As the Romans Do'. Am loving your blog - thanks for little bits of knowledge into my Roman husband's life!

Ciao ciao!

Anonymous said...

Hi Shirley,
This past summer I was in Rome and made my way through Trasteverde several times. I did run into the shoe store. I could not believe the shoes when I saw them. I could not imagine anyone wearing them. Once we sat across from the store at a wine/bar place and witnessed may people going in and out of the store taking pictures but not one person bought anything.

melusina said...

Ah, another woman who doesn't like shopping - or rather, understands the perils of shopping. I, too, love spending money - online, and hate the in and out and trying on and nothing fits right or it looks great in the store and then you get home and blech. That was one long sentence.

I guess he is cashing in on the prada devil train, or something. Unless he is the one who designed the logo. Hmm, I wonder if that would be copyright infringement if he didn't?

Anonymous said...

mmmmmmm shoes! I don't care for shopping either but I do suffer from shoe lust.
Nice store!

Shelley - At Home in Rome said...

Wow! I seem to have hit a chord with this one. Fun!

J.: Don't ask me--I certainly don't plan to find out! I am super clumsy so these shoes are way off-limits for me.

Darbs: God Bless 'em is right! Good luck tomorrow, or, as they say over here, in bocca al lupo!

Julie: Great to see you! Hey, if you want, I'll stop by and ask him how much the tan boots go for. ;-)

Amanda: Ciao!! Great to see you too. I like your analysis. I think the jury is still out.

Shirley: Walks with head in the clouds through Rome=the best way to spend a sunny Saturday. Next time you're in the neighborhood we'll have to grab a coffee.

Sara: Thanks for the other comment on the book review. And, I am soon going to be in the Roman husband club as well, you know!

Maryann: I really wonder how many people actually know the website says that the designer intends his shoes to either "be worn, or, be displayed on a precious piece of furniture." Ha!

Melusina: Online shoppers, unite! I was kinda wondering about the whole copyright infringement thing too. I'll have to ask my resident lawyer Ale. ;-)

Moon: Shoe lust--love it!

gracie said...

Those shoes are.......aarghhhhh!!!

triplecreme said...

He makes the craziest (and very expensive) shoes. I remember going in there on my last trip.

jonathon&lily said...

"do people REALLY buy and wear these???"

Hi folks from Jonathon and Lily here in Roma..
we're here to inform you that indeed some irrational people DO buy and wear Joseph Debach's creations :)

We just polished off a considerable amount of vino rosso the other night and stumbled across said shoe store. So intrigued were we that we googled the name back at the hotel room (Tamara Suites) that very night and found this blog.

Anywayzz .... another considerable amount of vino rosso tonight and we dropped by the store again, voila!! This time the store was open!!
Soooooooo..... we've bought a pair of boots for Jonathon and shoes for Lily.
Believe us, when you try these shoes/boots on you will buy! They slide on like a glove, the perfect fit!

The price? hmmm.. ok, 800 euro for boots and 600 euro for the shoes, although we got a "discount" since we were buying both.

We've uploaded photos of both boots and shoes at -

We know.. crazy..