Luxury & Fashion
Sep 1, 2015
The Shoe Must Go On
Tradition at Ludwig Reiter is by no means an end in itself, but it seeks to transform and develop. The Viennese shoemaking tradition combines an uncompromising preservation towards high quality standards, finishing techniques and progressive development. New interpretations of the traditional shape and style provide an insight into the contemporary and modern requirements of the clients. All these requests merge into the vision statement of Ludwig Reiter: "The Future of Tradition".
It was in 1885 that Ludwig Reiter I, together with his wife Anna established their first Ludwig Reiter Shoemakers workshop in Vienna. By 1887 they were already supplying the K.u.K. security guards with custom-made boots and welted shoes for the Officers. This resulted in Ludwig Reiter receiving high recognition for their exceptional quality of workmanship
Ludwig Reiter II, son of the founder, initially learned the shoe-making craftsmanship by his father. He chose to travel, and between 1902 and 1908 he worked for various shoe factories in the USA, one of them being in Boston. Here he learned the method of the then new Goodyear technique for welted shoes, and was instantly impressed. Returning to Vienna in 1909, Ludwig Reiter II used the knowledge he accumulated overseas to gradually transform his father's workshop into a small shoe manufacturing plant, implementing the mechanized Goodyear-method. In the same year the company relocated to Kolschitzkygasse.
The art of GOODYEAR-WELTING
A typical Ludwig Reiter shoe is welted: a traditional technique that is now seldom used by shoe manufacturers around the world, due to faster and cheaper methods which have been implemented without enhancing the quality of the shoe. The advantage of welting: The whole shoe is constructed around a flexible centre, which enables foot movement and flexibility, which at the same time results in high comfort for the owner.
The 'Royal Design' of a welted shoe is produced throughout 200 – 300 individual steps. The shoe is created out of first grade leather which is very durable and elegant, with comfortable wearing features, becoming even more attractive with time, when treated appropriately.
Today Ludwig Reiter is known locally as well as internationally for its welted shoes, as well as high quality sports and casual shoes, a selection of ladies handbags, hand-finished cases, sport bags and leather accessories.
The brand has become an international fashion-pioneer with styles like the Trainer, the Bowling and the Maronibrater. Collaborations with designers such as Helmut Lang and Werner Baldessarini, as well as the Viennese Burgtheater, Theater an der Wien and other renowned stages were established, whose theatre and opera productions are often fitted with Ludwig Reiter shoes.