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Check out the newest addition to the BLISKAVKA family, Loden suede!

Mikhail Bliskavka

Mikhail Bliskavka

About Mikhail

My name is Mikhail Bliskavka. As cliché as it sounds, I recently found myself turning into a bit of a Renaissance man. After serving in the U.S. Coast Guard and then the Air Force as a reservist, I went to school for electrical engineering. Having worn a uniform daily for the previous five years, I thought it would be prudent to look into putting together a grown-up civilian wardrobe. So on a late night studying detour, one thing led to another and I was stumbled into the rabbit hole of crafted, handmade shoes through the Goodyearwelt subreddit. What drew me in was the look, what kept me interested — and still does — is the craftsmanship, the timeless style and that built-to-last standard. In our disposable world, here is something that’s made to last, gets better with age, and shows your story with every scuff and patina. And once it wears out? Take it to a cobbler and get it refurbished or re-soled, just like in the old days!

After being a collector for a while, I introduced myself to Chuck, the owner of Tulsa Shoe Rebuilders. School was winding down and I started hanging out at his shop (a lot) in my downtime. Eventually, and with Chuck’s coaching, I ended up making my very first pair of shoes – chukka boots. There’s just something about making something beautiful and functional with your hands! I was hooked. That’s when I learned about the shoemaking school at Stefano Bemer in Florence, Italy, and got the opportunity to study there in early 2019. In hindsight, the timing was perfect.

The shoemaking school was probably the best time of my life thus far. I was in the beautiful Renaissance city of Florence, right in the heart of the old town. Going to classes every morning to learn more about my passion from master shoemakers, and doing it with the best group of people I could have ever hoped for. I learned techniques that have been in use for hundreds of years, making shoes entirely by hand using natural materials. It’s humbling to carry on that legacy, and to pass some of it on to others. This website is mostly to document my shoemaking story, I hope you find something useful here, or just enjoy looking at some cool shoe photos.

– Mikhail

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