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Shopping: Best Men's Custom Shoes

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Having difficulty finding those alligator wing tips in lavender? Or a pair of elegant Nappa-leather loafers -- with, uh, fur lining and in two different shoe sizes? Whether your taste is basic or bizarre, Warren Edwards (475 Park Avenue, near 57th Street; 752-4883) can design made-to-order footwear in hundreds of styles and colors using various traditional and exotic skins. "Mostly, people are looking for exceptional quality or unusual exceptions," says Edwards. "This is a candy store for shoe fanatics." When we visited the storefront showroom, regular customer Luther Vandross was ordering two pairs of pricey custom lace-up satin shoes -- in navy blue and dark brown -- with patent-leather accents. "My voice, Warren's shoes, what could be better?" volunteered the soul singer. Edwards's clients -- who also include Martin Scorsese, Paul Simon, and Gregory Hines -- gladly pay thousands of dollars for a particular look or fit. Although Edwards e-mails specs to his cobblers in Italy, orders can take up to three months to complete. If you can't wait that long, the store also keeps several dozen handmade ready-to-wear models in stock, starting at around $400.


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