When it comes to making handcrafted shoes, Louis Vuitton goes to extraordinary lengths in the pursuit of perfection. The French fashion stalwart just spent four years expanding (and greening) its footwear workshop in Fiesso d'Artico, Italy, a small town north of Venice with a cobbling tradition that dates to the 13th century. The leather used for these handsome derbies is tanned for six weeks, then waxed to get the color just right. That's followed by eight days of production to hone the shape. All that toil has just one purpose: to elevate your style in a single step. Louis Vuitton ($1,090).

In honor of the revamped workshop, we asked Louis Vuitton footwear designer Fabrizio Viti how to be a well-heeled rebel this fall.

The Essentials
"Every man should own a pair of dark-blue lace-ups and a pair of burgundy loafers. I think these two colors can be used as if they were black because they look great with every shade you'd find in a man's wardrobe. A dark-blue lace-up, for example, adds a discreet twist to a suit."

The Mark of Quality
"One can tell if a shoe is well-made from the quality of the leather, the weight of the sole, and the uniformity of the stitching, which can also be handmade. We pay a lot of attention to the waxing of the shoe leather, which gives depth and life to the colors and to the leather itself."

The Best Skins
"I like to use high-quality calf leather from French or Italian tanneries. They can either be a bit shiny or they can be matte, and are ready to be hand-finished with wax. I also have a personal weakness for crocodile skins."

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