Professional shoe and handbag atelier, specializing in all kind of leather works. Rafael's collection of handmade men's and women's shoes, belts and handbags are a well kept secret in NJ and NY. As the house atelier of the Metropolitan Opera, we also offer professional sampling and theatrical footwear services. 



Rafael comes from a family of artisan cobblers and shoemakers, in fact, he learned the trade by observing his grandfather as a young boy in Russia. With his dedicated team of artisans, he takes pride in his repair work and  in creating a custom product based on the European shoemaking traditions. Always up-to-date on new techniques and materials, he never loses sight of his client's wishes and comfort. He  is passionate about  working with exotic leathers and has an extensive library of hides and shoe lasts for the clients to pick and choose from. His curiosity and extensive knowledge about leather, exotic skins and hides are well known among his peers. He frequently pick up a new skin just to see how a product will come out. 
He aims to bring the highest standard to all the products which come out of his shop, be it repairs or a brand new pair. 


With the help of talented people, Rafael Handmade have been expanding their horizons and have started to expand their current offerings. This includes sneakers and Birkenstocks which will be customizable. Unisex sneakers which will be available in a host of different materials are meant to provide options to men and women. 

Photographs by Eva Woolridge