It’s 1:44am and Matthew Chevellard is texting me. He is out at a Miami club with his fellow boarding school classmate Joakim Noah, presumably celebrating in velvet Prince Albert slippers. We are resuming an interview cut short earlier that day when duty called. A groom had ordered 20 pairs of lobster embroidered slippers as gifts for his groomsmen. At the news they might not make it to Maine in time for the wedding, Chevellard contemplates intercepting them in Ohio so he can hand deliver them himself. It is now 2:27am and I am waiting on a response. Perhaps his phone is dead...or in a Miami cab.
The year is 2005. Matthew Chevellard is graduating from boarding school. While most kids are slipping class rings on their fingers, Chevellard wants to slip Prince Alberts onto his feet. Unfortunately, the school-crest embroidered pair are upwards of $900. With a couple of childhood friends, he does what any teenager would do—sets out to get what he wants his own way. And so Del Toro is born.
Navy Classic Velvet Slipper
Traditionally included in black tie, Prince Albert slippers were originally considered acceptable only for wear at home, hence their quilted lining. Del Toro approaches the Prince Albert as an everyday shoe in lieu of a black tie slipper. Chevellard brings the vamp up higher like a loafer, and employs a leather lining more capable of accommodating longer periods of wear. As much as he found himself in slippers running around south Florida, he burned through (sans socks) the quilted linings once a month. Although quilted linings appear more luxurious, they do not hold up. He immediately switched to leather.
Del Toro’s shoes are made just outside of Madrid, Spain. Custom embroidered orders run about 45 days and are stitched in south Florida after crossing the pond. At $165-$185 a pair, they are almost five times less expensive than other brands' bespoke Spanish offerings. Not only does Del Toro offer an array of designs and monogram configurations, they have a complete line for women. Order a half size up and you too can start pairing yours with black tie, jeans and everything in between.
My iPhone dings at 2:46am. It is a text from Chevellard.