Plundering loot from wealthy merchants’ brigs can scuff a buccaneer’s boots — not to mention the wear and tear of salt water, sea air and stains of spilled blood. But before committing your trustiest leather pair to Davy Jones’ locker, pull into port at the Farmers Market Shoe Repair/Shine. It’s been in existence since 1934, when the Farmers Market originally opened; the shop’s newest owner is Ohannes Makhdomian (since 1980), a salty cobbler who would never trade a pirate for bounty. In fact, Makhdomian himself has traversed the seas en route to strange lands, having learned leatherwork technique at the age of 13 in Lebanon, after which he became a shoe designer, then fled civil war and became a leather-repair expert in the U.S.
Members of the Los Angeles County Museum’s conservation department have relied on his expertise, perhaps because he’s so committed to his craft that he’s more likely to turn down business than do injustice to fine leather. He’ll resuscitate, retouch or redye goods to like-new condition. Makhdomian’s specialty is complete reconstruction — making tall boots short or adding elements like zippers or folds. He’ll also give invaluable advice on how to fix an imperfect pair.
Farmers Market Shoe Repair/Shine 6333 W. Third St., Ste. 712, L.A., ?(323) 939-5622