December 27, 2016 by Ville Raivio
VR: Your age and occupation?
GG: 66, founder/owner of Buday.
VR: Your educational background?
GG: Mechanical engineer.
VR: Have you any children or spouse (and how do they relate to your shoe enthusiasm)?
GG: I have two children, a son and a daughter, they are also infected with the „shoe virus”.
VR: …and your parent’s and siblings’ reactions back when you decided to become a shoemaker?
GG: I have been working with shoes for 32 years, so my family wasn’t surprised when I told them I wanted to deal with handmade shoes.
VR: What other hobbies or passions do you have besides footwear?
GG: I love sports, sailing, and tasting good wines.
VR: How did you first become interested in shoes, and when did you turn your eyes towards artisanal shoemaking? Why classic models instead of fashion?
GG: I was about 18 years old and a young sport shooter. We often travelled to „western” countries with the national team. That is where I saw fantastic shoes, and bought myself one or two pairs on every trip. The other athletes gave me the nickname „little shoemaker”. I never thought back then that the joke would become reality one day.
VR: How have you gathered your knowledge of the crafts — from books, in-house training, workshops or somewhere else?
GG: I learned my professional knowledge from books, I have read nearly everything with the word „shoe” in it. I was taught shoemaking itself by old Hungarian masters, and, of course, I am still learning, I think it lasts a lifetime.
VR: How would you describe the House Style of Buday shoes?
GG: Our company is a family-run business. We can be characterized by a pursuit of perfection. In the early days I liked cool and trendy models. As time went by, I became more and more interested in excellent quality. I think the most outstanding shoes are classical Budapesters.
VR: Do you have a favourite shoe model (eg. monk, derby, oxford, balmoral boot) and leather type?
GG: I tend to love all models equally if we manage to make them perfectly. Then I can adore them for weeks.
VR: There are several quality shoe companies in Hungary — why should my readers choose yours?
GG: I find the fact that we have several excellent shoe manufacturers in Hungary a good thing, as a healthy competition leads to good results. Naturally customers should choose us because we are unique in Hungary (and not only here) in using 6 different welt sewing techniques. We are also unique in offering practically any colour choice, we finish dying the leathers outselves, sometimes we make as many as 3-4 different colour effects on one shoe. Finally, the perfect fit for our customers.
VR: What is your definition of a well-made shoe?
GG: Well-made shoes are created from outstanding materials, they conform on the last perfectly. They attract attention by their comfortably perfect fit, and noble simplicity.
VR: Who or what inspires you?
GG: Drive: we would like to manufacture the best, most beautiful, the most expensive instead of the worst, the ugliest or the cheapest Budapesters in the world.
VR: Finally, how can my readers find out if a shoe has a good fit?
GG: I would like to highlight a few criteria out of many. Firstly, the shoes must have the right length; second, they should fit around the bunions (it is not a problem if they are a bit tight first); third, the instep height has to be right with derby and oxford models. If these three things fit, and your heel is not loose, then we can say that the last and the model are both right.