Craft & Design
Frank Catalfumo: Making Shoes for Nearly 70 Years

dustin cohen shoemaker

New York-based filmmaker and photographer Dustin Cohen recently shared a beautifully made short video profile and photo essay about classic shoemaker Frank Catalfumo. Now 91 years old, Frank has been making and repairing shoes in his Brooklyn shop, F&C Shoes, since 1945. He still goes to work five days a week, working alongside his son Michael. He says, “I’m not the retiring person, I keep on going. You gotta keep moving in life.” In the four-minute video, Frank talks about how his neighborhood and shoemaking have changed over the years.

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+For more images of Frank’s shop, head to Dustin Cohen’s site.

12 thoughts on “Frank Catalfumo: Making Shoes for Nearly 70 Years

  1. There’s a similar thing in Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia. A barber had his own shop for 75 years and, sadly, just retired. The local press is talking about him a lot.

  2. We have a guy like Frank in my town. He’s well known and does quality work. People still go to these guys. Maybe someday we’ll get tired of shoes that are mass produced in China and go back to supporting our local artisans. I hope they’re not all gone by the time we figure that out. Nice to see Frank and his upbeat attitude, and even nicer to see his son learning the trade.

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I'm a word nerd who loves to geek out on how emerging technology affects the lexicon. I was an editor on the first 40 volumes of MAKE, and I love shining light on the incredible makers in our community. In particular, covering art is my passion — after all, art is the first thing most of us ever made. When not fawning over perfect word choices, I can be found on the nearest mountain, looking for untouched powder fields and ideal alpine lakes.

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