The venue: Nelson Mandela Square in Sandton. A small group of influential businessmen, political figures, and even Lions Rugby players Howard Mnisi and Vainon Willis, were invited last week to the opening of the new Corthay shoe store.

A pair of shoes from the luxury brand will set you back R19 670 to R32 000.

The bespoke shoes, which the store is prepared to modify for customers in any way – even putting diamonds or platinum on them – go for R95 000. One pair of these takes a year to make.

Your feet are measured to their exact size and the sole of your shoe is tailored to your specific needs. For instance, if you want to, you can get a little more grip on the heel. These shoes even have a special cushion inner lining that helps you keep a good posture while you’re wearing them, meaning you can wear your formal Corthays for extended periods. Every aspect of the shoe can be personalised.

The shoes on display were something to drool over. Each one comes with a wooden shoe tree (a horn-like contraption that helps keep the shape of the shoes when you’re not wearing them).

This store also has some really dapper belts and wallets to add a touch more European finesse to your ensemble.

Your fitting is done while you enjoy a coffee and relax.

“We want you to feel at home here with us and enjoy,” said Corthay’s communications director, Frenchman Francois Poucher.

In France, there are only 21 craftsmen who have the skills to create this fine footwear. A select few individuals in South Africa have been taught how to craft Corthay shoes, equipping them with the skills to properly service the needs of the local clientele.

Corthay is open Monday to Sunday from 9am to 10pm on the ground floor of Nelson Mandela Square in Sandton.