Retired Pope’s Endorsement of Mexican Shoes Tops All Others

When Pope Benedict XVI stepped down in February–the first to do so in 600 years–everyone wanted to know the answer to one burning question: What would replace his infamous red Prada loafers? And since a Vatican spokesperson revealed that the retiring pope would be holy rolling in pair of handmade brown loafers gifted to him in Mexico, business below the border has shot up.

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When Pope Benedict XVI stepped down in February–the first to do so in 600 years–everyone wanted to know the answer to one burning question: What would replace his infamous red Prada loafers? And since a Vatican spokesperson revealed that the retiring pope would be holy rolling in pair of handmade brown loafers gifted to him in Mexico, business below the border has shot up. In an interview in the New York Times, Armando Martin Duenas, whose company made the shoes, says his business has grown by nearly 30 percent. “It’s strengthened our entire industry,” says the 45-year-old third-generation cobbler, who next month plans to sell the brown and black versions of the former pope’s shoes direct from the company website. “It shows that Mexico has been doing its homework. Our products are now being accepted around the world.” Sales reps say that while Asian producers continue to hurting business, the country’s shoe and leather industry is no longer circling the drain. 

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