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Misiu Academy 2021 Recap: Reflections, Purchases & Future Plans

Gobi Cashmere Turtleneck Reviewa yearly reflection

Welcome to the first article of 2022, which is actually a recap of what happened in Misiu Academy in 2021!

A yearly short article where I discuss my purchases, regrets, reflections and future plans with the readers.

One of the most enjoyable articles of the year for me and hopefully a good one for you.

Let’s find out what happened in 2021 together in a relaxed discussion article.

A rich, beautiful year

The year 2021 was challenging for many reasons, most notably the raging global pandemic we all know and hate.

In addition, on a personal level it was often disappointing due to family illnesses, difficulties with friends and living in a country I did not enjoy.

However, instead of sulking and blaming everything, I decided to use that to my advantage.

You see, very often we lament our problems instead of identifying them and doing something about them.

My goal for 2021 was to improve Misiu Academy & my YouTube, grow The Noble Shoe and become a Bespoke Shoemaker.

I will talk about all of these individually, but the bottom line is that 2021 was a rich, engrossing and satisfying experience.

I learned so much, made the most out of it and laid the foundations for a terrific 2022.

Misiu academy

My first goal for the blog was to maintain my consistency.

For over 3 years now I posted one article every Tuesday night (GMT) without failure.

There are now 186 Articles (187 including this!) of varying (and hopefully improving!) quality every year.

Another goal was to redesign and give a modern feel to the website, which I managed to do just a month ago.

Many of you don’t know, but I design everything myself, even though I have no coding skills.

The third iteration of the blog is now live, with a modern look, beautiful imagery and hopefully easier navigation and speed.

Investing money in a hobby where the only little revenue comes from Google Ads is tough, but it is my passion.

Nobody ever paid me to Review anything (though some clothes and shoes were free).

Septieme Largeur Joffre Review
From my recent Septieme Largeur Review

Actually, many of them stopped talking to me or threatened me after a bad review.

Improving imagery was also a big deal for me and compared to 2020 Misiu Academy saw a tremendous increase in photo quality.

In my latest Articles (Mario Bemer, Sons of Henrey, Gobi Cashmere) I hired a photographer to help me with more lifestyle images.

Misiu Academy has over 15000 monthly readers now and thanks to your support much more next year.

Overall, I am very satisfied with Misiu Academy in 2021 and the new direction of the blog excites me.

YouTube Channel

Probably the most surprising growth came in my YouTube Channel.

I still remember my first video in 2020, where I was so nervous and had no idea where to look or set up the lights.

Look at the last 10 videos and you will notice a quantum leap in quality and presentation.

Kostas Mandilaris of Misiu Academy
Picture from my Vass Budapest Video Review

Soon we will celebrate 2000 Subscribers and with the list of shoes and clothes up for Review, next year will be even more exciting.

Finding the ideal set up, background and continuing to be genuine and honest helped a lot.

Expect great things next year in the summary that will follow at the end.

I appreciate you all when you watch my videos, leave comments and subscribe.

The Noble shoe

The Noble Shoe is my baby, my creation and my passion.

In 2021 the goal was to grow and rebrand the shop, which was a tremendous success.

A new website, logotype and modern feel with exciting monthly additions in all price levels.

The Noble Shoe Boots
Bringing you unique make ups every single month!

Of course, all coupled with the best customer service you can get from a shoe shop.

We achieved all those goals and even more and feedback about the new look has been amazing.

What’s in store for next year? You will soon find out!

the dolce vita in italy

My biggest, most important achievement was my move to Florence, Italy.

And not just to change scenery and be south again near Mediterranean cultures.

Because my ultimate goal was to learn Bespoke Shoemaking from the best school in the world.

Stefano Bemer Shoes Store
Stefano Bemer Store Entrance in Florence

And this journey is starting in 1 month here in the majestic town of Florence.

The goal with this is not just to have additional skills and pursue the career that I want.

It is also for me to offer better services and knowledge in The Noble Shoe but also in Misiu Academy.

Because there are to many technicalities and shoe specific constructions and materials that people like you and me have just scratched the surface.

Understanding how to really make a shoe will give deep knowledge and improve my Reviews and advice greatly.

Purchases, Regrets & surprises

This section will be an interesting one for a few reasons.

For the most part I barely bought any new clothing items this year.

In fact, most of my shoes were Review Pairs and I really need to purge my shoe collection once more.

Since I have a policy of not requesting free items unless someone contacts me and it fits my style, I actually paid proper money for the most expensive shoes.

Some of my happiest purchases include the amazing Mario Bemer Chukkas, my Gobi Cashmere casual clothes and finding a new good suit brand in Lanieri.

Lanieri Review High Rise Trousers
Lanieri Review | High Rise Trousers with modern single pleats

There is actually only one regret this year and that was my Review of Edward Green.

In the upcoming weeks you will see updates in the article or possibly a short article explaining what happened after.

The short version is that the shoes turned out to be factory seconds even if advertised as new.

Despite my overwhelmingly negative review, I reached out to Edward Green to help me track this.

They were extremely helpful and polite and I appreciate them.

Expect to see edits since I am the first to admit my mistake on this occasion.

A huge surprise of 2021 for Misiu Academy was the increased readership and interaction.

Your now frequent comments, emails and support keeps me going and makes me so happy and motivated.

Many of you even enjoy the vitriolic humor, as well as the horrific dad jokes on every video.

It’s hard to pick from so many things my favorites but the Gobi Cashmere Hoodie set saw so much use already.

The Sons of Henrey Chukka Boots were excellent entry level shoes but there is one surprise I never thought about much.

Overcoat and jeans
From my Sons of Henrey Review

Who would have thought that a heavily advertised item such as The Ridge Wallet would be such a success for me.

Since the day I got it, I’ve been using it non stop and it’s so handy and useful as it is secure.

The Ridge Wallet Review
I use the Navy Aluminum Ridge Wallet every day

Lastly, the other important surprise of the year was fostering such amazing new relationships with shoemakers.

Mario Bemer, Mathieu Preiss, Norman Vilalta, Xavier Aubercy to name a few.

What is coming in 2022?

As far as the Misiu Academy Blog goes, there are many exciting opportunities.

To begin with, I will keep bringing you high quality content for shoes, suits and guides.

Most importantly, I hope I will be able to document my shoemaking journey and show it to you.

You will be able to see my transition to a bespoke shoemaker step by step.

Gobi Cashmere Review Turtleneck and jacket

My YouTube Channel had a strong focus up to this point on shoes but I plan to make more professional adjustments.

A new studio, filmmaking with new clips as well as new categories of reviews such as suits and clothes.

I will quite possibly do a live stream to celebrate 2000 Subscribers soon so please help me reach that milestone!

When it comes to The Noble Shoe I cannot disclose much information yet but expect an amazing, exciting year.

New Brands are incoming, development of my own shoe range as well as incredible new creations from the brands you know and love.

I promise you that 2022 will be a high octane, non stop action experience.

final words

It is such a relief to begin the year in such a positive way.

With great health, success and excitement for the year to come and recharged to overcome each challenge.

Being a business owner and owning a popular hobby blog is taxing so lighthearted, relaxing articles like this give me a moment to breath and reflect.

Your support and love for both The Noble Shoe and Misiu Academy was evident in 2021 and I hope this carries over to the new year.

As always, if you have any comments, thoughts or thing to recommend for the future please leave a comment or mail me!

I am appreciative of each one of you and I wish you great health, success and amazing purchases for the year.

See you next week with my trip to Paolo Scafora’s workshop.

Thank you for reading,

Kostas Mandilaris,
Misiu Academy

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Comments (8)

Hi Kostas,

Much luck to you in this New Year!

I have a feeling your trip to Paolo Scafora’s workshop will be akin to visiting Santa’s workshop as a kid before Christmas, no? I know I’m very much looking forward to reading all about it!


Hi Steve, thanks!

Unfortunately Paolo’s father passed on new year. Very sad.

The workshop was amazing to be in but a short experience since this is not a huge operation. Still amazing to visit. I will check my photos since some are confidential so if I have enough content I will write about it!

Great Article Kostas … I’m so glad you are very positive minded in every aspect of your life right now!
Great to hear you will be adding new shoe brands to “The Noble Shoe” also !!! I really admire your resolve to become a bespkoe shoemaker, and to learn all of the intricacies of shoemaking. I am certain that will pay huge dividends to you in so many ways over the coming years … Bravo !!!

Thank you for your kind words as well as readership Frank. All the best to you too.

Hopefully that scafora pair will blow your mind away!

Panagiotis Papakanellos

All the best to you for 2022 Kostas!!! Your blog and shop have evolved notably, keep on keeping on!!!

Thank you Panagioti! All the best to you too my friend and thank you as always for reading!

Congratulations to all your successful achievements last year, Kostas!
I always appreciate your personal & high quality tests and blog articles, and am glad to hear that you intend to improve them even further. (Just wondering how you manage to get it all done within a 24 h day).
All the best for the coming year, and looking forward to hear more about your new experiences as a shoemaker. Judging by quality standards you’ve set yourself so far, the shoes you’re going to make will be spectacular!

Hi Peter!

Thanks for the support and encouraging words! Honestly, I have no idea how I do it or how I will keep managing but for now I am hanging in there!

I promise I will have some amazing stuff coming up this year!

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