It’s a pleasure to introduce this year’s edition of the world’s largest open event for classic shoes, the London Super Trunk Show, organized by Shoegazing and The Shoe Snob. On Saturday March 23, literally in the heart of London at a new venue on 12 Regent Street, we gather more than 10 brands from all over the world, interesting partners, and there will be the World Championships in Shoe Shining and for the first time Shoe Patina, plus the World Championships in Shoemaking will have its award ceremony and competition shoes displayed (like last year). Below all info about the event.
Location: Showcase.co, 12 Regent Street, St. James, London.
Date: Saturday, March 23, 2019
The full schedule for the day:
11:00-19:00 Trunk show open for the public, FREE OF CHARGE AND NO REGISTRATION NEEDED. Exhibitions with Altan Bottier, Bolero Shoemaker, Carmina, Gaziano & Girling sample sale, J. FitzPatrick, Jsep (Miyagi Kogyo, Matsumoto, Kiten), Norman Vilalta, Project TWLV, Shoepassion/Heinrich Dinkelacker and Skolyx/TLB Mallorca. Also exhibitions with the event’s main partner Saphir (shoe care) and partner J. Hopenstand (leather belts and accessories), plus shoemaking championships partner Master Shoemakers (book). On display are all competition shoes in the World Championships in Shoemaking.
11.15-17.15 (1-hour break 14.45-15.45) Final of the World Championships in Shoe Patina in collaboration with Saphir, 1st prize shoes from Skolyx/TLB Mallorca (qualification for the competition will open within a few days).
15.00-15.30 Final of the World Championships in Shoe Shining in cooperation with Saphir, 1st prize shoes from Loake (qualification for the competition will open within a few days).
17:30-17:50 Award ceremony for the World Championships in Shoemaking, in collaboration with Kirby Allison’s Hanger Project and Master Shoemakers. The top ten including the three podium positions are presented. In the prize pool is �6,000 (€6,700 / $7,800), plus being exhibited at Isetan Men’s, Tokyo, and at other places around the world.
19.00 Event closes.
Here’s the Facebook event page where you’ll get all the latest updates can be found here. We appreciate any help with spreading the word about the event! The hashtag used before, during and after the event in social media is #supertrunk.
The London Super Trunk Show will take place at a brand new venue,�Showcase.co, located just below Piccadilly Circus, across the road from the world’s number 1 shoe street, Jermyn Street. It opened this fall on 12 Regent Street, with a store-front facing the road and behind this the exhibition venue, also on street level. Here we gather some of the most interesting shoe brands around today, all of whom are not easily accessible in the UK (Gaziano & Girling is available of course, but not their samples and seconds offered here). Some have been part of the event before and return this year, but most of the brands are new. As always we strive to get a good mix of types of shoes, price ranges, origin and so on. We, who organize the event, are Jesper Ingevaldsson of the shoe blog Shoegazing and Justin FitzPatrick of The Shoe Snob blog.
This is the third edition of the event, which has been a big success with around 800 visitors both previous years from all over the world coming to see, try, buy and order shoes, meet fellow shoe aficionados, see interesting shoe events and have a good time in general. The super trunk has really become a great meeting place for people from various parts of the industry and for shoe interested customers. Not only people from London and England but literally from all over the world, we have customers, shoe industry representatives and also the shoemakers themselves even coming. The event will be open for everyone with no registration needed between 11.00-19.00. We plan to organize the venue a bit different compared to previous events, with a more open layout instead of having the exhibitors standing behind tables. On site, we also plan to serve beer/wine of some kind from early afternoon until closing (not officially solved yet but will be soon hopefully) and have more space for hanging out and talking to fellow shoe friends.
Here’s a brief summary of all the exhibitors (more info about them all below). Altan Bottier is one of the brightest shining stars on the French men’s shoe sky, with amazing patina work on elegant shoes starting at �405/€450. Bolero is the brand of Tomoyuki Watanabe, a praised bespoke shoemaker from Nagoya, Japan, who makes shoes to the absolute highest of standards, in London he will introduce MTO/MTM shoes made to his bespoke standard starting at �1,700/€1,900. Carmina is probably the most well-known Spanish maker of Goodyear welted shoes, with a huge selection of lasts and models, prices around �360/€400. Gaziano & Girling is the British premium brand that makes some of the finest RTW shoes on the planet, here they will offer discounted sample shoes, some real bargains to be made for sure. The host Justin “The Shoe Snob” FitzPatrick’s own brand J. FitzPatrick Footwear offer Goodyear welted shoes consisting of a mix between bold and classics priced around �350/€390.
JSEP, Japan Shoes Export Platform, will exhibit with the brands Miyagi Kogyo, Matsumoto and Kiten, makers of great shoes in price ranges between �360-�540/€400-600. Barcelona based Norman Vilalta started as a bespoke shoemaker but now also offers a progressive range of RTW shoes that cost around �740/€820, plus the new top RTW range that is made to the bespoke standard. Project TWLV is a Swedish/Italian brand making Goodyear welted and Blake/Rapid stitched boots in Italy, very nicely executed models. The German success-brand Shoepassion makes lovely classic welted shoes in the budget price range around �220/€250, they come together with their sister brand, classic German maker Heinrich Dinkelacker, who now also offer a form of digital bespoke service where your feet are scanned with an iPad. The other host Jesper Ingevaldsson now work for the Swedish store Skolyx who comes with its own affordable Goodyear welted range made on Majorca, priced around only �175/€200, and with the praised new brand TLB Mallorca offering shoes around �320/€360.
All brands will bring a lot of shoes to display and to try on and all will take orders, plus that many of them will sell shoes directly at the event. For those who offer bespoke services you can reserve an appointment in advance, or take the plunge and get measured and order on site. As mentioned, read more about them all below.
The ones making this event possible is our partners. The main partner is the famous shoe care brand Saphir, whose premium range Medaille d’Or by many is seen as the best shoe care products in the world. They will also exhibit at the event and bring a bunch of their products to sell. Another partner we have is a Swiss company making premium leather belts and accessories: J. Hopenstand. Founded in 1925, they are most famous for their cleverly designed double-sided belts.
Apart from the exhibitions, we’ll also have a small stage area where some very interesting things will take place. This year it will start already directly after opening, at 11.15, with the final of the first World Championships in Shoe Patina, organized in collaboration with Saphir. Three finalists will have five hours (with one hour break at the middle of the day) to paint a pair of TLB Mallorca crust leather shoes from the shoe and shoe care shop Skolyx. The winner who has made the best patina according to the jury will get the shoes after they’ve been on a world tour together with the top trio in the shoemaking contest. A bit more info on the patina contest below, and much more when we open the qualification within a few days.
In the afternoon at 15.00 there will be the final of the World Championships in Shoe Shining, also this in collaboration with Saphir, where the winner will receive a pair of shoes from Loake. Three finalists who have made it through the qualification round that opens in a few days (more info below, and in the qualification post) will receive one Loake 1880 Aldwych Mahogany, a can of Saphir Medaille d’Or Pate de Lux and Mirror Gloss, water, brush and polishing cloth and have 20 minutes to polish the shoe as beautiful as possible.
Also, as presented thoroughly in this article, we are once again organizing the World Championships in Shoemaking, in collaboration with the webshop Kirby Allison’s Hanger Project, the book project Master Shoemakers, and fellow shoe enthusiast Edmund Schenecker. In the prize pool is �6,000 (€6,700 / $7,700) and a chance to be showcased for shoe lovers around the world. The 70 (!) dark brown derby oxford competition shoes will be showcased at the venue, and at 17.30 at the stage area we will present the top ten with the three podium positions, including the world champion. This is double the amount of last year so the event is gaining traction and becoming very popular and is not to be missed!
Please follow the Facebook page for the event here where you’ll get all the latest updates, let us know you plan to attend and spread the word. We hope the day will be as successful as previous years and that all who comes have a great time. Since it’s a rare occasion to have the possibility to see, try, buy and order shoes from this many brands at the same time, and especially since many of them are quite inaccessible, we hope that once again not only a lot of people from England will come to London this day but also people from other places in the world will travel in for this occasion. Take the chance to have a weekend in this great city topped up with the London Super Trunk Show.
And since the event is built on the idea of it being worth it for the brands coming, the more shoes that are purchased or ordered at the event, the better is the chance for it continuing being a growing part of the shoe world.
Hope to see many of you in London on Saturday March 23!
Below some more detailed info about all the exhibitors at the event and the scene happenings:
A pearl in the ocean of classic men’s shoe brands in France. Altan Bottier was founded in 1973 by the Turkish bespoke shoemaker Sukru Sensozlu who had moved to Paris, who named the brand after his newborn son. Since 1998 they also offered RTW shoes, and they were one of the pioneers with offering painted shoes.
Today they have a few different ranges on offer, both Blake stitched and Goodyear welted, made to a�high standard on elegant last shapes. The shoes are ordered with a personal patina of choice, where the possibilities are endless. Prices start from €450.
Tomoyuki Watanabe trained shoemaking with a Japanese master shoemaker with 50 years of experience, and seven years ago he started his own brand Bolero Shoemaker. His style of shoes is very classic with well-balanced last shapes, mainly aniline leathers and traditional styles. The craftsmanship is of the absolute highest level.
For the super trunk show, Bolero will introduce for the first time an MTO/MTM option, where customers try on fitting shoes at the venue and then decide the last shape, model, leather etc, with the possibility to make small adjustments to the lasts to enhance fit. Shoes are made to the same standard as his bespoke. Price will start at around �1,700/€1,900 for this offer. You can book an appointment at a set time during the day by mailing firstname.lastname@example.org, but also drop-in orders during the day are possible. There is also the possibility to order bespoke, but that will incur a larger extra charge, for info on the mail above.
To see Tomoyuki Watanabe’s work more closely, do check out his Instagram.
Spanish Carmina has during the last decade grown to become one of the most popular makers of Goodyear welted shoes in Europe. Founded in 1997 by the Albaladejo family, in the small city of Inca in the middle of Mallorca. The factory is relatively large today, producing a substantial amount of shoes sold worldwide.
Carmina offers a very wide range of models and lasts, where almost everyone can find something they like. Two of their most popular lasts are the Rain and Simpson lasts, both with elegantly soft square toes. Among the many leather offerings, Carmina has several models in Horween shell cordovan. Prices start at �360/€400.
Gaziano & Girling sample sale
A slightly different exhibitor, being a British brand who is easily available here, but in this case they will offer old discontinued models, subs, non-claimed MTO:s and so on, at heavily discounted prices. It’s a part two of the annual sample sale Gaziano & Girling had its first section of in the beginning of this year in their own store on Savile Row, now at the super trunk there will be a bunch of new stuff that wasn’t available there. Shoes in sizes from UK4,5-12,5 will be found. Discounts will be around 50%, so a real opportunity to grab a bargain.
The brand was started as late as 2006 by well-renowned shoemakers Tony Gaziano and Dean Girling, and has taken the classic shoe industry by storm with their premium RTW shoes made to the absolute highest of standards, on perhaps some of the best lasts around. Their bespoke offering is also one of the most praised ones available.
J. FitzPatrick Footwear
The brand of one of the two event hosts, Justin ”The Shoe Snob” FitzPatrick, who started J. FitzPatrick Footwear back in 2013. The shoes are Goodyear welted in Spain with closed channel stitching and leathers from the top European tanneries. Justin is constantly working to develop new and modified models, plus continues to enhance the making and construction of his shoes, to offer better and better shoes.
The aim with J. FitzPatrick is to not only offer the classics but do so with modern twists and new interesting patterns, thus offering something not available from many others. Prices start at around �350/€400. J. FitzPatrick also offers an excellent MTO program with lots of options available for a relatively small upcharge from �100/€115.
Jsep (Matsumoto, Miyagi Kogyo, Kiten)
Ahead of the free trade-agreement with EU, which is expected to be in place already in February, Japanese brands are introduced to the European market (with Brexit it’s still uncertain what happens in England with this, we’ll see, but the super trunk is held before). Jsep, Japan Shoes Export Platform, are introducing Matsumoto, Miyagi Kogyo and Kiten. They were here last year and a big impression. Make sure to really take the chance and study these up-close, if you visit the event.
Here’s a summary of all three brands. Matsumoto makes very well-made shoes on well-balanced lasts, with elegant narrow waists and ever so slightly tapered heels. Matsumoto only uses high-grade European leathers from Annonay and Weinheimer. Price is around �530/€600.
The shoes of Miyagi Kogyo is often compared to Edward Green, with similar, traditional last shapes and with a similar sole treatment. They also have a nice burnished toe. Kogyo’s shoes cost somewhere at �415/€470.
The last brand is a bit different, it’s Kiten who makes more casual shoes. They are made with a Bologna construction, a sort of moccasin type, which makes really comfortable shoes, and since they have full rubber outsoles cemented on it doesn’t leak any water. A good compromise between comfort and durability. Price around �265/€300.
Argentina-born Norman Vilalta trained bespoke shoemaking with Stefano Bemer in Italy, and now works from a studio in Barcelona. He added a RTW range aside his bespoke shoes a few years ago, which has been successful and are now sold at various stores all around the world.
Norman Vilalta is known for his excellent ways of upgrading and modernizing the classic shoe tradition, and has in short time made a quite big imprint on the market for classic shoes. His RTW shoes made in a factory in Spain cost around �700/€830. He also offers a RTW range made fully by hand to the same standard as his bespoke shoes.
Project TWLV is a Swedish/Italian quality footwear brand in the midrange segment, which makes Blake/Rapid stitched and Goodyear welted boots. Founded by two people with extensive experience from the shoe industry’s more fashion-oriented area, which use their knowledge and contacts from this to get the brand widely spread.
Their boot range is wide, with everything from neater chelsea boots to really heavy boots with cuban heels etc. The materials they use are different grain leathers, some kangaroo and also horsehide called soft cordovan and cordovan. It’s not regular shell cordovan hides, but hides often referred to as culatta which is horse butt made with a similar tanning process as shell cordovan, but it’s not the muscle membrane used but the outer grain part. Prices start at �425/€480.
Shoepassion / Heinrich Dinkelacker
The two German sister brands Shoepassion and Heinrich Dinkelacker make their debut on English soil. Shoepassion has been around for quite a few years now, and are huge in Germany with massive online sales and ten stores around Germany and in Austria and Switzerland. They offer affordable Goodyear welted shoes produced in Spain, starting at �220/€250. The focus is on classic styles and lasts, while they do have more contemporary models as well.
A couple of years ago Shoepassion bought one of the old brands in Germany, Heinrich Dinkelacker, to continue developing it into the new century. Dinkelacker makes hand welted shoes in Hungary, and is known for their traditional Austro-Hungarian style with thick soles and sturdy lasts, but also now has more modern models as well. Prices start at �440/€500. They also offer a new bespoke service, scanning the foot with an iPad and a personal last designed from the scan, and then the selected model will be manufactured on these.
Skolyx / TLB Mallorca
Skolyx is a Swedish based online store, big on shoe trees and shoe care, but who also has an excellent selection of Spanish-made Goodyear welted shoes. The second super trunk host, Jesper Ingevaldsson of Shoegazing, nowadays works for the company. Skolyx has a private label range of classic, timeless models produced on Mallorca to a high standard, with things like leather board heel stiffeners etc, everything from neat oxfords and loafers to casual derbys and boots. Starting at just �175/€200.
They also sell TLB Mallorca, a praised new brand with excellent looking models with sleek last shapes and attention to details. For example their thin city rubber soles have the same edge treatment, bevelled at the waist and everything, as the leather soles. Leathers from among others Annonay and Du Puy, with nice finishing. Prices�start at �320/€365.
Saphir is one of the leading premium shoe care product manufacturers in the world. The French brand is owned by Avel, which also has brands like Tarrago, Dasco and La Cordonnerie Anglais under their branch. Known for both the high quality of care and protection of the products, as well as for being very easy to use. The standard Saphir range holds a massive amount of products, everything from your regular shoe cream, wax polish, cleaners, impregnation sprays etc to more specialized products like leather dye or leather repair pastes.
Among shoe nerds, they are most famous for their premium shoe care range Saphir Medaille d’Or. The name comes from the gold medal it received at the International Exhibition in Paris 1925 due to the high quality of the products. Still today the creams and waxes are produced by the same recipe. But since then they have also added a number of other premium shoe care products to the range, and they constantly develop their range with new products. An example is the recently introduced Mirror Gloss wax polish which makes it easier to achieve a real high gloss shine on the toe and heel of your shoes, a product that instantly regained high popularity. Another example is the new shoe cream for oiled leathers. All Medaille d’Or products contain only natural products: beeswax, carnauba wax, essence of turpentine, lanolin, mink oil, neatsfoot, vegetal materials and so on.
J. Hopenstand was started by the leather craftsman Jaqcues Hopenstand in Paris in 1925. The company was later moved to Switzerland by his grandchildren, and is today based in Lausanne. J. Hopenstand is most famous for their very exclusive double-sided belts, which have cleverly designed buckles making them possible to use with both sides facing outwards. With a huge selection of the leathers and buckle types available, there’s a great possibility to create a belt that suits your needs. Belts made to your own specifications are manufactured in Switzerland and delivered within 4-6 weeks.
Hopenstand also has some other high-quality products in their line-up. For example exquisitely made card holders, also these available to personalize and have made to your own specifications. They also have thin cashmere scarves, super soft, wearing these are like have a warm summer breeze against your neck.
World Championships in Shoe Patina
A new contest for 2019, that we are sure will be quite spectacular. The World Championships in Shoe Patina is organized in collaboration with Saphir. Three finalists will have five hours to paint a pair of TLB Mallorca crust leather shoes from the shoe and shoe care webshop Skolyx. Shoe patina is something that has grown massively the past decades, and today we have specialists around the world working full time with painting shoes, as well as a lot of shoe brands that offer patina services or has painted shoes as a given part of their standard ranges.
The World Championships in Shoe Patina will have a similar set-up as the shoe shining event. We will start a qualification round in a few days (much more info about the contest in that post), where people are to send in images of a pair of painted shoes, where a jury consisting of us organizers, representatives from Saphir and Skolyx, as well as professional shoe patina makers will go through and pick out the three best patinas. What will be judged is the quality of the patina, the technique and how beautiful it is made. Qualification will be open for two weeks.
The three finalists will then paint a pair of TLB Mallorca from Skolyx wingtip adelaides in raw crust leather during the event in London. They will paint for five hours between 11.15 and 17.15, with one hour break at 14.45-15.45. They will have a number of colors of Saphir leather dye to their disposal, and will bring their own brushes and equipment to work with. They will also have Saphir cream and waxes for the finishing touches. The same jury consisting of professional patina makers and shoe experts will judge how beautiful shoes have been painted, and the quality of the paint job. Winner will be announced at the award ceremony 17.30. The first world champion in shoe patina gets the TLB shoes from Skolyx, a shoe care package from Saphir and a glass plaquette, plus the winning shoes will be part of the world tour together with the top trio in the shoemaking contest. As mentioned, more on this when we open the qualification within a few days.
World Championships in Shoe Shining
The very popular shoe shining contest has its given place at the super trunk. At 15.00 during the event, we invite you to follow the World Championships in Shoe Shining in collaboration with Saphir, where the winner will receive a pair of shoes from Loake, a shoe care package from Saphir and a glass plaquette. In a few days, we’ll open the� qualification round where people can send in a picture of a well-polished shoe, from these a jury consisting of us organizers and representatives from Saphir and Loake will pick three finalists, who will compete during the London Super Trunk Show.
At the final, one Loake 1880 Aldwych in mahogany is to be polished as beautiful as possible. We’ll not only look at the highest shine, but the most beautiful polish work is rewarded. The finalists will have a can of Saphir Medaille d’Or Pate de Lux in the color of choice, neutral Mirror Gloss wax, water, a brush, a polishing cloth of their own and a nylon cloth, and they have 20 minutes to polish the shoe. Previous year’s winners, Yuya Hasegawa from Japan and John Chung from Singapore, performed astonishing results in that short time, and have had a lot of attention in Asia as winners of the title. The winner will be titled the World Champion in Shoe Shining 2019, and gets to keep the shoe he (or she) has polished and its sibling, receives a glass plaquette and a kit with shoe care products from Saphir.
World Championships in Shoemaking
The World Championships in Shoemaking is organized by Shoegazing and The Shoe Snob, in collaboration with the webshop Kirby Allison’s Hanger Project and the book project Master Shoemakers (the book will be showcased and sold at the venue). More than 70(!) contestants from all over the world have registered for the championships, and as like year we are likely to see some amazing shoes made for it. Here is the official call for competition you can find all the details in how it unfolds.
But to summarise it, the contestants will make a dark brown full brogue oxford with a single leather sole, hand welted with handmade sole stitch. The criteria that will be judged are the degree of difficulty and the execution of the making, but also the overall design/aesthetics. 1st prize is �3,000, 2nd �2,000 and 3rd �1,000, plus all podium placed shoes will be exhibited at the Isetan Men’s department store in Tokyo, Japan, and at other stores in various locations around the world. As last year We will create a small exhibition with the top three shoes (plus the patina winners pair), which will be on tour around the globe. Which locations this year will be presented later on.
In the jury who will review the shoes the day before the event are several bespoke shoemakers and professionals within the industry, preliminary jury members are shoemakers Patrick Frei (world champion in shoemaking 2018), Jim McCormack, Nicholas Templeman, Kiichiro Ozeki (previously at Hiro Yanagimachi, now Gaziano & Girling) plus Patrick Verdillon, Director bespoke at John Lobb Paris. We plan to add one more shoemaker, preferably from Italy. But to also add a slightly different view shoe experts Jesper Ingevaldsson of Shoegazing and Justin FitzPatrick of The Shoe Snob are part of the jury, and the three sponsors who are making this event possible: Edmund Schenecker who is a bespoke shoe customer and shoe nerd, Kirby Allison, founder of The Hanger Project, and Gary Tok, author of Master Shoemakers.
All the 70+ competition shoes will be on display at the super trunk show, and at 17.30 at the stage area we will announce the top ten shoes, and hence the podium placed ones and the world champion in shoemaking 2019.
You are very welcome to the London Super Trunk Show on Saturday March 23, hopefully it will be another day to remember! Thanks in advance for all your help spreading the word about the event, share this article and invite people with the Facebook event. See you there!