Men are becoming far more intelligent when it comes to shoes, and distinguishing the ones that separate themselves from the rest of the garbage out there. I like to think that many of the visionaries like Steven Taffel of Leffot, Tom Park of Leather Soul, Reto Zimmermann of Zimmermann & Kim, Mark Cho of The Armoury and the many bloggers out there, like myself, Mr. Hugo Jacomet & Mr. Simon Crompton (to name a few) are partly responsible for this. Not trying to be conceited or anything, but I know that the many of us work hard to educate as best as we can on the importance of getting value for your money in a quality made product and the brands that can help you achieve that. Granted, I also believe that like everything else in life, things (or ideas) come back around on themselves, trends reemerge and people go back to the old ways when the new ones have proven incompetent. Wearing crappy square toed, glued soled shoes was a big trend that swept the world off of its feet but is thankfully out and in a big way. And what I feel is the new ‘in’ is not designer nor mega-name brand shoes, but high quality stylish shoes coming from brands of integrity that like to make a product that does its best to stand the test of time.
All Pictures Courtesy Of: SKOATIEBOLAGET
A new comer on the scene, and one that I am quite enthused about is Skoatiebolaget. Comprised of a few young gentlemen out of Sweden, Skoatiebolaget is a new men’s shoe shop that offers the likes of Gaziano & Girling, Edward Green and Carmina. What I really really like about these guys is 1. They are young and 2. They like to order shoes that are not really of the norm. Take for example, the green suede wholecut oxford by Carmina (shown below). How often have you ever heard of one of those? Probably never. But that is what they are drawn to, and for me it’s great because I love to see things done differently, and even more so, love to know that people are buying them. I look very much forward to now making a trip to Sweeden sometime in the near future to check this store out, as I believe that with their passion for great shoes and unique ideas, these gentlemen will go a long way!! Another store that has yet to launch but that appears promising is called Leatherfoot, which is out of Toronto, Canada. Carrying much of the same type of shoes, it is yet another men’s dedicated shoe store comprised of high quality footwear. I believe that this is only the beginning and that soon, we will start to see this as a trend. I just await the day that someone does it in London!! It would be great to see some non-English brands gracing the feet of more British men.
Well, tomorrow I am off to my factory to do my last bit of controlling of my production before my order is shipped to me this February. I do appreciate everyone that has pre-ordered a pair of my first collection and know that I am excited to get all of your pairs to you!!! That being, the pre-order process is now closed and I will not be accepting any more inquiries with regards to purchasing my shoes at a discount. All future transactions will now be done at Gieves & Hawkes, either at their shop location at No.1 Savile Row or on their online webstore. Unfortunately when I am at my factory, I do not really have time for blog posts nor emails so I will be out of commission until Friday, January 31st.
I wish you all a great week!
Justin, “The Shoe Snob”