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I don’t know how many of you remember, but before I ever went to have my collection made up in Spain, I went to Tony Gaziano to learn how to make a pattern. He spent the day showing me using one of my very own designs. At first I thought that I would try and take another skill on board, but after seeing how intricate it can be and understanding that it would just add a few more years onto realizing my goals, I decided that I would leave it at that and maybe come to it at another point in life. But, that day was very integral to my knowledge in understanding why a pattern (and how it fits on the last) is so important. I realize that it is not just a shape that makes the shoe, but how the design (pattern) fits on that shape. How it compliments the curvature of the last. This is something that I am now struggling with in my own prototypes. Getting the pattern to fit the last, properly, is no easy feat, especially on your first round of making them. They usually need adjustments.

Needless to say, this is the final result of my design. You may say, ‘oh this is nothing unique,’ but if you look carefully, I have extended the adelaide to follow the top line of the shoe, giving it sort of a ‘wing-like’ characteristic. As well as that, I have minimized the heel counter. I did that because I wanted to emphasize the flannel that I used, so that it would be the main focus of the shoe. And even though some might find these characteristics to be unpractical, I find them to be the refreshing difference to everything else that already exists.

As far as the construction of the shoe goes, allow me to explain. So after Tony and I (really just Tony) completed the pattern, we had one of the closers that he uses sew all of the pieces together. This proved to be a difficult request due to the nature of the fabric. Yet, after a struggle, he still managed to do so and ended doing a very good job on such a difficult piece. The intention was then for me to make the shoes myself, but after a couple of complications, including lack of time and the fragility of the upper, we decided to just have it made in the G&G factory on the DG70 last. And as a surprise, they ended up constructing it with the Deco standard of construction and finish, to give it more of that ‘handmade’ feel. So that being, the concoction that you see presented here is designed by myself conceptually (and on paper), with the pattern done by Mr. Tony Gaziano, and then made up by the wonderful workers at Gaziano & Girling. The only downfall to all of this, is that this shoe will unfortunately be a one-off, as the flannel used is far to delicate and difficult to put into mass production. But, the design will be something that I incorporate into my first collection.

(Just to reiterate for clarification, this shoe will not be available by either side, and in the future, the design will be made available by me, not G&G)

24 thoughts on “J.Fitzpatrick & Gaziano & Girling Collaboration”

  1. Marc Hare is a ****

    You have a good eye for good designs from various brands, but it doesn’t show in your own designs, which are frankly horrible. Sorry. Great blog though.

  2. Marc Hare is a – LOL, I love how you and all of the other haters throw in a compliment when you are trying to bash me. Just bash me man, don’t try and be nice about it! At least you won’t have to worry about wanting to buy my shoes when they come out….but I wouldn’t be surprised if you did so anyway!


  3. Justin,

    I dissent from Marc Hare. Following The Shoe Snob post by post. These shoes look great. They have an elegant shape, texture, and design. Really like the combination of austerity brogue, adelaide, and low contrast flannel material. Moreover, your subtle innovations with the throat wings and counter show an appetite for evolutionary change, but not the parvenu advocating originality for the sake only of spectacle.

    Eager to see this prototype in production. I’ll be in the queue to order.

  4. I could only imagine how difficult this shoes must have been to close, especially with only single stitching. One of the subtle details that I like about G&G shoes is that the width of the lace holes taper from bottom to top. Also, did you intentionally use a grandma knot?

  5. I agree with Hare. You would do very well opening exclusive mens shoe stores. You have a wonderful knowledge of brands and would excel as a buyer.

  6. Bugger me senseless

    In agreement with Mark also. Your talent appears to be picking elegant shoes, not designing them. Open a high end shoe store.

  7. I totally disagree with the with Hare. Having had the privilege of watching your shoe-making talent grow and mature, I feel that your designs are a good mix of the modern (colour and material) with tradition (last and finishing).

    I look forward to the next pair designed and made totally by yourself, especially on how your next beveled waist looks like.

    Cordwaining is an art-form, and I’m sure that the likes of Lazlo Vass or G&G did not arrive at their levels from randomly making 10 pairs of shoes.

    I have much respect to the likes of Leffor and Leather Soul, they certainly run a fantastic enterprise. But I don’t believe that your role is such as theirs.

    So keep up the great work and enthusiasm! You’ll always have my support as long as you soldier on with the same vision!

    Why, even in my beloved, tiny-ass, Singapore, there are young cordwainers, providing bespoke shoes at a great price!


  8. Fantastic soles! The Deco-finish is great and I especiallt like the small heel counter and the continuation of the U-throat on the sides

  9. the idler of march

    Read the comments here and felt obliged to comment. Two things spring to mind
    a) the web is habituated by people who are very happy to knock other people’s efforts but perfectly content not to attempt anything themselves; these people frequently also go so far as to enjoy the information on a website run by somebody taking the time and energy to put up said information, then express dissatisfaction with the content of the website, as though they have an intrinsic right to have it tailored to their needs
    b) Justin, some of your shoe ideas are not to my taste (whereas some are), but the idea that they could be described as bad taste is ridiculous. They are made on good lasts, to a high standard, with a nice mix of traditional and novel. Some people live in a two-category world where not to their taste = bad taste. You can’t please all of the people all of the time so just ignore people with these tendencies.

  10. Nungesser – Thank you for your kind words. I appreciate it very much and am always happy to see that some people appreciate my work.

    James – If by grandma knot, you are referring to the stitch that holds the bottom of the facing together, than no, I did not request it. If you are not referring to that, than I need some clarification…but yes, I can imagine that it was difficult too.

    Betty Swollocks & Bugger Me Senseless – It’s funny that you two should say such, as in reality, both of you have only seen two shoes that I have designed. The shoes that I have made, were not my designs, they were others that were altered by me. As they were bespoke, I made them in a fashion that I WOULD LIKE, not the masses. What I release to the general public will be similar (in idea) but very different than what I have made myself. And to say that I would be good as a buyer but not as a designer is pretty much a contradiction as a buyer has to assess what would sell to the general public, not just himself. Clearly the two of you have not read the blog that long and decided to just make a comment for the sake of it, without truly assessing what you were saying, which is quite sad as they were comments that intended to deter someone from chasing their dreams….

    Benjy – Always glad to hear from a familiar voice. Thanks for the words and believe me, I will never quit. The haters only make me stronger….

    Claes – Thanks! Glad that you like them..

    Engerland – lol, yea whatever, you must love Church’s boring-ass black cap toes…

    Anon – It’s sad that you would even provide that link comparing it to what I have made. I am not leading with this either, it’s just for me. It will not be available like this. I am not showing 80% of my designs, like I stated in “My First Prototype” post, as there are shoe designers who read the blog. There will be color, and there will definitely be shape and you will see it when I actually release my stuff, when all of my prototypes are finalized…

    The Idler of March – I could not have said it any better myself. I always appreciate when you add your two cents. Thank you.

    Unknown – Sorry, I wish that I could. But glad to know that you like them…


  11. Saying that you should be a buyer but not a designer is not a contradiction in terms. Michael Bastain bought fantastically well when at Bergdorf Goodman. When he designs his own line, it is bland american basics. A great buyer/ mundane designer. As for comments to deter you? Load of crap. This is a public forum where people will not always agree or like anothers viewpoint. Dont be such a diva. Its just another opinion- not right not wrong just different.

  12. No i wear mostly Berluti or Cleverley. Just because i have the opinion that your shoes look like an older womans, it doesnt mean that i like Church shoes??? Bizarre response indeed???

  13. Engerland – While my response and using Church’s was a bit of a generalization, it is very strange to hear of your tastes and how you don’t like mine. Not that it matters to me whether you like them or not, but Berluti all of shoes, makes things that would look (shape-wise) like mine. I was just giving you a taste of your own medicine. Not liking them is one thing but saying that my shoes looked grandma-ish…to me that was quite strange…no hard feelings though as I have always advocated the common phrase, ‘to each his own.’ Plus, a little banter never hurts anyone…

    Betty Swollocks – Believe me, I definitely know that people will not agree nor like my shoes and possibly me or what I say and it does not bother me one bit. In fact, it makes me want to try harder. Not being a diva at all, it just seems quite strange that people who say that they are an advocate of the blog and all that I have put into it, would then say well you should just stick to that because “I” don’t like your shoes. Maybe if you put yourself in my shoes, you would understand…. Trust me, there are no hurt feelings on my end. And maybe I was being a bit harsh on you, when your comments (after re-reading them) do seem more genuine, but the Hare guys were not and his fueled the flames to my initial responses.


  14. This site is absolutely superb. I am going to read every post you have done. The breadth of houses/brands covered is phenomenal. Thank you for putting it out there. 11 out of 10. Brilliant.

  15. Have you cocidered perhaps that you dont receive well criticism? That your ego is in the way of listening to other people opinion?
    Just a thought since you seem to need to respond to all the comments with explanation / excuses and other reasons why this and that are the way they are….

  16. SJK – Thank you for your kind words, I appreciate them.

    Rob – The problem is that Marc Hare did not write that comment, it was someone who does not like Marc Hare who did.

    Jordan – Thanks for commenting. It will most likely be suede that I use when I put them into production, so you will shortly see.

    James – Aww okay, then yes, this I intentionally did, just to quickly lace them.

    Anon – I answer every comment because this is what I do, not because I feel the need to justify anything. Frankly, I don’t mind criticism as I know that it will be inevitable, but there is a difference between being critical and trying to take someone down. The second, I don’t respond well to. But just to throw you off I will thank you for your comment and criticism.


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