Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Prices of Bespoke/Custom shoes/suits $$$$!!!!!!

I am in New York City at the moment with Tailor Steven Hitchcock, we went for a walk on the Monday along Madison Avenue, lots of very nice stores with plenty of beautiful things in them. The few we did go in to, to take a look around, we found the prices of 'ready to wear' shoes and suits are the same if not MORE than it costs to have something made for you by hand. I saw alligator shoes at nearly $11000.00 (Eleven Thousand!!!!! - ready to wear!!!). You could come in and see us while we are in New York and order a pair of bespoke alligator shoes and a suit for the same price!!!!! You could choose the colours, choose the fabric, enjoy choosing the style, the cut, the service............... You would experience something that you DO NOT get ready to wear!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Purple Buck Skin!

Here is a recent pair i have made in Purple Buck Skin. It is an interesting design with it being a whole cut elastic sided shoe with an arrow design in punching. This style of shoe is avery good fitting shoe as the elastic gives it very good support. The shoe trees fitted to all of my shoes are all individually made for each and every pair and are modelled fom the last the shoe is made on. Note: the interesting design across the toe cap.


I have the following links of people that i work with that will look after your needs in the custom/bespoke world.

London/New York - Steven Hitchcock Tailor www.thesavilerowtailor.com

Washington DC - Field English Custom Tailors - 1742 Wisconsin Avenue NW

Scottsdale AZ - Saverio Custom Clothiers www.saveriocustomclothiers.com

Middleburg VA - Highcliffe Clothiers www.highcliffeclothiers.com

CTDA Show in Washington DC

I was recently asked to talk about bespoke handmade to measure shoes at The Custom Tailors & Designers Association. It was held at the newly opened Gaylord National Hotel in MD and i found it very interesting. Aswell as talking about bespoke shoes i was able to meet a lot of people and make some good connections with companies across the States. I will hopefully be extending my trunk show to include Scottsdale Arizona and working with Saverio Custom Clothiers. After the talk they had other people talking and workshops available, it was a very interesting chance to meet a lot of new friends.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

A 'Classic' Shoe

What is it that makes a shoe a 'classic'?
Is it the fact it is a certain colour, leather, style, with or without laces, what is it?

It is all of these things that in ones own mind that makes a shoe a classic. The full brogue, the semi-brogue, the oxford (with and without punched cap), the monk shoe, the penny loafer, the tassle loafer, infact the list can go on and on. I like to think that every shoe that is handmade becomes a classic, in the way that it is made individually for each person, everyone is different and so the full brogue for one person is going to look slightly different from one to another, whether due to the shape, the punching, the choice of colours used on the uppers and linings, the different choices of perforations on the toe, vamps, and quarters etc, this is what makes each one a classic in its own right. This is what is so special about being able to choose the shoe that you want the shoemaker to make for you. I love making shoes, and being able to help in the way of designing something for someone that is a little different. I think we are all aware that there is nothing new but to explore and stretch the possibilities of styles a little more creates our own 'classics'. A bit like the elastic sided shoe i have shown that has an alligator top with a black calf bottom, and the way the shoe is cut to make it look longer and slimmer, detailing that is important enough to make a shoe noticeable but not rediculous, smart and not too crazy and at the same time elegant enough for people to notice that it is something that cannot be bought off the shelf. The person wearing that shoe feels special as they also know that very few will have the shoe they have. This is what i believe creates a classic shoe, something a little out of the ordinary that looks good, and will be noticed by people that know what they are looking at.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Hand Embroidered Velvet Albert House Shoes

I have recently made some velvet house shoes for the Metropolitan Club and also for a few well known clients. the beauty of these house shoes is not only the comfort of them but being able to choose the colour you would like, the different linings available and of course your choice of initials in either 'fancy block' or 'script'. If you have a family coat of arms then this too can be hand embroidered on to the velvet or like the initials of the Metropolitan Club, the logo that is recognised as being part of the club. The colours of velvet available are black, navy, wine, bottle green, pink, gold, white & lime green, choose then the colour of the luxurious quilted lining in black or red. The house shoes come with a dress sole of about an 1/8" thick, ideal for around the house or for the occassional trip outside. The heels too are of leather and they measure 3/4" in height. The formal house shoe looks good whether worn indoors in the privacy of your own home or with a black tie suit for a very formal event.

The house shoe with the 'A' embroidered on them is embroidered in 'script' a single initial stands out very well and looks good, this is the ladies style of slipper and has a slightly lower cut to it than the mens slipper to the right.

The house shoes are $500.00 per pair with up to 3 initials, family crest or logo hand embroidered on them are a little more. To order or for more information please go to the website and email or telephone me with the details and size required.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Why choose The London Shoemaker?

A lot of people get their shoes handmade to measure, there are a few good shoemakers still in England to choose from but they do tend to specialise in a 'house' style. I like to think that with my history of the shoe business, that i have the knowledge of making a variety of different toeshapes & styles and can help you in choosing a shoe that you have always wanted. Whether you choose a timeless classic, something modern, in black box calf or something exotic with a fancy colour lining, all these i can help you make the right decision in the choice of shoe that will look good on you.

This pair above i have recently made and as i mentioned above it carries an age old style of the elastic sided shoe together with an alligator top and a box calf front and back. There is a very smart line of broguing in a single hole punch that carries forward to the front and the tassles are also in alligator. There is a very smart toe design to the front of the shoe that i think looks very delicate and carries the shoe off extremely well. It may be a little too much for some but as a modern twist on an old design it goes very well.

It is something that won't suit everybody but it does show that if you have a style in mind and want a touch of the exotic material too, then with the help in choosing what will look good i am able to help you make that decision.


Welcome to my bespoke handmade custom shoe weblog.
I have been in the shoe trade for the past 30 years and at the age of sixteen after finishing school I started work with:

Alan McAfee.
I worked within the Aquascutum store on Regent Street before running my own shop for them in Old Bond Street. Over the years with them I ended up running their shops in New Bond Street, Knightsbridge, Brompton Road, Mayfair and the City.

New & Lingwood.
On Jermyn Street, where i was fortunate enough to train as a lastmaker and worked in a small room with a vice and a bench, this was the same small room that shoemaker George Cleverley used to make his shoes, and i was able to talk and watch him whilst he was there. I learnt a lot in my years with New & Lingwood and also travelled to the USA and Japan for their overseas trunk shows.

Foster & Son.
Also on Jermyn Street and learnt under the guidance of Mr Terry Moore, who is regarded as the best last maker in London. Here i studied more on lastmaking & clicking (the cutting of the leather). For the time i spent here i learnt a great deal on shaping and hand carving the lasts. I also re-started their overseas visits to the USA.

G J Cleverley.
In The Royal Arcade off Old Bond Street. It seemed funny returning alsmost to the same place that i started work many years ago and how some of the places had changed over the time and how the fashion houses had moved in. I worked for cleverley for over ten years, and over that time i took on the roll of workshop manager, dealing with the makers, closers and repairers. I also travelled to the USA and Japan for them measuring and fitting the shoes, and of course lastmaking and helping in the training of people who wanted to know how to make lasts, one of them being Mr Tony Gaziano, who came from Edward Green to learn with us.

The London Shoemaker
In 2005 i started my own business and travelled to the USA on my first trunk show, i travelled regularly to New York, four times a year with Steven Hitchcock - Master Tailor and i also travelled to Washington DC where i worked with Field Custom Tailors n Wisconsin Avenue. I am now able to make and create the shoes and ideas that i was unable to do previously and take them from paper to the finished shoe.

At Journeymen Saddlers-Middleburg VA
I moved to the USA in April of 2007 on a work visa and am currently based in North Virginia in Middleburg, i have taken on the repairing of the riding boots and also tack repair at 'Journeymen Saddlers' who specialise in custom chaps, saddle, tack and riding boot repairs. I am also their person for the measuring for 'Vogel' riding boots.

Journeymen Saddlers are able to offer a complete service for all equine related repairs, whatever needs repairing can be done at their store on West Federal Street, Middleburg.