Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Today's Shoes


GJ Cleverley bespoke split-toe bluchers with a handsewn apron and toe seam in Russian reindeer calf with double leather soles.

See those shoe trees? They're made from the last that these shoes were made on (to provide an exact fit for the shoe) out of light-weight unvarnished wood. I don't know who actually made the trees (Cleverley almost certainly did not), but there's a reasonably good chance that it was Spring Line. Spring Line is a Northampton company that is an integral but little-known part of the British shoe industy, providing products for both the ready-to-wear and bespoke trade. In addition to lasted shoe trees, they also provide finished lasts and rough-turn lasts (the latter being the basic last shape that a lastmaker then works down to produce the finished lasts) to bespoke makers (none of the big-name West End bespoke makers use the finished lasts). For the ready-to-wear makers, they will grade lasts (ie, duplicate a particular "master" last in all of the different sizes and widths that the maker needs) and duplicate lasts (because ready-to-wear manufacturers need lots and lots of lasts) in either wood or plastic.


John Lobb Paris split-toe penny loafer in dark brown pebble-grain calf with a single leather sole (Campus model, 3198 last).

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