SS: We love how Lodger strikes the right balance between beautiful, time consuming handcrafting, traditional shoe making machinery and the very latest technology and kit. Was this balance a key facet of your vision for Lodger?
Nathan Brown: With the laser scanner, it was my view that there was all this technology but no one really knew how to apply it. You could go out there and say you want to revolutionise shoe making but I think that is a very dangerous thing to say. The way we pitch our technology is that it is an additional benefit. However cool the scanner is, if you are a size nine and have a regular width it can't really do anything more for you but if your foot is like mine it comes in to play. We can take six different widths and nobody else can stock that. It was very much about starting off the company from scratch, not accepting the standard fair. Like shoe trees for example. A proper shoe tree will make your shoes last longer than anything else you could possibly do and the shoe companies know this but they use it as an excuse to sting you for another £50 to £75. I thought this was a bunch of crap. We just price it in now and don't take a margin on the shoe tree, which is why we include them with every pair. The shoe bags are made out of bamboo, because it is better for the environment, it is shaped for less waste etc. We design everything, from the images on the shoe boxes to enable you to see what's inside.
Nathan Brown: We incorporate elements of it in to the store now. We have the display table which currently has the Scabal suit on it because we want to show the shoes in context. With that blue striped shoe alot of customers told me they liked it but they just didn't think they could wear it. So a lot of what we are going to do with the photography of the Gentleman's Corner is going to put the shoes in to context. The blog has become an organic part of what we do. We only serve the booze that we like, we only show the clothes on the table that we like and wear, the magazines we like. At the moment we are stocking Man About Town and the Rake. The Rake is a great magazine and I thought that it was stupid that you couldn't get it in this country and now we are pretty much sold out of it. The reason we sell Man About Town is because I love Hugh and the magazine, I felt guilty that we would be stocking a different title so called him up and asked for a few copies. We big up things we like and things we think are good. We don't make a penny on the magazines but we like showing off cool things people might not see otherwise.
SS: Having grown up literally surrounded by trainers, have you got any desire to explore that area with Lodger?
SS: Finally, harking back to the idea of Gentleman's Corner, we always ask our interviewees for recommendations, who would you like to big up today?
Nathan Brown: As a wine fan: Oregan Pinot Noir. It is on the same latitude as Burgundy France, same soil type, is it amazing... you just have to find it.
Tailors: If I'm on the Row I do a lot of stuff with Scabal because I think they just have the most beautiful cloths in the world. I got married in suit cut from Scabal cloth so I personally like it a lot. The problem I have is, being in such close proximity, if I name one I need to name quite a few but a cloth merchant I can just about get away with. I'm happy to make personal recommendations.
Shops and Labels: Albam, Smedley, E. Tautz, I'm sure we'll do some stuff with Carolyn Massey so congratulations to her on her place at New Gen Men. Those are a few of my favourites. I spend half my time in denim and the rest in suits so that is a good mix. I like giving personal recommendations to customers. For international travellers, typical Bond Street guys I always recommend that they should walk down Lambs Conduit Street and you can go to Oliver Spencer, Folk, Pokit, It is such a nice street and for someone who spends a lot of time in Mayfair it is an eye opening thing but for readers of your blog they know all about the street.