Monday, 21 December 2009

The evolving passion for shoes

The tools of a by Euan Denholm

Now that the Christmas shopping has been completed, my thoughts have begun to wander away from my the present and I've started drawing up lists of things I need to do next year. Over the last twelve months I have developed a passion for shoes, an addiction even. It is just impossible to resist elegant, well fitted leather creations. After meeting shoeists like the chaps at Lodger and of course Mr. Hare I had a feeling that their passion would be contagious and it certainly was. I have documented my exploits in becoming a fine footwear consumer in recent months but now I'd like to take my own new found passion one step further...I need to learn more about the craftsmanship and observe each skilled process in the making of my favourite footwear.

Edward Green Falkirk 202 Last Burnt Pine / Edwardian Antique Made to Order shoes available from Leffot would complete my shoe collection.

After stumbling across the above pair of Edward Green made to order shoes one of the adventures sitting near the summit of my to do list is exploring the heart of English shoe country, Northampton. Edward Green is just one of the traditional yet still thriving men’s shoemaker based in this historic shoe producing town. Northampton is only an hour from Euston on the train and I think it will prove to be a really fascinating trip which I will surely make early next year. My exploration of English shoe country will begin with Edward Green and these images taken by Euan Denholm which document the Northampton workshop make me want to make the trip as soon as possible in the new year.

A craftsman at by Euan Denholm

In 1890 Edward Green began to make hand crafted shoes for gentlemen in a small factory in Northampton. Founded on the skill of his craftsman and his belief in excellence, he soon gained a reputation for making 'the finest shoes in England for the discerning few.' Today the high standards remain. Almost one hundred and twenty years later and they still hand make all of their shoes in their own workshop in Northampton. Every pair is hand cut to ensure they use the very best grain of leather. Some styles are even hand sewn with a pig's bristle. Each pair takes several weeks to make and many skilled craftsman are involved. Based on Jermyn Street, Edward Green has become discreetly famous for producing probably the finest Goodyear welted shoes. Instantly recognisable - an English look with definite international appeal. Stay tuned and expect a follow up post in January after I've visited the workshop myself...

8 comments: said...

those are amazing shoes! wished i could tag along for the trip.

have fun, and have a great holiday between christmas and new year ;)

Unknown said...

The history of stuff like this fascinates me. E.Green must've been a very good craftsman. Have good time at the workshop.


Good morning sms said...

the shoes are so nice and handsome thanks for sharing this with us.

Style Salvage Steve said...

00o00: I might just organise a Northampton Shoe tours side project to take us enthusiasts around the factories. Thanks and have a lovely Christmas yourself!
J'aime: I certainly think so and I can't wait to share my experiences with you early next year.
Good Morning sms: They certainly are handsome, they could transform any outfit in to something special.

Mr Brown said...

An overly busy shoe made for foreign markets (cash cows).

That said every man needs to earn his crust.

Style Salvage Steve said...

MrBrown: Ha! You are even more dismissive than normal. The fact that 90% of Edward Greens sales away from British shores make me even more ashamed of my fellow countryman than ever.

Mr Brown said...


'Made the USA' is something that people will pay a premium for.

Ditto Japan.

'Made In England' especially in the UK means next to nothing.

For all the commotion during the 90's on cool Britannia we missed an opportunity to raise the profile of our common 'brand'.

Yes, Barbour, Mulberry, Paul Smith et all trade on their Britishness, but they are predominantly made off shore.

Who's to blame?

Us. We. The consumer. If we demand, they will supply.

There are pockets of hope Hawick and Northampton are good examples.

Style Salvage Steve said...

Mr Brown: Well said, I couldn't agree more. It is such a shame and hopefully we, the consumer, discover these pockets of hope and develop from there.


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