Friday, 24 February 2012

The Japanese Shoe Masters (Part One) - Yohei Fukuda

Japan has a lot of fine bespoke shoe makers, yet unknown to us in the Western hemisphere. Today's blog will be following the Masters from Japan, the first Mr. Yohei Fukuda.

All of the above pictures sourced from Yohei Fukuda. Mr. Yohei Fukuda's creations

Rule Number 2 from Bowns Bespoke

Unpolished shoes are a disgrace to God and man. This is a truth I learnt from my dear Father. Perhaps this is why I find the polishing of shoes to be positively therapeutic. Requiring concentration and a modest expenditure of energy, but no thought, it enables the mind to rest and find comfort. And the result is truly satisfying. Scuffed, badly-maintained shoes denote laziness and unreliability in the wearer.

So true, I could not have articulated the above better. Thanks Mr. Bown. I have included the above as Rule Number 2 for the AristoCat

Below we see HRH The Prince of Wales abiding to Rule Number 2 of the AristoCat.

Look at the below spit shine, a true military shine.

The Shoe has seen truly cared for over the years.

Gaziano & Girling Shoes

Tony and Dean established the G&G company a few years ago. But both have been in the shoe making business for many years. With the introduction of G&G they brought the English shoe making industry to another dimension. Both Gents merits need no introduction, nor are their shoes. The lasts of the shoes, are from round to chisel squared.

Not so long ago G&G launched the Art Deco Line.

Look at the below Bespoke and MTO samples and be the judge.

Bespoke Adelaide
Wholecut with Ribbon laces, ready for a formal occasion?
MTO Warwick, the balmoral
Bespoke Croc, anyone?
Another stitched balmoral
Black Warwick, MTO

Check their shoes at

Butterfly loafers, timeless and very elegant

As Spring and Summer is approaching, yes, still cold here in the Nordics. But eventually Spring and Summer will be here, then the loafers will be aired. Not any loafer but the Butterfly loafer, which is very timeless, elegant and stylish.

Look and judge for yourself.

The above pictures are sourced from styleforum and are the works of Mr. Riccardo Bestetti, a bespoke production for a styleforum member.

Below picture is sourced from AAAC, it is a New & Lingwood creation. Word says that the butterfly loafer is a creation of Mr. George Cleverley himself.

Wholecut loafers are my Summer thing

Spring and Summer is the time for some good loafers. I prefer wholecut loafers. I have assembled a few items below sourced from The Shoe Snob.

View for yourself and make a verdict.

G&G Black whole cut loafer
Above and below loafers are from Gaziano & Girling Bespoke and Ready To Wear Shoe makers. G&G offers Made To Measure services too.

G&G Light brown whole cut loafer

Below whole cut loafers are from Riccardo Bestetti

RB wholecut loafer samples

Dimitri Gomez Parisian Bespoke Shoemaker

Mr. Gomez makes some very beautiful shoes. His shoes has that pinch of French patina which the French shoemakers are so well known for. View the beauties and judge for yourself.

The Master at work

All of the pictures sourced from Dimitri Gomez website

How Prince Charles has always been king of wardrobe recycling

Take those old shoes he wore to walk around Hereford Cathedral this week. They cost around £2,500 and were made for him by Lobb of St James's - not, as many sartorial commentators have noted, by John Lobb, Bootmaker of Jermyn Street.
There is a subtle, but crucial difference. John Lobb, Bootmaker is a Paris based, Hermes-owned footwear brand that has branches all over the place. They charge a mere £400 per pair.
Lobb, on the other hand, is a bespoke-only operation in the quiet end of St James's.
This outfitter has made footwear for Aristotle Onassis, Roald Dahl, Cole Porter, Lord Olivier, Harold Macmillan and Ted Heath.
To make a pair of shoes is a lovingly laborious process involving a hand-made wooden last, eight pieces of leather and expert stitching techniques. You don't throw a pair of Lobb shoes out because they get old.
You keep them, cherish them, have them mended, feed them with finest saddle soap and then get buried in them.

Charles clearly loves wearing clothes with provenance, with a bit of a story to tell. 

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Rule number One for the AristoCat from Bown's Bespoke.

(Rule I )  THOU SHALT WALK ONLY ON LEATHERThere is something utterly vile about the way in which the footwear of Western men has been defiled by the widespread adoption of the ‘trainer’. I suppose it has brought huge profits to the manufacturers of these nasty items, but it has also done inestimable damage to the character, as well as the appearance, of our sex. Trainers are for training: they are not fit for respectable living. Nor should we countenance those shoes which, at an indifferent glance, look passable – but which have soles made from synthetic material. Men should wear leather shoes with leather soles.

The Black Oxford punched cap-toe Leather Shoe - John Lobb

The Black Oxford Whole cut - St Crispins

Black Oxford Semi Brogues - Cleverley

Cary Grant -So Cool

The Master, casual set in loafers. Perfect Summer fit.

Formal, however with loafers. Looking good

The Full Monty, captoe oxfords
Suit and derbys, still so great.

The Master made me start looking into men's shoes, clothing, the perfect look, so my shoe journey as A Shoe AristoCat begins, inspired by the Master himself.