j-fitzpatrick-footwear-may-2016-sebastien-copper-museum-calf-hero-47_grande j-fitzpatrick-footwear-may-2016-sebastien-copper-museum-calf-hero-57_grande j-fitzpatrick-footwear-may-2016-sebastien-copper-museum-calf-hero-61_grande j-fitzpatrick-footwear-may-2016-sebastien-copper-museum-calf-hero-113_grandewww.jfitzpatrickfootwear.com

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136945These lace-up leggings are made of olive drab canvas and were designed to cover the gap between trousers and boots and prevent dirt entering the latter.

They were worn by a fifth grade technician of the 115th Infantry Regiment, 29th Infantry Division. The latter formation was a National Guard division from Maryland and Virginia. Known informally as ‘England’s Own’ it was posted to England in 1942. Initially stationed at Tidworth, it later undertook coast watch duties in Devon and Cornwall. On 6 June 1944, the 29th Division formed part of the first wave of landings in the ‘Easy Red’ sector of OMAHA Beach.136942 136944www.nam.ac.uk

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The black cap-toe era is dead. The times when the black cap-toe was held in high regard on the advertising posters of the shoemaking companies has ended. The watchword now is “diversity”. The RTW shoe palette is very wide, more and more producers having MTO programs available (see for exemple the MTO program of J.FitzPatrick Footware). Even if the production price may make unattractive some MTO model, price optimization solutions have been issued – MTO groups (see Carmina MTO or Meermin MTO)IMG_8621
If until recently some of the options were reserved for Bespoke, today you can order the color blue, Museum calf leather, or you can even personalize your loafers online. The down side is that most of the time the clients have inapplicable expectations when they choose the MTO programs. MTO gives you the possibility to make some aesthetic modifications, not structural ones, as is the case for Saint Crispin’s, for example, where you can customize the last (for Saint Crispin’s  this option is a life-saver, because their standard lasts are pretty annoying if they don’t fit perfectly to your foot). MTO is a good alternative when you want to spice up your wardrobe, but you must also consider the fact that there’s a long way to bespoke, even if your shoes look very nice.
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Despite the fact that I am not a fan of the exotic models, I must admit that having the possibility to use three types of leather in one shoe for an acceptable price is quite remarkable. Awl & Sundry is a company where mostly anything that you have in mind can turn into reality. Plus, the shoes are handmade. The shoes are produced in China, but to expect handmade in Europe for this price is a bit unrealistic. 5 lasts are available, but I find The Townsend to be more attractive. The model is a classic derby brogue inspired by Edward Green Cardiff.IMG_8594
And now let’s sumarize  Pros and Cons:
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Pros.
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The real product looks like the graphic rendering. The proportions stayed true.
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 The shoes felt great. I have nothing to complain about the last.
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A reasonable number of lasts – 5
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Large variety of patterns. Practically, you should be very picky should you not find your favorite design.  You can even chose the stiching color.
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You can chose traditional shoe size or to be more accurate enter your personalizes mesurments
IMG_8607The construction of the shoe, even if it isn’t very refined, conveys the fact that these are not machine made shoes. The small imperfections can be overlooked, considering that they feel like a pair of handmade shoes. You will find some not very tidy stitches, but that doesn’t make a bad shoe at all. Things like this happen when you work with your own hands. Chinese workers are not famous for their refinement. (see the  back of the shoes where the stitch was not well centered.
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Good quality for suede. (I was skeptic regarding the quality of the suede, but I must admit that I am quite pleased. But more about the calf and pebble leather in the Cons section)
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The lining is soft and supple.
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 It is an unmatched online experience as far as I know by now. The website works impeccably, and the customer support is very good. Technically, you can solve any problem through the online chat, which is quite effective. These guys do everything to make you a happy customer.
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Cons
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The quality of the calf and pebble grain is not the one I expected (I have 2 pairs – one is suede and one is a mix grained calf/suede). If I have only good things to say about the suede, the tannery for the calf should be changed in the near future.IMG_8605A little bit more attention in the finishing stage could improve significantly the feeling of satisfaction of the buyer then he holds the shoe in his hand for the first time. They should also have a new box supplier. My box didn’t resist very well.
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Metal toes  are not available which for a MTO shoe could be annoying. (mine were added later at a local cobbler)IMG_8600
The overall Awl & Sundry experience is pleasant. It is not easy to build the entire infrastructure in order to make every dream  come true. The small imperfections can be overlooked, considering the fact that they can be easily improved and after all I can live with them as long as the shoe is handmade. The most important one is the one related to the calf, but I believe that things will be fixed in the near future. IMG_8610

97987

nam.ac.uk

Black leather, E G Müller, St Petersburg.

These boots were worn by Prince Alexander Sergeievich Menshikov, commander of the Russian forces at the Battle of the Alma on 20 September 1854. They were presumably recovered from his coach, which was captured after the battle.

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“A svelte, decoratively laced moccasin, one of the most elegant models purveyed by Britain’s finest bespoke shoemaker, GJ Cleverley, is named the De Redé. The shoe is thus dubbed in honour of the subject we address herein — a gifted investor, decorator and host named Baron Alexis De Redé.

The most prolific, voracious consumer of Cleverleys’ wares ever, De Redé is said to have commissioned roughly 500 pairs from the shoemaker over the course of his life. “There was never really a moment when there wasn’t at least one pair being made for him in the shop,” Cleverleys chief George Glasgow once told me, as I admired one of several pairs of De Redé’s shoes that remain in the shoemaker’s possession. Of course, it isn’t merely De Redé’s passion for fine British footwear that wins his position here. This remarkable individual possessed myriad rakish qualities. Not least, extravagant, exquisite taste.

Born into a prosperous Swiss banking family, De Redé attended elite école Le Rosey, where his classmates included Prince Rainier of Monaco and the future Shah of Persia. His mother had died when he was aged nine, and hitting financial dire straits, his father committed suicide in 1939, leaving De Redé and his siblings in drastically reduced circumstances, with a relatively meager life insurance allowance to live on.

Seeking new opportunities, the dashingly handsome 18-year-old De Redé decamped for New York, where he caught the eye of a vastly wealthy Chilean guano tycoon, Arturo Lopez-Wilshaw. There began a relationship that would continue until …” Read full text here.

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