Nothing is more important in defining the quality of a shoe than the leather from which it’s cut – hence the old adage about silk purses and sow’s ears.
At Edward Green – shoemaker since 1890 – it has always been a matter of honour to source the very best calfskins, and to cut exceptionally carefully to ensure the finished shoe retains a fine but natural character. Fine calfskin is far more comfortable, gives a lovely lustrous depth to the patina and gains personality as it ages. This year the company has introduced a new leather to the family – London Grain calf – which has a subtle, grained texture and takes a beautiful shine. It’s ideal for formal dress shoes which complement the flannels and soft fabrics favoured in today’s tailoring. Buffalo skin is another new option – a great natural skin, full of texture, which lends the character of the American plains – robust, distinctive and strong, ideal for bringing a pioneer spirit to the brand’s signature Galway boot.
The shop keeps an extensive collection of sizes, widths and lasts, ensuring that customers can find their perfect fit or create something to order. Last year, women’s styles were also introduced.
Edward Green established his shoe-making workshop in Northampton with a commitment to ‘making the finest shoes, without compromise’. Determined to maintain the highest standards, he put together a team of the town’s most respected shoemakers and sourced the best materials for them to work with. By the 1930s, alongside its shoes, the company had also become the biggest maker of high-grade military boots in the country, and was attracting the attention of stylish clients such as Ernest Hemingway and Cole Porter.
Respect for the integrity of the craftsmen and the tradition of shoe- making have always been paramount at Edward Green. Production is therefore relatively small- scale – only 350 pairs a week. It takes a skilled artisan over two hours to hand sew the U-shaped aprons on a pair of Dovers – as well as years in training; soles are tanned for nine months in a solution of oak, spruce and mimosa barks for comfort and durability. Original lasts are returned to be re- crafted again and again. No detail is missed. The Galway, and other shoes such as the Dover and Chelsea cap-toed Oxford, are prized all over the world for their supreme quality and distinctly English character. This combination of excellence and quintessentially English style has served the company well internationally.
Fine calfskin is far more comfortable and gives a lovely lustrous depth to the patina and gains personality as it ages.
Edward Green is stocked by leading department stores from Isetan in Tokyo to Bergdorf Goodman in New York and has its own stores in Paris, Tokyo and on London’s Jermyn Street. The shop keeps an extensive collection of sizes, widths and lasts, ensuring that customers can find their perfect fit or create something to order. Last year, women’s styles were also introduced.
In other developments, the brand is working closely with The Rake magazine on its new online portal – The Atelier – and also increasing its own range available online, investing more in what is a crucial, growing sales channel. Buyers are purchasing online from all over the world, and in response, the company is offering a fast, next-day service with easy returns, which allows customers the luxury of trying and testing the shoes in their own home, wherever that might be.
EDWARD GREEN 75 JERMYN STREET, LONDON SW1Y 6NP +44 (0)20 7839 0202