Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Shoe sundries: Crockett & Jones & Foster in NYC

The new C&J store in midtown Manhattan has been open for about a month now and I recently had a chat with Kevin Hill, the manager of the store.

C&J is one of just five or so English shoe factories left in Northampton. The company produces about 2,500 pairs of shoes a week for some of the most well-known retail brands in the business (e.g. Brooks Brothers). They pulled out of their former retail premises at shirtmaker Turnbull & Asser in NYC and Beverly Hills and have decided to go direct to the consumer. It's a delicate but perennial issue in distribution - do you have others sell product for you or do you sell directly? These days the answer in luxury retail seems to be both.

Quick facts: Made to order (MTO) shoes ranges from $1100 to $1200. MTO allows personalized choices off a standard last - so the leather, sole and other details are configurable. The higher number in the price range reflects MTOs done in the handgrade line. Recrafting is available for $220 to $230. Again the higher price is for recrafting of handgrades.

Kevin also mentioned that there are plans for Dimitri Gomez, bespoke shoemaker / bottier based in the Paris outpost of C&J, to visit later this year.

Yesterday Foster & Son were in NYC tending to repeat orders and new customers. I had a nice chat with Richard and Emma. They're doing well and have an enviable backlog of orders to fill. Richard Torregrossa, author of Cary Grant: A Celebration of Style, also made an appearance late in the day.

Additional links
- Link to Dimitri Gomez website
- London Lounge thread on Dimitri Gomez
- Racked coverage of C&J opening

4 comments:

jotaele said...

Please correct me If I'm wrong but currently Alfred Sargent is the brand that makes Brooks Brothers shoes, at least the Peal & CO collection (which I find Its best). C&J did it before AS and In the very beginning of the collection they were made by Edward Green.

sleevehead said...

You might be right about current production. When I was speaking with the store manager, I think he may very well have included brands they have supplied in the past (in addition to current production).

Anonymous said...

The problem with C&J shoes are that they for the majority of the shoes only come in one width. This is not very attracyive if C&J wants to be judged as premium.

sleevehead said...

If I remember correctly, their MTO program allows multiple widths.