Posts Tagged ‘Shoes’
Jordan Sayler, owner and operator of Winn Perry, is one of the nicest, next generation archival gents you’ll ever meet. On Saturday, friend Erin and I drove up to take photographs of Sayler’s shop and browse his Billy Kirk bag selection (and Obedient Sons dress shorts) .
Erin originally found Winn Perry while tracking down Duchess, a vintage inspired, made-to order-clothier sharing retail space with Winn Perry.
Winn Perry carries such admirable, hard-to-find-in-the-Northwest brands like Makr, Billy Kirk, Baxter of California, Alexander Olchs, Our Legacy, Obedient Sons, Gloverall, SNS-Herning, Grenson and Alden, as well as many original garments (pants, jackets and vests) created by Duchess. The shop also carries some cryptic gents’ accessories like shaving supplies, tie bars, cuff links, etc. , which I admired from afar but failed to fully document.
Sayler kindly permitted us to distract him with questions about his product offerings while customers streamed in to shop from the Winn Perry racks or coordinate fittings with Duchess. Sayler spoke with us about his future focus on primarily stocking USA-made products and our shared obsession with a low-top version of the Alden Indy boot (he produced a photo of a custom made pair, found online, in brown aniline calf leather).
Sayler seems to still be sorting out Portland/Northwest demand for more premium menswear brands (we talked about Edward Green) while making sure his current customers have access to the kind of well made but reasonably affordable, heritage items offered for sale in his shop. Sayler is also interested in producing Winn Perry originals. For starters, he mentioned a potential collaboration with a friend on a Winn Perry canvas bag.
Live field report: during our visit, a not quite my size, SNS-Herning fisherman’s sweater was sold to an actual customer and might be now sighted on the streets of Portland.
Although the Winn Perry shop is quite compact, Jordan has staged the space to highlight individual clothing categories without overcrowding the total space (again, in split screen mode with Duchess). An old dry goods cabinet (purchased from Craiglist in California) functions as the central display area for Sayler’s well curated selection of footwear. Winn Perry is located in a historic, brick building with high windows, double doors and a fetching, white tile floor. The total effect is that of a classic (but not fabricated) menswear shop that you might have visited with your parents during a childhood day trip into the city.
After I visited Winn Perry, I emailed Sayler to see if he could elaborate on his concept for Winn Perry and any specific, future plans he might have for his shop (and brand). Here’s what he had to say:
When I was starting Winn Perry, I wanted to create a sort of emporium for men to find quality items (clothing, shave products, etc). I also wanted it to incorporate custom clothing as that had become a much greater proportion of my own wardrobe, thanks to Duchess. When it started, it was really a place for men to get a custom suit made by Duchess and find accessories or a ready to wear suit if they didn’t have the time or need for custom. As time goes by, the store is slowly evolving into a place to come and find quality products that I think other people might find interest in.
Made in the USA is becoming an ever expanding part of the store’s ethos and I hope to continue that trend, although I am not against a well-made, well-designed product that is produced outside the USA. I do believe that it is important to support the local and domestic community, because as more manufacturing gets shipped off shore, we lose crafts, skills, and jobs that have supported Americans for generations and we become ‘reliant’ on a service economy — never a good thing. Made in the USA used to mean craftsmanship, reliability, and longevity. I hope that Winn Perry can do a little bit to help revive those ideas.
In 2003, I was a brief subscriber to The Field magazine, a UK outdoor (Town and Country type) publication with an emphasis on rare breed animal husbandry, charity shooting events, grouse hunting, gentleman farming (slug abatement), fly fishing, fox hunting and real estate (manors and mansions). I mainly read the magazine for the “faces in the field” page (all those cool Cordings tattersall shirts) and the ads in the back featuring UK stockists of lesser known country clothing brands like Hebden Cord and Whitford Mumbles (advertising the largest UK selection of a news-to-me, hand-lasted shoe, the Carcavelo).
Here’s a reason to start your own subscription.
If I had to design my own line of footwear–I’d repurpose leather cycling shoes and advise folks to wear cushioning insoles. At the Oregon Manifest handbuilt bike show, I noted a number of people sporting Sidi Dominators with knickers or straight street clothing. In short, the Sidis were doubling as daily wingtips or casual sneakers.
For daily wear, my preference is for a more simplified leather (not Lorica) cycling shoe, preferably with perforations, silver metal eyelets and a nice rolling or wrap around rubber sole.
Bike Portland ran an article on Jeff Mandel, a custom shoe maker who is now making both leather cycling shoes and saddles. If my ship comes, I’ll be ordering a pair of Jeff’s cycling shoes with that amazing red sole (adding in a special request for silver eyelets).
Just saw these great custom cycling shoes by Riotgeer Design.
The last I heard, these JM Weston shoes for women had gone up in price from $500-something to $800-something a pair. Alas–they’ll have to remain a permanent keyword search term for me during my Sunday evening ebay hunts.
If I were a guy, I’d be broke. At least that’s what I think each time I look at websites selling beautiful, handmade/handsewn leather shoes for men like Leather Soul Hawaii, Ben Silver, Alden Shoes of Carmel, Harry’s Shoes and even Sierra Trading Post. For the most part, there’s a radical absence of decent shoes for women not made out of molded rubber, hemp canvas, nylon webbing, patent leather, metallic leather, nubuck or other synthetic leathers.
Actual text for a close-out style of Tevas for women from STP: “Female touches include colorful shoelace eyelets and decorative lining.”
Since I have relatively small feet, I’m unable to order men’s shoes which typically start at size 7 (I’m a men’s size 6 or 6.5!). Shoe sizing effectively restricts my footwear selections to a few choice vintage/ebay finds and a rotating platoon of Sebago loafers (which size down to circus monkey numbers).
What I want to purchase is a lovely, rugged oxford or brogue made out of scotch grain leather with a double leather or dainite rubber studded sole. If I had untold sums of spending money, I’d just order up a custom made loafer or derby from JM Weston. But Weston, with it’s French pedigree and Madison Ave storefront, is so elitist that I’m not even sure they would post me a catalog.
Several years ago, I stumbled on a Manchester Guardian article about the UK footwear firm, Tim Little. At the time, Little was selling no compromises, scaled down versions of their men’s style shoes for women. For several years, during the Tim Little Christmas sale, I would purchase a pair of Littles (one time it took the shoes three months to make their way from London to Oregon since I had requested the cheapest, “ground” shipping option). Now, for some reason, they’ve dropped their women’s line and erased its presence from their website (perhaps because shoes without colorful eyelets or decorative linings no longer sell well).
I understand that at least one of the Tim Little storefronts has some women’s shoes in stock. I recently purchased a pair of oxfords on steep discount. I encourage you to contact Little and inquire about this phantom line of shoes. Mention the Mockingbird or Road Runner II styles so they know you’re not nuts or making things up.
Ever since a friend commented that my snappy lace-up ankle boots looked like a pair her father wore to correct for a clubfoot condition I’ve started to look into purchasing footware through medical/surgical supply markets. My first fashion find was a pair of surgical boots from Alden of New England. In lieu of the usual catalogue prose about winterproof suede and breathable sock liners, the Alden cataloge makes the following, straightforward performance promise: “For use in post-operative cases, fractures, arthritic or gout swelling, contracted feet, vascular edema, etc. Heavy outsole and insole give secure foundation for attachment of bracework.” Though I’m fearful that these boots might actually cause gout (or somesuch vintage toe smashing malady) I’m completely smitten with their vintage look: the down-to-the-toe lacing system and simple, charlie chaplinesque black leather hightop boot styling. A more sinister medical footware option is the optimistically named “ambulatory boot” or “amboot” which “eliminates chafing at the back of the patient’s leg in the prone position during night splint work or similar situations.”