Every few years it seems that Gieves & Hawkes switches the manufacturer who makes their private label shoes. As there is newly appointed upper management and a new re-vamp of the Gieves & Hawkes Flagship store and company image, the old shoes had had their time and the new line is finally here. What's great about this new line of dress shoes, is that it is under the name of a very old bespoke shoemaking firm that dates back to the early 1900's, here in London. And that name is Pouslen & Skone. If you try and search them in Google, what it will bring you, is to the website of New & Lingwood. This is due to the fact that some time in the early 70's, Poulsen & Skone's business was tanking and New & Lingwood saw an opportunity and therefore purchased the rights to the name. Around this same time, New & Lingwood was also employing George Cleverley on a consultancy basis, as is hinted by the famous 'Butterfly' loafer in this collection and stated to be designed by Cleverley himself. But from then until now, the Poulsen & Skone name has been casually floating in the wind, popping up here and there but is now here to stay, under the Gieves & Hawkes shoe collection.
For a little bit of background knowledge, the Poulsen & Skone shoes, that we carry, are made by Crockett & Jones (the loafers) and Grenson (all of the rest of the models). The prices range from 350 GBP to 425 GBP. The shoes made by Grenson, must be similar in quality to their highest grade line, because their feel reminds me of the handgrade line by C&J or of regular Edward Greens. Needless to say, I was quite shocked when I tried them on and felt how well made that they were, the brogues in particular. I was unaware that Grenson produced to that level of quality. They hugged my foot quite well, as they tend to run a tad bit on the narrow side, and felt as though I could tread around the concrete jungle of London all day long and would still be comfortable. As I have been longing for a burgundy loafer for a long time, I patiently awaiting for the butterfly loafer to arrive in burgundy so that I can add a Poulsen & Skone shoe to my collection!!
Another addition to the new Gieves & Hawkes shoe collection are the more casual shoes, provided by Harry's of London and a boot by Lodger. Gieves & Hawkes' new idea apparently wants to provide every kind of shoe, to go with all of the attire that they sell, in which apart of that is causal wear.Therefore, they teamed up with Harry's to create a comfort shoe selection, ranging from Tod's style loafers to sporty chukka boots, with contoured rubber soles. Another collaboration was with Lodger, to provide a more rugged jean type of boot which certainly appeals to the rainy London city-life. The new collection is also providing what any gentleman's dress line should, and that is a monogrammed Prince Albert loafer, for the distinguished gentleman. (Sorry, I had to try and crack a joke to this relatively dry yet informative post) But in all seriousness, I am quite fond of the new line, it certainly beats the old collection and I am excited to get my first pair in the not so distant future.