One of my favorite things about going to Gaziano & Girling's factory is seeing all of the bespoke models lying around, being able to capture the ideas that some individuals have in their minds and appreciate them. On top of that, I am also able to see RTW shoes being produced for other markets, like Asia, which will almost always be different from the shoes that you will see produced for the Western world, i.e. the States and Europe. If one never knew, they might think that the shoes one would will see in a shop in London or New York just might be the same that would be sold in Tokyo, but on the contrary, with completely different tastes in style and aesthetics, they differ tremendously.
I, to be quite honest, almost always prefer the shoes that I see heading the the Japanese market, as they are usually more unique and different than your average apron or cap toe, two common styles that are certainly going to be a popular purchase in England or the States. That being, as it is hard to see what is sold in other countries (unless you travel there), going to the factory and seeing them allows me to understand what the other markets might think like, and being able to capture that to share with all of you.
My trip to the factory, however, was not solely for that, and in reality, I was there to finish up (or rather watch as it was finished up) my first pattern. I am quite excited to see what it will look like when it is all made up into a shoe. That will be an exciting day! Pattern making, as I have come to learn, is quite difficult but extremely intriguing. It takes being able to figure things out, things that might not necessarily be obvious, but definitely will be detrimental to the finished product and how it turns up. Because when you look at the pattern pieces all cut out, it might look simple, but in reality, they are tremendously difficult to get precise! Enjoy the pictures and the rest of your weekend...
-Justin, "The Shoe Snob"