The first year is in the books and we have enjoyed every step of the way. We have been very happy with everyone’s response and feedback. Now that we have built a base with the Leo last, we can focus our efforts on a new dress last, patterns and materials.
In January, we revealed our plans to create a staple dress shoe. The latest rendition of the Oliver last had a great fit but is now under further revision for aesthetics and overall balance. While wear testing the shoe, the heel kept the foot in place while the forepart felt closer to the average E width on a Balmoral shoe. With regards to the revisions, we are making small adjustments to create a more refined, sharper look. The latest trials are underway and look promising so far. Our goal is to have this last finished by the end of summer. We will then make the final decisions on the pattern and calf colors.
We heard your requests and have been working hard to accommodate a wider range of sizes. The Leo last has now been graded to E (wide) width. By fall of this year, E widths will be offered in our core shoe and boot SKUs in sizes 6.5E to 13E.
Over the last year we have been making samples and small runs of shell cordovan in the plain toe blucher pattern. Shell is an interesting article. It is considered unique not only due to the raw material itself but there are less than 10 tanneries in the world who currently tan and sell shell cordovan. There are many reasons people love shell cordovan whether it’s the article’s strength, shine or seamless vamp break on a shoe.
The project has been a lot of fun and the end result has shown to be quite promising. Due to the differences in elasticity and the structure of shell versus bovine articles, the patterns, lasting and finishing techniques all need to be adjusted. The shell article cannot be pulled over a last like the average calf or cow article. If put under too much pressure, the top layer pores can be opened and exposed, essentially affecting the structure of the article along with the sheen. The finishing room has been the most interesting as certain steps and techniques can really make these articles glow. Over the next few months, we will continue to offer limited pre-orders along with sampling unique colors.
If you have any interest or questions regarding shell pre-orders, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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I sat down with our Founder & Director Wyatt Gilmore's grandfather, Floyd Gilmore, to hear why after sixty two years, he's still dreaming of shoes.