We all known how flooded the market is with supposed “luxury goods” and “quality bespoke such-and-such,” but I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what sorts of things set apart the proverbial wheat from the chaff. To be honest, a lot of what I’ve been able to identify falls pretty simply into two categories: intensive craftsmanship and true creativity/individuality. The brands and products that combine a love of craft and quality with a unique aesthetic that sets them apart from the pack (even if these differences are subtle or just markers of the aforementioned craft) are the brands I find myself continuously gravitating towards time and time again.
A perfect example of this combination for me is the Shoe of the Month program over at Lodger Footwear on Clifford Street, London. Their standard offerings are mouthwatering, don’t get me wrong, but I find the creativity present in each new month’s offering exciting and engaging in a totally different way. To step back for a moment, the shoe of the month program is just what it sounds like – Lodger releases a limited edition shoe each month that is only available for order during that month, and is then never offered again.
While this month’s shoe is a loafer in two special colors, both beautiful in their own right, some months have been really unique and amazing. The combination suede and leather Jodphur boot offered this past February was definitely one of the highlights for me, taking a traditional Jodphur off the polo pitch and into the city – while it would also look great in the country, I’m sure, this boot just screams “Brown in Town” to me. Maybe it’s the sleek lines and crossed strap…or maybe just the fact that I wish I had a pair and don’t spend much time in the country.
Another vintage-inspired favorite was the tennis shoe offered last summer, which might be the best summer shoe I have ever laid eyes on. And the best (or quite possibly the worst) part of it all is that I can’t have either of these offerings; after their month is up, no wad of cash can get them reproduced. This idea of luxury that is somewhat impulsive, if a month can be considered impulsive, intrigues me and makes me smile as I think about it.
The list of unique offerings goes on, striped canvas, two-tone desert boots, blue suede brogues, and paprika slip-ons all represented. The foundation for all of this though is ultimately quality and craft. This isn’t about plunking down 100 pounds for the month’s hottest fast fashion, but rather investing in something that will age with you and become more rare and unique over time – almost like a fine wine or something similar. Hand clicking, hand painting, beveled waists, and beautifully polished soles are just the basics. So next time a brand says they are producing “luxury bespoke super duper extra rare quality life-time assured” goods, give it a good think.