EDWARD GREEN, The Wildsmith Loafer; 42.5D.
€380.00VENDU à M. G. de S., France
No.13 Princess Arcade, London
“The Wildsmith Loafer”
The first ever slip-on loafer is said to have been derived by Raymond Lewis Wildsmith from the bespoke house shoes made for King George VI. Originally known as the Model 582 and later, the Model 98, it was meant to be worn by the king inside the house with his shooting hose.
The Wildsmith family is said to have been in the shoe trade for 7 generations. founded in 1847 by Rebecca & Matthew Wildsmith, the firm, last located in their premises at No 13 in the elegant Princess Arcade off Jermyn Street, the hotbed of bespoke shirt and shoemakers, is no more. Since 2006, the long-time Wildsmith shop is now occupied by another shoemaker, Sanders. The remaining Wildsmith, Mr. John Wildsmith, I am informed, now only travels with the Hilditch & Key (shirt makers) trunk show and, of late, acts as the éminence grise of a new Wildesmith firm, under new management.
Wildsmith was long well know as a bespoke shoemaker, and like other inner-city firms even today -John Lobb is a good example- measured the client, settled with him on the design and materials but farmed the actual work out to small “cottage” workrooms elsewhere in England. It is interesting to speculate what the difference of fit and finish would be between two pairs of shoes ordered from the same firm but executed by two different workshops.
In more recent years Wildsmith marketed ready to wear shoes made for them by, first, Edward Green, as in this shoe, and, more recently, by Crockett and Jones.
This is the late 20th-Century version of the firms classic loafer. The unassuming Laid Apron Penny Loafer conceals a multitude of refined detail. The laid apron has a serrated edge -pinking- itself laid over a black leather underlay, Notice the flair at the ball of the foot and the extraordinarily small waist, both unusual for any ready-made shoe, even one by Edward Green.
To avoid disappointing anyone, let me say in advance that this is the one and only pair I have to offer of this shoe.
Size Details:UK 8.5E .....9.5DUS....42.5D Continental, for the medium width foot.
Tops like new. Bottoms: soiled but showing no actual wear