*GRENSON for Barrie, Ltd., Dress Cap-Toe Oxford, Circa 1980: 45D


SOLD to Mr. K. I., Nigeria
    “Made in England”
    Barrie Ltd. New Haven
    Circa 1980
    Formal Dress Cap-Toe Oxford
    Euro 280

    This shoe was made especially Barrie, Ltd. by Grenson, their standard, classic dress shoe, stylistically the sleekest of shoes, a shoe in fashion for more than a century….and to this day! Rely on it for business, evening and full dress.
    Size: UK10.5 E…….US 11.5 D……Continental 45 D, for the medium width foot.
    Condition: Restored with new soles and heels and not worn since.

    About Barrie Ltd.
    Barrie Ltd., on York Street in New Haven, a Yale institution since 1934, closed its doors in October 2004. For some 70 years Barrie presented an impressive array of fine English shoes made to their own specifications. Their clientele of Yale students, graduates and faculty supported this family run business through three generations of the Barrie family until recently when Barrie Ltd. was forced out by Yale University’s Real Estate Department’s lease demands. Yale had been buying such commercial buildings on Chapel, Broadway and York Streets as became available, including the building in which Barrie Ltd was housed.
    To be fair, much of the gentrification of Chapel Street in the last decade has been the result of Yale attracting “national” businesses. Even the old Barrie location is now occupied by a successor shoe business of quality. Still, for those of us who go a few years farther back in memory –rather say decades- the once noble decay of the area surrounding campus will be missed. As the Boarders, Bennetons and Burger Kings proliferate, as the area around campus comes to ever more resemble a mall, as quality and products migrate to some common denominator of market mediocrity, as shopping streets begin to be indistinguishable from one other, and as the wonderful disorder and diversity of former times is swept away with the passing of family owned business, to what will future generations of students turn, to avoid the rising tide of uniformity?
    Still, Barrie Ltd., their excellent English shoes, their free shoe shines for old clients, and the Barrie family manning the store for all those years will be remembered by many an old boy. On a Reunion Weekend, you were as likely to run into an old classmate in the Barrie’s shop as on campus.
    One old Yale graduate, David Chambers, writing about Barrie Ltd. and the old days remarked “When we were at Yale as students, we looked good (remember those coats and ties?) and the streets looked a bit shabby. Now the streets look good (all those “national” stores) and the students look shabby.” How very true.

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