*NEW – COLE-HAAN Limited Edition Saddle Oxford: 46D (12D)
Italian-Made, Special Order
Two-Tone Saddle Oxford
The present shoe, a Two-tone Saddle Oxford of exceptional manufacture, made in Italy under special order for Cole-Haan, is a modern quotation of the model that defined the American university style from the 1920’s and 1930’s. The Saddle Oxford has never gone out of style, indeed is enjoying a resurgence of interest today, no doubt because it (literally) walks the line between a dressy shoe (because of the plain toe) and a sporting shoe (because of the University and Golf traditions behind this model).
This example, in Olive calf over Medium Brown calf with storm welt and combination heel, promises to be as durable as it is comfortable, one of the very short run of special order shoes commissioned in Italy and at the time it was still available, sold in Cole-Haan’s flagship stores only. Of course it is no longer available today.
Some history: Researching the Cole-Haan logo on the internet you will find endless palaver about the firm’s changing hands in the last 30 years and the various logos set forth by the various owners, each seeking to update and modernize the brand. What you will not find is the original Cole-Haan logo shown in the last picture of this listing.
As with many other American shoemakers, but for some periods where truly fine imports were included in their inventory, Cole-Haan’s trend has been inexorably downward since 1988 when the firm was devoured by the giant Nike, an acquisition emblematic of the general trend in America of consolidation of industries. The result, as in this case, is often that the individuality, the defining characteristics, in short, the fineness of the smaller establishment is submerged in the larger. Indeed it is often merely the name or the distribution network that the new owner is buying; the products, the quality, the American manufacturing facilities and the employees of the classic firm made redundant are of little interest to the new owners.
Cole-Haan was resold in 2012 to Apax Partners, an investment group with diverse interests. With a certain degree of independence now Cole-Haan may flourish again –one of the great old American shoemakers- the results are not yet conclusive.
Size Details:US 12D.…..UK 11E…..European 46D, for the medium width foot.
New and unworn.