*Vintage ABERCROMBIE & FITCH, Full Brogue Oxford: 45C
Size: 45-45.5 [US.11.5] [UK 10.5]
Styles: Brogues, Collectors Shoes/Object d'Art, Oxfords
Abercrombie & Fitch
Full Wing Tip Brogue Oxford
In 1913, Abercrombie & Fitch adopted the slogan, “The Greatest Sporting Goods Store in the World”
….and with full justification. During the first half of the 20th century Abercrombie & Fitch Co. was the premiere outfitter of America’s sporting elite, outfitting big-game hunters, fishermen, and other adventurers, such as Ernest Hemingway and Theodore Roosevelt for African safaris. It is said that Roosevelt equipped his Rough Rider out of his own pocket at Abercrombie. The Polar explorers, Roald Amundsen and Admiral Richard Byrd geared up there, as did Charles Lindbergh and Amelia Earhart for their historic flights. Among the myriad of regular patrons, Greta Garbo, Katherine Hepburn, Clark Gable John Steinbeck, John F. Kennedy, Ernest Shackleton (another Artic explorer), Cole Porter, and Dwight Eisenhower(who lived for many years at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, just a few blocks walk away to pick up some ammo), are perhaps among the most recognizable. If Cole Porter, a clothes horse, and someone never out of reach of a cocktail could find something for the salon or boulevard among the artillery and camping gear, their street clothing must have been first cabin!
The company was originally established as Abercrombie Co. by David Abercrombie on June 4, 1892, on the Manhattan waterfront, at 36 South street. In 1900, Ezra Fitch, a regular customer, joined as co-founder and in 1904, adding his surname, to Abercrombie’s. In 1917, the now prospering store moved into a twelve-story building at the corner of Madison Avenue and 45th Street, occupying the entire 12 stories. As well as four floors of clothing for every outdoor terrain and climate, the building had a shooting range, a golf school, a kennel for dogs and cats, a bait-casting instructor at a rooftop pool, a book store & picture gallery, camping, fishing and boating equipment for every need and a gun room, famous in all the world, containing hundred of shotguns and rifles and decorated with heads of big game taken on 5 continents. During 1938, guns accounted for 40% of sales at the Madison avenue store. At one time, the Dallas store offered $40,000 elephant guns for sale. In the 1950s, the main floor of the flagship was remodeled to include heads of buffalo, caribou, moose, elk, and other big game, stuffed fish of spectacular size, and elephant’s-foot wastebaskets. Price was never an object; only the finest quality available would do.
But the modern egalitarian market thinks otherwise. After losing $1 million in 1975, Abercrombie & Fitch Co. filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy and finally closed its doors in November 1977. Since then, this unique business, purveying the very finest in sporting and outdoor gear, has been bought and sold several times by larger conglomerates, and progressively reduced from its proud origins to a casual fashion store like so many others, so undistinguished indeed that the staff in the San Francisco and New York shops knew nothing of the firms auspicious history and were surprised to hear a few anecdotes from me.
The oxford in this listing are of American origin, made approximately 1955 to Abercrombie’s towering mid-century standards. A fine classic cut shoe for a gentleman who appreciates the traditional. This shoe comes trailing clouds of history.
Size Details:US 11.5C…..UK 10.5D…..Continental 45C, for the slightly narrower foot.
Superb, all original and showing the very slightest wear. Sold without trees.