Built to last
Crockett & Jones, one of the country’s most lauded shoemakers, is celebrating its 140th with a new collection drawn from its peerless archive of perfectly-made footwear
April 21 2020
BY TIMOTHY BARBER
It’s 140 years since Charles Jones and Sir James Crockett joined forces to create what is now regarded as one of the finest shoemakers in the world: Crockett & Jones. Jones was the shoemaker and Crockett the businessman, and together they formed a shoe manufacturing ‘firm’ that has remained in the careful hands of the Jones family ever since, and become a benchmark of quality.
At the Northampton factory – the same one the company built in 1890 – you will still find Crockett & Jones working to the hum of skilled craftsmen and women. From clickers and stitchers to leather buyers and the master pattern cutter, Crockett & Jones is a hive of rare traditional skills that imbue every shoe with craft and finesse.
In honour of the firm’s heritage, the 140th Collection breaks away from the norm and takes inspiration from the extensive archives.
A specially developed last for the collection, Last 140, features a hollowed out neck, narrow waist, soft outside wall and an elegantly English round toe profile. It took months of model making, sampling and test fitting for a form fit for the collection to be created.
Each style features an elevated Hand Grade specification with British racing green linings, black sole finishing, hand polished uppers, and a gold embossed 140th Collection logo – a nod to the very early days of branded production. The shoes are complemented with a pair of lasted shoe trees that are handmade by the very same last maker of the 140 Last.
There are three styles. The Perry, inspired by a 1920s design, is a pin-punch cap English Oxford with exquisite swan neck facing details. Made from black calf with a notion of black willow grain.
The Magee is a Cambridge Gusset Casual, a design thought to originate on Jermyn Street in London, where Crockett & Jones’ flagship resides. This very ‘London’ style combines antique calf uppers with expertly stitched willow grain gusset sides and quarter inserts.
Finally comes the Turner, the dandy of the three: a demi-boot with a pin-punched short wing cap, often found on early 19th century spectators. It’s also available as a combination of antique calf and willow grain, with just the strap and ‘fishtail’ back strap both in the grain, giving a slight contrast from the hand polished calf.
Find out more about the skills inherent to Crockett & Jones’ shoemaking at crockettandjones.com/the-article