Classic Styles – London Bespoke Shoe Maker – George Cleverly


Hi, I’m Kirby Allison, founder of The Hanger Project. I’m here today in London, at bespoke shoemaking firm George Cleverley with Mr. George Glasgow
Sr., chairman of the company. Thanks for joining us. So we’re going to talk through some of the more iconic models. This is probably where it all started with the classic oxford shoe, that’s sOxford closed front, that’s where we use the terminology
Oxford, with a very plain toe-cap on it. This is probably as serious
of a shoe as you’ll get, and that’s set itself in stone for more years and certainly long before me ,probably as long as Mr. Cleverley. So that is the classic sort of English model. If he wanted something a little bit
more fancy, then we have just the […] holes, which they’re pretty much the same. The, what the customer has the right to
do, if he so wishes, to add a little bit more tooling work on. All the shoes are basically serious formal shoes and they’re all closed at the front to make it that way, rather than being a Blucher or a Derby shoe. We always reckon that this makes the shoe a bit more formal, this makes the shoe a bit more
casual. So, then we come along, when you’ve done laced shoes, which happened with Mr. Cleverley, he introduced this elastic sided shoe, where he did make a pair for Winston Churchill. It’s what we’ve called
now the Churchill shoe. As you can see here, it’s elastic, where you get the
support, and also the laces are imitation, they are not real but they give the same appearance
underneath the trousers that you’ve got a formal shoe on, that at the same token, you’ve got the elastic to support
the front. So that’s pretty good, pretty nice, and we’re still making and cutting as many of dear, old Mr. Cleverley’s styles as we ever done. So they’ve set this style in stone, pretty much the same as this sort of shoe. So we’re proud to say that we carry on with that one in a very large manner. So then we, there again, if I took this one, you can vary the elastic sided shoe. There’s the elastic again, you can vary it in so much we put a cap on this one. This one has got a wing, so you can dictate the style. You can have it plain, you can have it without design, you can have it with more design, that’s entirely your prerogative. Then we come on to one or two more slip on that are of our famous customer Baron Alexis de
Rede. This is a couple of models of his exact shoes, where this one’s made in pigskin and this is are sort of dressier shoe made in black calf with a fine lizard band. Baron de Rede, I mean, I knew Baron de Rede personally, I was introduced to him from Mr. Cleverley maybe 30 years ago. And I don’t know if there ever will be a guy that’s going to have a collection of shoes like this man. I asked Mr. Cleverley one day, when he was 92, “How many shoes do you think you
made this guy?” and his reply was “Well let’s put it this way: I can’t remember not making him
shoes”. The other one that I want to just talk about
for a few minutes, is this Russian shoe that is made out of vegetable tanned
leather. This, particularly, is very unique. Some 15, 18 years ago, an amateur diver in Cornwall come across this ship’s bell. They researched it with us because I knew one of the small leather goods men in
Cornwall, a guy called Robin, and then we found out the history, also found that this belonged to the
Prince of Wales, the hides. So we approached him, and then we’ve made a certain limited amount of shoes from it which we’re still doing
today. This is quite unique in it’s own way
that you can still produce something nice
as this from leather that’s over 200 years old. A testimony to how much TLC this leather was given. We’re proud to have this, this has been very very exciting,
we’re making the small amount of shoes, and then, some of the hides come up
a little bit heavier, a little bit thicker, so we actually are making one or two bags from this wreck. So we also have a pair of shoes in the
Victoria and Albert Museum because of the
history behind it. That is an array of
shoes, but you can see all these ones here, they’re all different, and we’ve got to give lots of
different varieties, lots of different ideas to people, because that’s what they want. And really, when you having handmade
shoes, that’s what you gotta do, give
people plenty of variety so they know and they’ve seen a full range of
shoes. But I think we’re covered, as you can see we do
slippers, we do suede shoes, we do country boots, we walking boots, we do lots of different things and as I say, we do make 1 or 2 limited amount of bags to customers own spec and requirements. So, you know, also one or two small leather goods
accessories so if it’s something to do with leather, we’ll probably do
something for people. And I think, the thing is, I must say for all people that see this video, is that we’re we are approachable people, we do want people to come into the shop, so please don’t ever be intimidated
by George Cleverley, because we’re not a devil with horns. We are
welcoming, so if you want to come in, and you’re in London, always feel free to come in anytime and if you want to chat, and you want to maybe place an
order, you don’t have to place an order, but we will treat everyone in the same respect as what they
deserve. I’m George Glasgow Sr., chairman of GJ Cleverley and Company Ltd. and I’d just like to everyone that sees this video, which I’m sure there will be quite a lot of people, I invite you personally to come into
our shop if you’re travelling in London and see our arrangement because I
think it’s a worthwhile visit, very Charles Dickens, and I think you’d be very proud to see the operation in full hand. Also, if that journey to London is
impossible, we do a biannual to America twice a year where we visit, in America, at least 8-10 different cities. If you look at our website, you’ll see where we’re going and when going and if we can’t get to London, we might be able to meet you on one of our visits to the United

17 Comments

  • Awesome shoes, I am speechless. A little bit more coverage on the boots would be well appreciated. Thanks for the great video.

  • Thank you so much for blessing the menswear world with these really in-depth videos! You are really helping men like myself on their sartorial journeys by opening these doors to these wonderful artisans!

  • Thank you Kirby for these wonderful videos. Ones in which, are helping to educate men's attire with the various channels.

  • Great Video!

  • Nice image of a young Lord Olivier in the thumbnail

  • That was the best ending statement by Mr. Glasgow. That is something you dont see alot today. I've always been intimidated to go into these high end stores especially if Im not buying anything. That was a very heartfelt invitation. This was an amazing series Kirby Thanks.

  • Mr Glasgow is such a gentleman that now I am so tempted to go meet him when he comes to South East Asia.

  • heartfelt, honest and humble craftman! thank you very much for your message Mr. Glasgow Sr. Thank you very much for sharing such priceless footages, Kirby!

  • Would anyone know if they made ladies' shoes as well?

  • The next time I am in London, I will visit George Cleverly

  • How about tie collections on future vid?

  • Thank you Kindly Mr. George❣️ If I should ever come to London you would be one of the first I would love to meet😊💖 your craft is very interesting to me , even if they are not women’s shoes❣️❣️

  • What glasses were you wearing in your office tour? thanks

  • What a true gentleman.. beautiful video..

  • thank you for the video!

  • Hello Kirby,
    I greatly enjoyed your videos about bespoke shoes in general & the Cleverley shoes in particular.

    Both you & those gentlemen you interviewed who are involved with shoemaking pointed out both the tangible & less tangible benefits of owning & wearing bespoke shoes.

    I don’t doubt you are all correct as although I’ve never had a pair of bespoke shoes I do wear a bespoke sports-coat or suit nearly every day. An off the peg 40” regular jacket is likely to fit me quite well but it can’t compare to the fit, feel & satisfaction I get from something made just for me.

    Now you’ve got several pairs of bespoke shoes, do you find they’ve caused a feeling dissatisfaction with your RTW shoes even though those are of fine quality (e.g. G&G)?

    I ask because I mostly wear Edward Green shoes & I’d hate to end up feeling dissatisfied with them if I go & start wearing Cleverly bespoke – I’d love to try at least one pair.

    Regards
    Russell

  • I want to see this shop and shake his hand

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