FrontRunners: Bench Marks
The road to prosperity has been a rocky one for British shoemaker Edward Green (+44.207.499.6377, www.edwardgreen.com). His once-successful business fell into decline under the management of his sons. They eventually sold it to an American investor, who in turn drove it to the brink of bankruptcy. It was acquired for a mere pound in 1982 by British shoemaker John Hlustik. His unexpected death in 2000 again knocked the firm off its footing until his partner, Hilary Freeman, stepped in to run the business. Freeman promptly recruited former G.J. Cleverley shoemaker Tony Gaziano, and together they have spent the past three years rebuilding the brand’s reputation for high-quality ready-made footwear. This winter, they are returning Green to its bespoke roots with the launch of a custom shoe service, which is available by appointment in London or at the company’s biannual U.S. trunk shows. The benchmade shoes, which require two fittings and a six-month wait, start at $2,500, depending on the selection of leather.