Barker Black Ltd

    An offshoot of Barker, a classic men’s shoemaker operation out of Northamptonshire, England, since 1880, the more contemporary Barker Black line is the brainchild of Derrick and Kirk Miller, American brothers who didn’t believe the U.S. needed another traditional men’s shoe brand and convinced the third- generation owners of Barker to let them do it their way. The result is a collection of sleek, sexy footwear with slightly subversive detailing, particularly the subtle skull and crossbones motif that, although difficult to see, almost always appears somewhere on the shoes. Although the shoes are still produced in Barker’s Earls Barton factory, they are mostly made from vintage lasts from the 1930s and 1940s, and incorporate sartorial details such as Goodyear welted soles, wooden shanks embedded in narrow London waists—the arch section of the sole—and extra layers of cork between the foot and the sole for greater comfort. Most recently Barker Black introduced a collection of colorful calfskin moccasins, deerskin loafers, and silk paisley slippers to show off the lighter side of men’s casual footwear.

    Inside Information
    Derrick Miller stumbled on the skull and crossbones motif that is now Barker Black’s signature while doing research as a conceptual designer for Ralph Lauren, who once used the symbol on a pair of slippers. The original emblem, along with the motto “Death or Glory,” was used by colonel John Hale of the British cavalry as the symbol for his newly formed 17th Regiment of lancers, also known as the Light Dragoons, in the 18th century.

    Read Next Article >>
    Photo by Augusto Buzzeo
    The collection exemplifies his commitment to traditional Italian craftsmanship...
    Photograph by Lisa Charles Watson, styling by Charles W. Bumgardner
    Gray was the freshest color on the spring-collection runways in Paris...
    Photography by Lisa Charles Watson, styling by Charles W. Bumgardner
    The balmy, volcanic shores of Southern Italy have inspired a new men’s fragrance, Bulgari Aqua...
    Photograph by Lisa Charles Watson, styling by Charles W. Bumgardner
    The tried-and-true boat shoe is proving to be irresistible to designers...
    Photograph by Dean Isidro, Styling by Christopher Campbell
    Every wardrobe needs a spring awakening...
    The California brand brings its high-end eyewear to New York…
    The French luggage manufacturer Delsey has partnered with one of France’s most recognizable names...
    The Italian tailoring house debuts the Alton suit for spring...
    The online retailer debuts a collection inspired by an upcoming Colin Firth film…
    Ferragamo sneakers
    New footwear debuts alongside the brand’s new men’s web series