Elegant, dignified, timeless—there are a lot of words that come to mind when thinking of Savile Row, but sexy generally isn’t one of them. But two makers from the mecca of sartorial sophistication have teamed up to prove that the Row’s got swagger. Edward Sexton, the original bad boy of British tailoring, and Gaziano & Girling, the esteemed bespoke shoemaker, have collaborated on a pair of sleek—and, yes, sexy—shoes that are distinctly free from stiff-upper-lip formality. With their velvety black suede, sharply tapered toe and stacked Cuban heel, these boots were made for strutting.
Those familiar with Savile Row’s players will recognize that Sexton has long been known for suits with a hefty soupçon of attitude—his handiwork was famously worn by the Beatles on the cover of Abbey Road and by both Mick and Bianca Jagger on their wedding day. Since those heady ’70s days, such bold tailoring, with its broad lapels and flared trousers, had largely lost its edge. But thanks to the likes of Harry Styles (another Sexton patron, who’s picked up where Jagger left off) and menswear’s current anything-goes mentality, statement suits are rocking once again. In fact, the idea for the collaborative boots came from a real-life commission last year.
Gaziano & Girling and Sexton, along with eyewear brand E.B. Meyrowitz and shirtmaker Budd, banded together to form the London Collective this past fall, going on a trunk show tour of the US as a team. “We’re getting customers who want business suits, but we’re also getting people who want the cool party suit—something fun to go out in,” Dominic Sebag-Montefiore, Sexton’s creative director, tells Robb Report. While the collective was doing fittings in Los Angeles, Sebag-Montefiore says “one guy was having a knock-your-socks-off, powerful retro black suit and a velvet suit.” As they were meeting, the representatives from both Sexton and Gaziano & Girling agreed that the suits were begging to be paired with a Cuban-heeled boot.
“It seems even more relevant to both of us to make something that’s just a bit more cool and fun and not necessarily entrenched in the traditional sartorial ways,” Sebag-Montefiore says.
While the design is far from prim, it still adheres to the Row’s standards of exceptional quality. The upper is crafted from a single piece of matte black suede, lending the finished shoe an especially clean, streamlined profile. And, as Sebag-Montefiore notes, the design is very much in line with Savile Row’s reputation for “elegant aesthetics and proportions.” Each pair will be made to measure and, initially, will be exclusively available via the London Collective’s spring tour, which kicks off this Friday, April 1, in Beverly Hills.
“It’s very much for the bold and the brave,” Sebag-Montefiore says of the boot’s design, recognizing that they won’t be for everyone. Still, he personally attests to their surprising sophistication: “I knew Gaziano & Girling were great shoemakers, but it actually wasn’t until I put them on that I realized quite what they did. It’s very difficult to explain in words…the rest of my shoes now feel clunky and inelegant.” Louche as the boots may be, they’ve still got Savile Row smarts.