*This feature was showcased in the third issue of our printed magazine, which can be seen here or at selected venues.*
With a history built upon the art and craftsmanship of good footwear, the shoe and boot industry has defined the proverbial ‘home of shoes’ Northampton, and the town continues to shape the footwear sector today.
Today we’re shining the spotlight on Gilbert & Bailey, a boutique business offering the finest quality of bespoke men’s footwear in the UK, but with a unique twist. Through a tailored website, clients can commission handcrafted shoes to a personalised spec from anywhere in the world. Shoes that are handmade by them yet designed by you. Whilst ‘Made in Britain’ has now become a trendy buzz word, supporting our own manufacturing industries should be a must for every conscientious consumer.
Gilbert & Bailey was founded by Tom Gilbert, who has long been a lover of beautiful footwear as he yearned for something a little different, something he could customise himself. Whilst there are some attractive options in the world of tailor-made English footwear, Tom realised that he didn’t want to have his feet measured and have to endure an excessive wait each time he wanted a new style of shoe. However, he also knew that he didn’t want to compromise on the quality or design features that only beautifully bespoke shoes could provide. As such, he met Mollie Bailey, a similar shoe aficionado, and consequently Gilbert & Bailey was born.
Celebrating the individual, the eccentric and the unique, the pair draw on hundreds of years of skill and local know-how to produce the best footwear on the market. With expertise that lies in sourcing the most luxurious exotic skins, the plushest baby calf and hand finishing all hides to obtain the best possible result, a Gilbert & Bailey shoe is the premium standard in luxury footwear.
All their shoes are handmade to the most exacting standards, allowing them to personalise their shoes and boots and adding bespoke touches usually unavailable in modern, ready-to-wear footwear.
While assured that their innovative online platform and software will be revolutionary in the high-end, luxury market, they are swiftly exploring opportunities with retailers and organisations to bring their brand to stores that are interested in providing the ultimate handmade experience with a shoe designer professionalism that is simple and transparent.
Despite its indispensable roots, handcrafted shoes are a dying industry in the UK, a trend that Gilbert and Bailey are seeking to turn on its head. Setting up shop in the historical heart of worldwide shoe manufacturing, they’ve created one of the finest men’s footwear brands on the market to really bring custom made shoe making back to
its roots, one step at a time.
Go to: www.gilbertandbailey.com