“The trend for ‘in­vest­ment shoes’ — those with qual­ity crafts­man­ship — is one seen in all mar­kets”

The Australian - Wish Magazine - - Arts -

the qual­ity of the shoes and ac­ces­sories we are stock­ing,” ex­plains Christopher. This range in­cludes brands such as Crock­ett & Jones, Ed­ward Green and GJ Clev­er­ley — shoes, it should be noted, that carry an aver­age price point of about $1000. In Aus­tralia, shoes — in­deed, suits — that fetch such prices would have been un­heard of a few years ago. But as Betts ex­plains, the trend for “in­vest­ment shoes” — those with qual­ity crafts­man­ship and ma­te­ri­als from spe­cial­ist brands such as John Lobb and Church’s— is one seen in all mar­kets. “A younger gen­er­a­tion is in­vest­ing in an­dap­pre­ci­at­ingth­e­crafts­man­shipthat­goesin­to­pro­duc­ing el­e­gant, time­less footwear,” he says. Adds Ber­touch: “It’s part of the whole shift in menswear to a more clas­sic way of dress­ing that has been hap­pen­ing over the past few years, and it’s re­ally ev­i­dent in footwear.”

Ber­touch be­lieves the shift is a re­sult of ed­u­ca­tion. “Guys shop in a to­tally dif­fer­ent way to women. In North Amer­ica, 60 to 70 per cent of on­line or off­line sales have web-re­search prior to shop­ping; and if you took women out of that statistic, I imag­ine it would be closer to 90 per cent. Men like to know where the nubuck is com­ing from, where it’s made, how it fits, how to take care of it. They’re real­is­ing that shoes are worth spend­ing money on.” Fukoyoshi adds: “Men, more so than women, have al­ways been more in­ter­ested in qual­ity, his­tory and longevity. Look at how they shop for suits. If it’s some­thing that they’re go­ing to wear ev­ery day and will last a long time, why not in­vest the money? It was in­evitable that this trend would trickle down to footwear.” As the adage goes, I’m too poor to buy cheap shoes.

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