Wildsmith (founded 1847) was a famous bespoke shoemaker who counted people like Edward and Mrs Simpson among their clientele. I believe, Wildsmith also made the boots worn by Peter O’Toole in ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ (1962). Main claim to fame for the company is the unlined “Wildsmith Loafer”, which was worn (oversized and with heavy hunting hose) as ‘house shoe’ by George V to potter about Buck-House and Sandringham.
The Wildsmith loafer is style ‘Harrow’ in the Edward Green collection.
At some point Wildsmith stopped the bespoke business and sold ready-to-wear shoes made by EG and C&J. In later years Wildsmith did not have any longer the buying/selling capacity for their own lines, so the majority of shoes were C&J stock-items sold with the Wildsmith label, but priced considerably over C&J prices, (This got John Wildsmith the eternal hatred of one early forum-member.)
Last proprietor was John Wildsmith who must have been in his 70s when the store closed, maybe ten years ago. Wildsmith also had trunk shows in the States (in conjunction with Hilditch & Key), he might have continued with the American trips after the store had closed down. A number of years ago we had JW’s grandson as a member of this forum here. (I believe, he was a real Wildsmith, although some members here doubted it.)
This is the first time, I heard about the “new” Wildsmith and I have no idea whether family members are involved or some entrepreneur just bought the rights to the name. Whatever the case maybe, I wish the new venture the best of luck.