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Howard & Foster Shoes (A Trad Detour)

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
This morning at the thrift store I came upon a pair of NOS shell cordovan loafers made by Howard & Foster for Robert Kirk Ltd., San Francisco and Carmel (first I've heard of that last bit!). They're completely trad, of course, but still very nicely sewn with a split-toe, high vamp, beefroll, double sole, etc. The overall impression is quite pleasing and more fluid than you might expect from an old chestnut of this genre. The size and related info are written on the inside in the sort of loopy script that hasn't been current in the US for several decades. If I had to guess, I'd bet these were from the 1950s. There's been a fair bit of talk about Nettleton. Has anybody else ever seen a pair of Howard & Foster shoes?
post #2 of 9
Thread Starter 
Off to the greybeards over at the aaac trad forum, I suppose.
post #3 of 9
Pejesk, are you located in San Francisco?

San Francisco used to be a Trad centerpiece.
post #4 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by pejsek
Off to the greybeards over at the aaac trad forum, I suppose.
They're actually a fairly young bunch, I'd say. Probably on average younger than the 'Fashion' forum regulars.
post #5 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by pejsek
This morning at the thrift store I came upon a pair of NOS shell cordovan loafers made by Howard & Foster for Robert Kirk Ltd., San Francisco and Carmel (first I've heard of that last bit!). They're completely trad, of course, but still very nicely sewn with a split-toe, high vamp, beefroll, double sole, etc. The overall impression is quite pleasing and more fluid than you might expect from an old chestnut of this genre. The size and related info are written on the inside in the sort of loopy script that hasn't been current in the US for several decades. If I had to guess, I'd bet these were from the 1950s. There's been a fair bit of talk about Nettleton. Has anybody else ever seen a pair of Howard & Foster shoes?

They made a nice lizard loafer in several colors for $35. That was serious money back then.
post #6 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by pejsek
This morning at the thrift store I came upon a pair of NOS shell cordovan loafers made by Howard & Foster for Robert Kirk Ltd., San Francisco and Carmel (first I've heard of that last bit!). They're completely trad, of course, but still very nicely sewn with a split-toe, high vamp, beefroll, double sole, etc. The overall impression is quite pleasing and more fluid than you might expect from an old chestnut of this genre. The size and related info are written on the inside in the sort of loopy script that hasn't been current in the US for several decades. If I had to guess, I'd bet these were from the 1950s. There's been a fair bit of talk about Nettleton. Has anybody else ever seen a pair of Howard & Foster shoes?

on ebay :
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlanC
They're actually a fairly young bunch, I'd say. Probably on average younger than the 'Fashion' forum regulars.

Actually, Alan, I meant that more as an honorific. Really. And, yes, LK, I do live in San Francisco. Thanks too, mr. monty, for the pictures.
Well, originally I bought the shoes because I couldn't pass them up, but now they're kind of growing on me. The design is just a little florid in its own restrained way. The thrift store also had a similarly unworn and brand new pair of old BB Down East style loafers (which I kindly left for another shopper and to stay in the good graces of the thrift gods). Sadly, the original boxes were probably already in the recycling. I suppose Robert Kirk/CCC was a bastion of trad, but it seems they always leavened the formula with a nice heady kick of loopy anglomania. A recipe for success in my book.
post #8 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by pejsek
...they always leavened the formula with a nice heady kick of loopy anglomania. A recipe for success in my book.
I agree completely!

post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
Okay, just honing my image posting skills. Here are a few pictures of the Howard & Foster loafers. Seems I haven't even really dusted them. I figured the trad deserved an old Scottish blanket.

http://img99.imageshack.us/img99/5724/img0713fh7.jpg
http://img99.imageshack.us/img99/3881/img0717xf4.jpg
http://img226.imageshack.us/img226/5853/img0715ib0.jpg
http://img151.imageshack.us/img151/8646/img0716gg2.jpg
http://img226.imageshack.us/img226/7963/img0719ge2.jpg
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