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Foster & Son/Henry Maxwell: Official Affiliate Thread

post #1 of 1142
Thread Starter 

Welcome to the Foster and Son/Henry Maxwell affiliate thread.


We’ve been watching Styleforum for a while now and, it is with great pleasure that we have decided that it is the right time to become part of this fantastic forum.


We are the oldest bespoke shoemaker in London; WS Foster & Son was founded in 1840, Henry Maxwell in 1750, and we are often known as “the shoemaker’s shoemaker” because of our  low profile approach and the high quality of our work. All our bespoke shoes are made in our workshop at 83 Jermyn Street by our team of highly skilled craftspeople. Our ready to wear shoes are made to our specifications in Northampton, the home of English shoemaking.


The firm is still in private English ownership and continues to maintain the highest standards of craftsmanship and personal service, remaining true to the combined traditions of several centuries of bespoke shoe and bootmakers who have handed down our unique inheritance.


Our shop is a gem, a lovely place to visit. You will see lasts made for, amongst others, Charlie Chaplin, Clark Gable and Paul Newman. Going back a little further we made hunting boots for Siegfried Sassoon, the First World War poet. He memorably described his visit to Henry Maxwell in his books the ‘Complete Memoirs of George Sherston’. We will write more about that soon.

As we emerge from being London’s “best kept secret” to attracting wider recognition, we believe that the superb bespoke work coming from our Workshop, and our new range of more accessible ready to wear shoes and boots, deserve the widest audience. We also have a wonderful archive, a long history and tradition of bespoke shoemaking and amazing leather goods. We are looking forward with great excitement to participating in the world’s biggest and most influential style community.

Amongst the things that we will be bringing to Styleforum are:


·         New shoes made on our first Terry Moore-inspired ready to wear lasts;

·         Pictures of our latest bespoke creations;

·         A series of essays about shoe-making in the West End;

·         Exclusive access to the WS Foster and Son/Henry Maxwell archive;

·         Special offers for Styleforum members


We start with a few photographs of our shop and bespoke workshop at 83 Jermyn Street.


Our shop at 83 Jermyn Street


Some of our ready-to-wear collection


Leather goods


A small part of our bespoke archive collection


Some famous customers




Our bespoke team



Jon working on a last



Emma making a pattern


Lucy with a finished upper



Emiko checking an upper against a last


Terry Moore at work


We would also like to have a dialogue with you. Is there anything you’d like to ask about Foster & Son or Henry Maxwell? Anything about our bespoke or ready to wear shoes? Any suggestions for designs that we could make up on our new last?


We have started a blog at www.fosterandson.wordpress.com. Please be patient with us as we develop content.


WS Foster & Son/Henry Maxwell www.foster.co.uk

Edited by FosterandSon - 10/17/13 at 5:27am
post #2 of 1142
Let me first give you fine folks a warmest welcome from Styleforum!!

Would be looking forward to see some of your newest Bespoke creations!
post #3 of 1142
Thread Starter 

Nutcracker, many thanks for your warm welcome! You will certainly be seeing lots of our bespoke work and our new ready-to-wear shoes shortly. Foster & Son

post #4 of 1142
Wonderful pics and welcome. Please add trips to Boston on your US visits!
post #5 of 1142
Thread Starter 

Jerrybrown, many thanks for your welcome. We make regular trips to the States, Boston sounds interesting. Foster and Son

post #6 of 1142
wow, even Foster and Son joined the SF bandwagon!! excellent choice and good business move!
post #7 of 1142
I like your choice for the RTW styles, all the essential foundation wardrobe classics.
post #8 of 1142
Thread Starter 

Wurger, many thanks for your encouragement. We have some new rtw shoes - made on our own Terry-Moore inspired last - that we think will enhance our offering. We will upload some photographs soon. Foster & Son

post #9 of 1142

I must say what a thrill it is to have such a prestigious, long-standing and knowledgeable source added to Styleforum.  Welcome!


As you mention exclusive access to the WS Foster and Son/Henry Maxwell archive, I must ask about Fred Astaire.  


Is is possible to reveal some of the little details he specified, like the shades of suede, lines, waist, heel height and preferences in fit?  I've dreamt of reading his order sheets!


If you made a ready to wear version of his brown suede Oxfords with a similar shaped last (but adjusted for mainstream) I'd definitely be in.  While one person's wishes may be impracticable for RTW, if I ever make it to London I'd certainly purchase such a shoe as a Bespoke customer.


Kindest Regards,


post #10 of 1142
A warm welcome on SF to all the lads and lasses from Foster & Son/Henry Maxwell. I also enjoyed your blog (hadn't come across it until today).

Keep up the good work!
post #11 of 1142

A recent visit to your shop!


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post #14 of 1142
I have been a fan of yours for ages, but have yet to acquire a pair of your bespoke shoes. I'd love some in black with your special "fading" process, but haven't settled on a style yet. I missed your September visit to Los Angeles. When will you be back here next?
post #15 of 1142
Wow - very exciting news. Can't wait to see more from the archives!
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