I had the good fortune to be in London last week and to find out about Gary's appearance at the Polo store.
Goodness, shoefan; we must have missed each other by minutes. I met Gary on Thursday, and Saturday I went back to the Polo store, as I had seen a wonderful pair of RLPL/EG shoes which was nothing like I had ever seen at EG or the Japanese sites. (Galoshes (balmoral) lace-ups where the vamp is taken right to the back of the heel.) I looked at the shoes, they really are lovely, there were two gentlemen sitting on the sofa, which I presumed to be tired customers. I had left the shoe department already, then, thinking of the shoe display on the table, I went back and asked the men whether they were from EG by any chance. They were. It was John Garner who works in production management on the RTW side and the other was the leather buyer (don't know his name). Ralph Lauren has just started a MTO service for EG shoes, and the two men, like Gary before, were part of a trunk show to promote this new service. (I don't know whether this service is London specific or is available at all RL stores). So the two had no choice but to answer all my questions about shoes, bespoke, EG special orders etc. Although John Garner said occasionally that he was to wear his Ralph Lauren hat, they willingly answered all questions. That particular pair which I had taken a shine to, is a Ralph Lauren exclusive and I would have to buy it (or place a special order) through the Polo store.
One interesting/puzzling observation I made. Â There were a bunch of RLPL shoes on display at the Polo store, but they seemed generally to be made on the 808 last. Â Given that the RLPL shoes are typically made on the 89 last, I don't know if these were just normal production Green shoes with the RLPL sockliners inserted or what.
RL is very fond of the 808 last and has most (maybe all) of his more recent models made up on that particular last. (My two RL/EGs are on 808.) EG for their own label, have, more or less, replaced the 808 with the 888. But for special orders, be it a single pair or an entire collection, they will use any last you specify. Probably all the models are exclusive to RL, but sometimes the differences are very small indeed. (The EG style might have a plain toe, while the RL has a toe medallion, or one has a heel counter, while the other has not.) No, I haven't found out yet the cost for a Ralph Lauren/Edward Green special order. But these shoes are so nice.