I did pay a visit and a good nose-around to the newly opened "˜Lodger' shoe shop at 15c Clifford Street, London W1.
(Clifford Street connects Bond Street with Savile Row.)
The shop was due to open today and they did. Admittedly the electricians and shop fitters had to do their last bits and packages got delivered, but the shop looked nice, the merchandise was on display and I had a good chat with Nathan Brown the proprietor and Annejkh the shoe designer (Cordwainer's College and Royal College of Art in London).
Now those two are shoe-nuts, who are passionate about shoes in general and their range in particular. Most shoe shops just sell what manufacturers offer in their wholesale range. Not 'Lodger', all the lasts and the shoe designs are their own; the English range gets produced in Northamptonshire and the Italian rage near Naples. The designs are basically classic, but there is always a contemporary touch about them as well. It is not "˜fashionable' with the extra-long and snouty last a number of today's designers subscribe to. The "˜twists' are less obvious then the skulls and crossbones of "˜Barker Black', or the flashiness of Tom Ford's current range. Price wise, at GBP 550.00, they are where I expected them to be: similar to EG or G&G or JLP (classic range). But they include a fully lasted shoe tree within the price. Those shoe trees are nice, they come from the same source, where most London bespoke shoemakers get their trees from.
I believe at present the English shoes come on a round and an extra-round last for the country-type shoes, the Italian range is built over a chisel-toe last. (Again, compared with a number of current Italian shoes, that last is quite subdued.)
The website is due to go on line at midnight tonight and there is also a blog, giving useful information not only about the shop and it's range, but also about shoemaking in general.http://www.lodgerfootwear.com/http://www.gentlemanscorner.com/
I wish them all the best and I hope the shop will succeed. London needs shoe shops where the staff is passionate and knowledgeable about shoes.(Double posting with AskAndy