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Commissioning Bespoke Oxfords (UK)

MontyChapman

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I very nearly commissioned a Savile Row suit but my weight has been seriously fluctuating (a constant battle of the classic exercise vs food), so it probably was not a very wise choice to be commissioning my "forever" suit. BUT with the allotted budget, one can indeed commission a very nice pair of bespoke shoes. :cool:

I have been a serious admirer of John Lobb, both the estranged RTW line of Hermés and the original 1849 firm on St James' St. I've already owned a couple of British Lobb bespokes from my stint on the popular auction site; I have been very impressed by their design, comfort and longevity. One of my Oxford brogues was commissioned by a British Army major in 1965 and it is still in very good condition!

Though, I must admit I am fairly ignorant in terms of the other UK bespoke makers available. I have heard of Nicholas Templeman, who I only came across recently after watching an old Telegraph clip on John Lobb; he had trained there as a lastmaker in the early 2000s. I believe his shoes are essentially half the price of Lobb's but a substantial amount of the craftwork is outsourced to a factory? Please correct if I am wrong on this note.

So those are the two makers (John Lobb 1849 & Nicholas Templeman) I am considering but I am open to more suggestions. I am not looking to commission anything outrageous: just a good ole' pair of classic black brogue Oxfords I can wear for just about anything for a very long time - I hope!
 

bicycleradical

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Though, I must admit I am fairly ignorant in terms of the other UK bespoke makers available. I have heard of Nicholas Templeman, who I only came across recently after watching an old Telegraph clip on John Lobb; he had trained there as a lastmaker in the early 2000s. I believe his shoes are essentially half the price of Lobb's but a substantial amount of the craftwork is outsourced to a factory? Please correct if I am wrong on this note.

I believe Templeman participates here. You could probably message him and see what he can do for you.
 

classicalthunde

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I have heard of Nicholas Templeman, who I only came across recently after watching an old Telegraph clip on John Lobb; he had trained there as a lastmaker in the early 2000s. I believe his shoes are essentially half the price of Lobb's but a substantial amount of the craftwork is outsourced to a factory? Please correct if I am wrong on this note.

Not a customer nor even really that well versed in bespoke shoes, but my understanding is that Nicholas is a last maker, so he would design the overall shape and design of the shoe based on your measurements and specifications.

Its my understanding that it is pretty common for bespoke shoemakers to "outsource" particular parts of the construction to "jobbers" who may do various parts of the construction (hand welting, etc.) just like Savile Row firms have one tailor do the construction for the jacket and another the trousers and another to do the finishing work.

I don't think its sent to a traditional factory as you might picture with some RTW lines, like C&J or Edward Green.

Also FWIW, I think someone like Templeman (owner/craftsmen of a small shop) will be more involved and invested in the overall outcome than a larger firm like Lobb and Cleverly. Also, I've heard that Lobb Paris is different from Lobb London, and the Paris shop currently has a better reputation of the two currently.
 
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