Nick V. interviews Nick Horween, Horween Leather

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Nick V., Nov 15, 2011.

  1. idfnl

    idfnl Senior member

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    :embar:
     


  2. Beatlegeuse

    Beatlegeuse Senior member

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    Great read....definitely inspiring me to get some more cordovan, I only have one pair right now, with one more on preorder :hide:
     


  3. NHorween

    NHorween Active Member

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    The total tanning capacity worldwide has not decreased, it's just been shifted and refocused. One would assume that since there are more people now, that more leather is made to keep up with what people want and need. When we talk about jackets it becomes more of a price factor than a supply (or potential supply) factor, unless we're talking horsehide. Costs to produce the leather traditionally used in jackets, like the A2, have gone up with material costs - and there are less people making the traditional leather because it is slow and costly. I'm sure that the cost to actually cut and sew the leather has gone up as well. The supply of horsehide is always a different challenge. We take all that we can get, and of what we get, not all of it is suitable for jackets. The hides used for jackets tend to be large, thick, and relatively free of cosmetic challenges - this makes them one of the higher "picks," which means that only a small percentage make the grade.

    The single biggest cost component that we deal with is the hide. This is a commodity and is tied to the market accordingly. That said, it's hugely important for us to have a dynamic product mix. No hide that we receive is "garbage," it will just be more suited to a certain type of process or final product.


    I would say that schizophrenic is a good way to describe it. Since no two shells are the same, it shouldn't be surprising that many shoes react differently. Any shoe leather reaction to moisture is determined by the type of hide, the tannage, the finish applied (by the tannery), the construction of the shoe, and how the shoe is finished (by the shoemaker) and then cared for by the owner.

    I'm assuming that we're talking about the blisters/bumps that some shells develop when they get wet... It happens to some and not to others, it's just the way it is! The answer is always to brush, and if this doesn't fix it, then rewet them evenly and allow them to dry naturally. Then, brush.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2011


  4. otc

    otc Senior member

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    Does Horween ever do tours?

    The other day I saw the tannery while I was going up ashland and had no idea that it was really set right in the city like that...just down the street from my friend's apartment.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2011


  5. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I have been told that a lot of good leathers from good tanneries are being bought up by the Chinese, which drives up the cost for other lower output places because of the scarcity. Does anybody know of any truth to this?
     


  6. Hoofit

    Hoofit Senior member

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    You do know that he repairs shoes for a living right? I may be wrong but I dont think Nick is a graduate of a journalism school. From what I can tell NickV is highly skilled at what he does in shoe repair, and perhaps with family life and other interests may not have the time to dedicate to do all the homework required for your approval. We may only be getting softball questions and answers, but atleast we are getting them.
    All said, I think the high level interviews are nice, and give high level information that is interesting to read. The great thing about this interview is that Nick Horween is a member here and can answer follow up questions as he has done above.
     


  7. Nick V.

    Nick V. Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    27 posts? I can tell by your comments in this thread:
    http://www.styleforum.net/t/274665/...e-came-unglued-what-happens-next#post_4957844
    You're the sort that comes off as an authority, as he sounds but, in terms of shoes, knows very little...
    To associate me with Larry King is a knee slapper...! BTW, I realized early, I was not a fan of his. So, I stopped watching him.
    I'll say it again, I'm not a journalist, I'm in the shoe business. Larry King is and got paid enormously for being a journalist.
    I do this as a donation to this forum, for no other reason than to share my knowledge for those interested. I'm also trying to put a real life face on the people behind the scenes. They are real people and passionate about what they do. I know some that aren't in my industry and would not interview them.
    You're question about homework? Dude, you got the wrong Guy. Frankly, you sound like the Father that has a Kid on the little league team and complains about things but wouldn't lift a finger to help.
    Simple solution:
    If you don't my posts, Don't read them.
     


  8. NAMOR

    NAMOR Senior member

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    I dunno whats michelinmans problem. I personally enjoyed me some nick on nick action
     


  9. Gdot

    Gdot Senior member

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    It was good for me. Was it good for you?

    Thanks to both of the Nicks for taking the time out to do the piece.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2011


  10. mr.orange

    mr.orange Senior member

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    saving up for pair of shell cordovan alden boots. definitely worth it! awesome job.
     


  11. narcissism

    narcissism Senior member

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    As a Chicago resident, I would be interested in knowing if the tannery either has tours or has any retail offerings.
     


  12. fritzl

    fritzl Senior member

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  13. CreamTease

    CreamTease New Member

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    Great interview, really interesting.
     


  14. MarkC

    MarkC New Member

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    Thank you for this interview. It's always great to hear about quality craftsmanship still thriving in the U.S. despite this era of quantity over quality. Reading this has definitely made me want a pair of shell cordovan boots even more!
     


  15. Son Of Saphir

    Son Of Saphir Senior member

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    Some shell is very rough and dull and it not good on high end shoe.
    Some shell very very bad.

    lt very true.
    Shell shoe made on same last as calf need break in time,
    calf no break in time.
    Hard to last shell so it make bigger shoe than calf on same last.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2011


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