Hello and welcome to our spring newsletter. We're celebrating this season with a new addition to our shop - Vintage Pochettes with a unique provenance.
Spring is also a time to think about discovering new places. Explore Northampton with us - it's where our story began and has lots to offer both leather and architecture enthusiasts. Plus, recommendations for the best bench made English shoes.
SPRING COLLECTION WITH A STORY
We are delighted to launch our new Vintage Pochette collection and to share a little of the story behind the leather. The woven and perforated designs were created in the early 1930s primarily for the flourishing British shoe trade.
Our old family tannery in Northampton developed the world's biggest range of embossing plates. Although later on they specialised in reptile and ostrich prints, the Art Deco era was more about interwoven, lattice, mesh , geometric and airtex effects.
The Two Tone 'Spectator' or 'Correspondent' shoe for men was popular, incorporating panels of pale, textured shades with darker tan or black toe caps and heel areas. Women began to wear Two Tones too in round-toe T-bar or pump styles with medium height Cuban heels. The cut out patterns were often very decorative with lots of contrast. Perforated or woven leathers in white or pastel colours were fashionable - especially in spring and summer - as they offered breathability for hot feet.
NORTHAMPTON SHOE TRADE
In the early 20th century there were over 50 shoe manufacturers both in the town and outlying villages. Each area had its own footwear speciality including long boots, work boots, brogues and fashion. It's estimated that half the counties' male workforce was employed in the trade.
The craft's history goes back to medieval times and it flourished due to the rich soil for cattle rearing and both the River Nene and oak forests providing water and tannins for leather production.
W. Pearce, our family tannery, was founded in 1908 and was part of a thriving leather and shoe community. Although the number of these factories has dramatically declined, in recent times there has been a revival of interest in both the heritage and the craft. The resurgence of the Good Year Welt technique, practised by the traditional Northampton shoe makers has helped put the town back on the map.
DAYS OUT IN NORTHAMPTON
The Shoe Museum
On display are our embossed Baby Croc leather Vivienne Westwood Gillie shoes, as famously worn by - and toppled from - Naomi Campbell.
Although the Shoe Museum is currently closed for refurbishment, there are plenty of other places of interest.
A Georgian terraced townhouse, number 78 was remodelled in 1916 by Charles Rennie Mackintosh for W.J. Bassett Lowke, and his wife Florence Jones.
This was CRM's last commission and the only one undertaken in England.
The National Leather Collection
Founded in 1946, it houses over 5000 unique leather artefacts including Samuel Pepys's wallet, Queen Victoria's side saddle and fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls.
There is also an area dedicated to our old family tannery W. Pearce and Co, including a stunning 1930s scaled model of the building made by toy maker and arts patron W.J. Bassett Lowke.
Please contact the museum to arrange a visit.
A must for lovers of beautifully made shoes at a discounted price. All shoe factories listed have retail outlets on site where you can buy seconds or ends of lines .
Edward Green www.edwardgreen.com
Crockett and Jones www.crockettandjones.com
IN THE SHOP
Vintage Pochettes. In summery shades of pale blue, blush, ecru and terracotta. With a black bridle wrist loop and clip to add a coin purse and key fob. 18.5cm x 10.5cm. £125
Very limited edition of ones and twos only, please contact info@doeleather for availability before ordering.
'It has been said that you cannot do better than rely on Pearce for fashion leathers of distinction.'
W. Pearce & Co family tannery, 1934