The history, the shape of the lasts, the legacy and most of all the quality. Those are the reasons which keep me buying and wearing shoes from Crockett & Jones. Every time I am in London I stop by at least one of the Northampton shoemaker’s shops (there are two storefronts on Jermyn Street for some odd reason) in Mayfair to browse and to occasionally take home a new pair of shoes that I plan on owning forever. The New York store is also nice to visit, but not nearly as much fun as seeing these shoes on their home soil.
Crockett & Jones is one of those companies that I have long sought to know on a more intimate basis, partially because I admire the history of the company, but also because I like to wear the shoes so much. Only thing is, Crockett & Jones is a pretty conservative company, one that is much more focused on making great shoes than making much of a fuss on the internet. It rightfully figured it has a loyal following and a strong business, the product is the marketing.
All of this reminds me of Alden. (Incidentally I have basically never had any contact with Alden, but that’s fine because all I need from them is to continue making shoes I love.) The beloved New England shoemaker is another company that doesn’t need to have a heavy hand when it comes to marketing, the shoes and the quality tell everyone all they need to know. Production is limited and it doesn’t want to go crazy increasing it and risk ruining everything. It’s admirable because it works, and also because both Alden and Crockett make such great things.
Eventually I have come to know some of the people at Crockett & Jones and they in turn got to know me (and ACL) a bit better. Not long ago the iconic English shoemaker produced a film that speaks to the history and process of making its fine leather shoes. It was something that I thought would find a good home on ACL and after some discussion Crockett & Jones agreed and for the first time allowed the video to be shared on an outside site.
Being the shy company that it is Crockett & Jones doesn’t need the attention, but for people like us who appreciate the process and the history, these stories are an immeasurably positive force. Sort of like meeting your hero and walking away with the confirmation that they actually are everything you imagined.