Lovely Leather

By Jo Phillips

Material and Intense use of colour signifies the unique flamboyant designs of shoes by designer Jeffery West. Think individualism for men’s footwear, because British men’s footwear usually feel elegant and understated here find intense decoration and powerful tones. This niche British brand has built its reputation on old-style craft mixed with dynamic often patterned Material from real crated to leathers to faux leather for those with vegan sensibilities. Read more here in Lovely Leather.

From the men’s footwear collection to how the stores are designed, underground, niche British men’s shoe brand, Jeffery West (Mark Jeffery and Guy West ) use unusual coloured leathers and material to flip classical men’s footwear and retail environment for dramatic effect.  Jeffery West has all of the classic craftsmanship of men’s shoemaking, think crafts encompassing traditional Goodyear welted shoes but alongside this, has a unique approach to colour that transforms a men’s classic into something much more individual, more visually intense.

The first person to use the intense red lining and red soles uniquely for men (Charles Jourdan used coloured souls for women in the 1970’s) that evoke pomp and circumstance but equally revolution, decadence and ceremony.

Guy West explains that the inspiration came from “an old pair of 1963 officer’s riding boots, dress Wellingtons, which just had the top band done in red – that’s why we first started to put red in our shoes and boots, and then, of course, there is the whole extra connotation of the cleft heel.” 

Throughout the collection find unique leather finishes.  Acid Trip Rochester style boot where each multicoloured psychedelic wave boot is individual with no two boots the same.  Bespoke hand engraving on leathers offered by artist Aasen Stephenson.  Smaller, unique details include leather punching always in the shape of a diamond-inspired by gothic revival Victorian architecture. Tongue in cheek quotes engraved into the soles of the shoes.

Guy West travels and visits the different tanneries, once he sees techniques he likes he then ask them how it can work with the Jeffery West leathers and designs. Below are a handful of styles that highlight this unique craft and detailing.

Masuka Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil suede is an embossed Velour suede. The hide is tanned to the base colour, the underside of the hide is finished with a close velour style suede nap, the skin is then embossed by a steel plate that has the ‘Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil’ design engraved onto it.

Poison Mutant Ivy laser-cut hand-burnished Tan calf. The leather is traditionally tanned in a light tan, the leather is then hand-cut to the pattern which is then laser cut with Jeffery-West’s unique ‘Mutant Ivy’ design. The dark Tan colour is added by hand using an antique burnishing wax when the shoe is made.

Gargoyle Embossed Python print. The leather is a traditional tanned side hide in Black. The skin is then embossed using a steel printing plate that is moved slightly during the embossing process to ‘Cut’ into the leather so giving the feel and appearance of snakeskin scales. ‘199 Steps’ Rub off Metallic Gold. The hide is dyed-through Black but then on the surface has three layers of Antique Gold.

When the shoes are made the upper is then rubbed off by hand using a cutting wax and soft mop wheel not dissimilar to the shoeshine machine you used to see in traditional hotel’s but on a bench at waist height}.  So achieving the shaded antique Gold finish.

There is also a full Vegan collection with seven styles see them Here. The brands rock and roll aesthetic also goes across women’s shoes vegan products shoe care, jewellery socks and other accessories. The company has several shops including two in London a Leeds and manchester store and is available to buy in the USA.

If you enjoyed reading lovely leather then why not read Personal Material Here
Jeffery-West 16 Piccadilly Arcade, London, SW1Y 6NH

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