A hand made pair of shoes, made from the ground up to the measure and taste of their owner.
Foot measurements and tracings on paper. Deliberation, some sketching to capture intent and map out the methods ahead. Lasts are made; forms to mirror feet. Pattern-making is informed by the last. Patterns for uppers, patterns for linings.
A prototype shoe interrogates fit and style. Adjustments are made.
Leather selection reconciles application with aesthetics. Clicking; leather cutting. Leather preparation and closing; stitching the upper.
Blocking insoles, channeling the welt. Lasting the upper – stretching it over the last, tacking it in place. Hand rolling thread, stitching the welt, pegging the seat. A steel shank, leather and cork bottom filler. Stitching the outsole. Building the heel – one layer at a time. Edge finishing with glass, then sandpaper, then water, then wax, then heat.
Brass tacks and laces. Spit and polish. In all over 160 distinct steps. One pair at a time from start to finish. Each pair slow in the making, deliberate in execution.
Every year James B. Young makes a limited number of pairs of shoes, each taking 12 months from the time of commissioning until completion. The client list for shoes is currently closed but enquiries are welcome. Please email to be on the waiting list here