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The Art of Shoemaking: Interview with George Glasgow Jr. of George Cleverley

Interview with George Glasgow Jr. of George Cleverley

(George Glasgow Sr. & George Glasgow Jr.)

George Cleverley is renowned as one of the worlds most revered shoemakers, founded by Mr. Cleverley in 1958.  The shoemaker quickly gained a reputation as the best, having since created shoes for everyone from David Beckham and the cast of Kingsman to His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales.  Today, the boutique shoemaker is headed by father and son team George Glasgow Sr. and George Glasgow Jr. who continue to elevate the renowned brand’s status in the market of today.  Recently, we were given the privilege of speaking with George Glasgow Jr. on all things shoe-making.

What is the inspiration for the George Cleverley RTW line?

“George Cleverley have been making and selling RTW shoes for over 30 years.  The inspiration of each style comes from our bespoke collection, where every shoe has a story and generally always comes from a previous bespoke order.  We also wanted to offer the market a shoe which we felt was the best value for money and RTW in the world.  A lot of time and effort goes into the making of our RTW collection and still we make everything in England with each detail carefully planned.  We also only use the finest materials available to ensure the shoes can be resoled and last for many years to come.”

What is the most difficult aspect of being a shoemaker in the market of today?

“Unlike most of our competitors, we have not taken any of our production overseas.  We make all of our shoes today in England.  We focus only on making the finest shoes in the world.  I think staying true and classic to your brand is always important.  We make new styles but it is always in line with the George Cleverley brand and design aspects.  Keeping your identity in a fast changing market is always the challenge.”

What shoe would you like to make in the future that you have not made yet?

“We have just finalized a few casual styles.  Something different and more for weekends & beachwear which we feel is going to be the best in the market.  It’s handmade in England with unique features and designs.  Its something I have been working on for a few years and delighted that we are going to launch this exclusive collection on MR. PORTER in May.”

Can you tell us more about your career, and the way you got into shoe-making?

“I grew up in the shoe-making business and have really been around shoes my whole life.  I went to the University of London and studied Economics, which lead me to work in investment banking for several years after college.  I then returned to my family business in 2007 and have been there ever since.  It’s my passion and something which I generally love doing everyday.”

Which other shoemakers do you like?

“I like shoemakers that have their own style, and do not just follow seasonal trends.”

Style advice from George Glasgow?

“Always invest in your shoes and your bed because if you’re not in one then you’re in the other.  I always advise in buying a good quality shoe, which is well made and classic.  It’s also important to know what style and cut suits you. This will make picking an outfit a lot easier and looking sharp at the right occasion.”

What do you believe sets George Cleverley apart from its competitors?

“We are the last family owned and operated bespoke shoemaker in England.  We offer fantastic customer service and strive to make the best possible shoes in the world by hand.  Our brand is run like a family and not a corporation which our clients can feel and appreciate.  Our clients become friends and part of our company and not just another number.  We also have the latest selection of exotic skins in the world, so we have an impressive selection of materials for our clients to design something unique to them.”

Where does George Cleverley obtain their leathers from?  Tell us more about some of the different bespoke leather options George Cleverley is famous for.

“We source all of our materials for shoes in England (soles, linings e.t.c.).  Our calf sometimes will vary depending on where the best calf is location at the time of buying.  In recent years it has been Germany.  Our exotic skins comes from either the USA or Singapore.  Our unique exotic business is one of the biggest in the world.  We source very unique hides & skins for our clients.”

Where do you see George Cleverley in 10 years?

“Hopefully in the same place as today.  We attract an amazing clientele from all over the world.  Some of the most unique individuals from all different backgrounds that love our product.  We have all ages and all nationalities which is a testament to the product.”

For more information on George Cleverley please visit:

Images courtesy of George Cleverley & Co. Ltd

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