Friday, April 22, 2011
Sales of quality shoes are on the up
Allen Edmonds produces 500,000 pairs of handcrafted shoes each year and the manufacture involves a 220-step process from leather to lace-ups. The shoes cost a mere $325 (US). The craft of shoemaking in the US is experiencing something of a renaissance. Over the last few years, heritage brands like Allen Edmonds have been rediscovered by a new generation of young customers. Labels which perhaps once were regarded as relics of American work wear are now cool. Quality footwear has long been a favorite of politicians and the generally well-heeled. Before his inauguration, President Bill Clinton reportedly placed an order for two pairs of 13-Ds, including a black calfskin plain-toe model and black patent-leather lace-ups. Former President George W. Bush and Rahm Emanuel, the new mayor of Chicago, reportedly own pairs of the company’s footwear. Founded in 1922, the Allen Edmonds company became famous for providing shoes for the Army and Navy during World War II. From April 21 to May 11, the shop will donate 10 percent of sales to various local charities, including the Louisiana Chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, the United Way for the Greater New Orleans Area and New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts.