The Shoe Snob Blog

February 24, 2014

Written by , Posted in News

Gaziano & Girling’s New Shoe Factory

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I just recently had the time and the pleasure of getting myself up to the infamous town of Kettering to finally see the new Gaziano & Girling factory. I have been meaning to do this for awhile now, but with the little man to take care of on weekends, I don’t often find the time to get away. But I managed to knock out a few birds with one stone and blame the business for my trip up North! I have been to a lot of factories by now and to be honest, as a whole, there is not too much that separates them all. It’s the small things that you have to look at but they can be easily missed in between all of the machinery and inventory.

Where Tony Gaziano cuts the patterns....

Where Tony Gaziano cuts the patterns….

The illustrious office

The illustrious office

Factory from above

Factory from above

Factory from above II

Factory from above II

Clicking room (where they cut the leather)

Clicking room (where they cut the leather)

Closing room (where the uppers are sewn together)

Closing room (where the uppers are sewn together)

Midnight Blue uppers

Midnight Blue uppers

Midnight blue uppers II

Midnight blue uppers II

Gaziano & Girling Factory

Sewing machines and thread

Sewing machines and thread

Leather Stock

Leather Stock

More Leather

More Leather

All the pieces to the upper

All the pieces to the upper

Gaziano & Girling Factory Gaziano & Girling Factory

Being a new factory, it was very clean and tidy. The flow of its structure seemed quite natural in the way that the walls separate and lead into the subsequent rooms of the shoemaking process. In shoemaking, efficiency is key so 20 steps saved each time you need to move something amounts to a lot more time of shoemaking and lot less diddle-daddling. One might not ever think of this but it is key to running a smooth and efficient factory, especially when one has grown as quick as Gaziano & Girling have. I also liked the fact that on each docket that explained what the shoes in the bays were, there was a picture of the shoe, as not to be mistaken. This may seem trivial but you would not believe the gravity of issues that can arise from a simple organizational mistake. Many shoes can be made that are wrong, and then time and money is wasted. So it’s nice to see the insurances that they take to provide careful planning.

The stock room behind the big door

The stock room behind the big door

The shoemaking machines

The shoemaking machines

Gaziano & Girling Factory

RTW lasts

RTW lasts

Bespoke lasts

Bespoke lasts

Bespoke lasts II

Bespoke lasts II

A well used last

A well used last

Guess whose last that is???

Guess whose last that is???

My boot last just begging to get used!

My boot last just begging to get used!

All the work done for my problem arches

All the work done for my problem arches

Dan the magic man who makes the bespoke happen and who taught me many things along the way

Dan the magic man who makes the bespoke happen and who taught me many things along the way

A few bespoke uppers waiting to be lasted

A few bespoke uppers waiting to be lasted

Bespoke shoes for repair/refurbishment

Bespoke shoes for repair/refurbishment

I remember them saying that these were something like 10 years old...that's some great leather!

I remember them saying that these were something like 10 years old…that’s some great leather!

Not all bespoke shoes are pretty nor dainty

Not all bespoke shoes are pretty nor dainty

A friends' shoe in the making, of which I won't name but that I am sure you will see on the web soon!

A friends’ shoe in the making, of which I won’t name but that I am sure you will see on the web soon!

While I can show you a million machines and talk about things that you might not ever understand until you are involved in the industry, as the title of the blog suggests and what you come here for is simply to see and know about the shoes. And beautiful shoes there were, like candy at Willy Wonka’s. As one can imagine, I always enjoy going to the G&G factory to see what concoctions they are brewing up, especially for the Asian and French markets which if I am going to be honest, always have things that are far more interesting than that going to the US, UK and the rest of the EU markets.

Gaziano & Girling Factory Gaziano & Girling Factory

Love the Deco range in other colors outside of black..this is a pure beauty

Love the Deco range in other colors outside of black..this is a pure beauty

New Deco model, in blue of course!

New Deco model, in blue of course!

Gaziano & Girling Factory

The showroom display

The showroom display

Gaziano & Girling Factory Gaziano & Girling Factory Gaziano & Girling Factory Gaziano & Girling Factory Gaziano & Girling Factory Gaziano & Girling Factory Gaziano & Girling Factory Gaziano & Girling Factory

Gaziano & Girling Factory

This is one beautiful desk

This is one beautiful desk

Gaziano & Girling Factory

One thing that thoroughly impressed me (and made me pat my own back) was the amount of blue shoes that I saw being prepared. All of you know how much I have been pioneering the idea of seeing more blue shoes in the industry and on the feet of people. Therefore seeing all of the blue shoes at the factory just made me think that while I know they read the blog every now and then, that even better is the fact that they actually just might be listening to it too! Either way, even if The Shoe Snob blog had nothing to do with it, it was just nice to see a good amount of blue and green shoes being made up to be shipped out. Maybe they were just going to Japan?? But my heart hopes that they were going to countries that are not particularly known for being overly bold….

Lovely new suede monks, with contrast stitching

Lovely new suede monks, with contrast stitching

Gaziano & Girling Factory

Love the Rothschild!

Love the Rothschild!

Blue Shoes Baby!!

Blue Shoes Baby!!

Bespoke spat shoes for a certain special someone!

Bespoke spat shoes for a certain special someone!

very cool for sure

very cool for sure

Now that is a great looking derby

Now that is a great looking derby

this will get you through any winter!

this will get you through any winter!

Gaziano & Girling Factory Gaziano & Girling Factory Gaziano & Girling Factory Gaziano & Girling Factory Gaziano & Girling Factory Gaziano & Girling Factory Gaziano & Girling Factory Gaziano & Girling Factory Gaziano & Girling Factory

We all know how much I love G&G shoes and I am sure that many of these pictures can explain why. But even better is the fact that it is great to see such a great brand with great people behind it grow from a small and emerging company in 2006 to one of the most respected brands in the industry today, fiercely competing with other brands that have had +100 years experience in shoemaking. And if I am going to be dead honest (many of you can probably guess this upcoming truth), that while our shoes and concepts are quite different, they are the company that I try to model my own off of. But allow me to reiterate that as not to confuse. I don’t try to model my shoes after theirs, but my company, as I find that for an 8 year old company they have done a tremendous job at getting to where they are today and I would be so blessed to do something similar within my own sector of the industry.

the Wigmore

the Wigmore

a bit of green velvet for your playboy house parties

a bit of green velvet for your playboy house parties

4 Deco Stunners!

4 Deco Stunners!

Again...

Again…

what a beauty!

what a beauty!

And yet again!

And yet again!

Bespoke with laser engraving

Bespoke with laser engraving

Gaziano & Girling Factory

Bespoke

Bespoke

Bespoke

Bespoke

bespoke sole

bespoke sole

Gaziano & Girling Factory

bespoke, more engraving

bespoke, more engraving

Gaziano & Girling Factory Gaziano & Girling Factory

beautiful shape on this shoe...

beautiful shape on this shoe…

Gaziano & Girling Factory Gaziano & Girling Factory Gaziano & Girling Factory Gaziano & Girling Factory Gaziano & Girling Factory Gaziano & Girling Factory

I can only hope that their impending shop will bring them much success and I look forward to seeing where G&G are in 10 years time. Hopefully they will have upgraded again and found themselves selling in many new markets, all of which I am sure will happen. I hope that you all enjoyed the pictures and if you are coming to London sometime past April, make sure you check out their new store that will be on Savile Row.

Gaziano & Girling Factory Gaziano & Girling Factory Gaziano & Girling Factory Gaziano & Girling Factory Gaziano & Girling Factory Gaziano & Girling Factory

Tony talking to his employees

Tony talking to his employees

Gaziano & Girling Factory

Where Tony showed me a few lessons in table tennis...a few rematches are in order

Where Tony showed me a few lessons in table tennis…a few rematches are in order

  • Awesome article. Thank you for sharing!

  • Geo

    Thank You Justin, few more reasons to love G&G !

  • Fripp

    Thanks for posting all the photos – really interesting! It’s great to have some insight into such a successful company. Does their manufacturing process lead to many 2nds (that is, product with imperfections)? And what do they do with them?

    • TheShoeSnob

      of course, all factories make 2nds. I don’t know what their percentage of them is but they have them….as per what they do with them, well, that is an interesting question. Just don’t be surprised if you see a sample sale within the next 6-8 months

  • Renzo

    Wonderful article! Great work Justin!

  • Nick D.

    Fantastic pictures! Thanks for the expert commentary.

  • jack laberto

    I must own one of this beauty

  • LT

    Shoe heaven !!! thanks for sharing the lovely photos. I could not agree with you more in regards to Blue. I recently got myself Chukka suede boots in blue and I must say they look spectacular. I now wish to obtain your suede brogues.

    • TheShoeSnob

      Just let me know LT! Glad that you enjoyed the post

  • Cyrill Konopka

    Wonderful insight!! How about making one of how your shoes are made ?Bet they are equally stunning !!!

    • Juan Manuel

      I second the motion!

      Great article, BTW.

    • TheShoeSnob

      Thanks Cyrill, cant claim mine to be as equally stunning as G&G, but I appreciate the kind words nonetheless!

  • Patrik

    Awesome report!

  • Thank you, Thank you!!! This will be looked at over, and over and over….

  • RogerP

    What a photo-treat this was! The downside is that I now feel that I “need” another 10 pairs of shoes. Love the suede double monk and the sleek three eyelet derby (shrunken calf?).

    • TheShoeSnob

      The derby is pigskin. Glad that you enjoyed the post!

  • JPhLabat

    Great report. Hopefully that will allow them to have even better lead time to deliver.

  • Dennis B

    Thanks for sharing. Absolute beautiful shoes – I am totally on RogerPs side, I want so many new shoes 🙂 How should I explain this to my girlfriend…
    Had a different imagination of the office, though.

    Just one note, if the company was founded 2006, how could this (http://www.theshoesnobblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/DSC01156.jpg) shoes be ten years old?

    • auci

      perhaps Dan has been offering bespoke long before 2006

    • TheShoeSnob

      good question, I remember them being old in comparison to their look, but maybe not quite 10 years old…at least 5…either way they are in good nick for their age

  • Ramon Cuberta

    Amazing report and very good job!!! Congratulations Mr. Fitz!!

  • TheFineYoungGentleman.com

    Great photos Justin. I as well have been to a few shoe factories, but none as new and clean as G&G’s, good looks.