London Super Trunk Show 2020
We are happy to once again invite you all to the world’s largest open event for classic shoes, the London Super Trunk Show, organized by Shoegazing and The Shoe Snob. On Saturday, April 25, in the middle of London on 12 Regent Street, we gather more than 10 brands from all over the world, interesting partners, there will be the World Championships in Shoe Shining and Shoe Patina, plus the World Championships in Shoemaking will have its award ceremony and competition shoes displayed. Below you will find all of the info about the event.
Location: Showcase.co, 12 Regent Street, St. James, London.
Date: Saturday April 25 2020
Full schedule for the day:
11:00-19:00 Trunk show opens for the public, FREE OF CHARGE AND NO REGISTRATION NEEDED. Exhibitions with Altan Bottier, Bridlen, Catella Shoemaker (Daniel Wegan), CNES Shoemaker, Mori of Shoemakers, Norman Vilalta, Paolo Scafora, Septieme Largeur, Skolyx / TLB Mallorca and Zeb Shoes. Also exhibitions with the event’s main partner Saphir (shoe care) and partners J. Hopenstand (leather belts and accessories) and Cad & the Dandy (tailoring), plus shoemaking championships partner Master Shoemakers (book). On display are all competition shoes in the World Championships in Shoemaking.
11.15-17.15 (with 1 hour break from 14.45-15.45) Final of the World Championships in Shoe Patina in collaboration with Saphir, 1st prize a pair of TLB Mallorca shoes.
15.00-15.30 Final of the World Championships in Shoe Shining in cooperation with Saphir, 1st prize a pair of shoes from Loake.
17:30-17:50 Award ceremony for the World Championships in Shoemaking, in collaboration with Kirby Allison’s Hanger Project and Master Shoemakers. The top ten including the three podium positions are presented. In the prize pool is £6,000 (€6,700 / $7,800), plus being exhibited at Isetan Men’s, Tokyo, and at other places around the world. (More info in the Call for competition)
19.00 Event closes.
Here’s the Facebook event page where you’ll get all the latest updates. As always, we highly appreciate any help with spreading the word about the event! The hashtag used before, during and after the event in social media is #supertrunk.
The London Super Trunk Show will take place at the same praised venue as last year, Showcase.co located on 12 Regent Street. It’s just below Piccadilly Circus, across the road from the world’s No. 1 shoe street Jermyn Street. Showcase.co has a store-front towards the road and behind this is the exhibition venue, also on street level, where we also have a bar/café serving the guests during the day. Here we gather some of the most interesting shoe brand’s around today, all of whom are not easily accessible in the UK, which always has been an important part of these events. This year we’ve done a larger swap of exhibitors, and a vast majority are brand new to the event, and have never exhibited in the UK before. We always strive to get a good mix of types of shoes, price ranges, origin and so on. We who organize the event are Jesper Ingevaldsson of the blog Shoegazing and Justin FitzPatrick of The Shoe Snob blog.
As always, the event is open for everyone with no registration needed between 11.00-19.00. This is the fourth edition of the London super trunk, and last year we reached the 1000 visitors bar, with people coming from all over the world coming to see, try, buy and order shoes, meet fellow shoe aficionados, see interesting scene events and have a good time in general. The super trunk is now an established meeting place for people from various parts of the industry and for shoe interested customers. Not only people from England but from all over the world, we have customers, shoe industry representatives and shoemakers coming.
Here’s a brief summary of all the exhibitors (more info about them all below). Altan Bottier is one of the brightest shining stars in the French man’s shoe universe, with amazing patina work on elegant shoes starting at £380/€450. Bridlen is a brand from India doing Goodyear welted shoes the old-school way without gemming, at an impressive price of around £210/€250. Catella Shoemaker is the newly launched brand of Daniel Wegan, world champion in shoemaking last year, offering bespoke shoes at absolute highest level. CNES Shoemaker is Vietnam’s largest manufacturer of Goodyear welted shoes with a very good reputation, a lot of shoes for the about £195/€230 they cost. Mori of Shoemakers is merging bespoke and factory-made in a very interesting way, with Chinese hand welted shoes starting at £510/€600.
Norman Vilalta from Spain started as a bespoke shoemaker but now also offers a progressive range of RTW shoes that cost around £720/€850, plus a top RTW range that is made to a bespoke standard. Paolo Scafora from Naples, Italy, makes hand welted premium RTW with a lot of flair and excellent patinas, the price is about £850/€1000. Septieme Largeur is one of the most popular brands of Goodyear welted shoes in France, with lovely looking stuff available for £230/€275. Skolyx brings its own affordable Goodyear welted range made on Majorca, priced at only £185/€220, and the praised brand TLB Mallorca with the impressive Artista range, loads of shoes for the price of £360/€425. Zeb Shoes from Croatia offers Made to Measure, where base lasts are modified after customers’ feet, and you can choose model and leathers, starting as low as £425/€500.
All brands will bring a lot of shoes to display and to try on and all will take orders, plus that many of them will sell shoes directly at the event. For those who offer bespoke services you can reserve an appointment in advance, or take the plunge and get measured and order on site. As mentioned, read more about them all below.
The ones making this event possible are our partners. The main partner is the leading premium shoe care brand Saphir, whose Medaille d’Or shoe care range is considered the best shoe care products in the world by many shoe aficionados and professional shoe shiners. They will exhibit at the event as usual, and bring a bunch of their products to sell. As partners we have the Swiss company making premium leather belts and accessories: J. Hopenstand, coming back again. Founded in 1925, they are most famous for their cleverly designed double-sided belts. And also the modern British tailoring firm Cad & the Dandy, who has been a revitalizing factor at the famous Savile Row with really affordable tailoring. They will give a teaser to what they offer, and talk to visitors about all the tailoring possibilities they have.
Apart from the exhibitions, we’ll also have the stage area where some of the event’s highlights will take place. It starts already directly after opening, at 11.15, with the final of the World Championships in Shoe Patina, organized in collaboration with Saphir. Three finalists will have five hours (with one hour break in the middle of the day) to paint a pair of TLB Mallorca crust leather shoes. The winner who’ve made the best patina according to the jury will get the shoes after they’ve been on a world tour together with the top trio in the shoemaking contest. A bit more info on the patina contest below, and much more in the qualification post which goes out next week.
In the afternoon at 15.00 we have the final of the World Championships in Shoe Shining, also this in collaboration with Saphir, where the winner will receive a pair of shoes from Loake. Three finalists who have made it through the qualifications (open at the same time as patina contest qualifications, so next week) will receive one Loake 1880 Aldwych Mahogany, a can of Saphir Medaille d’Or Pate de Lux and one can of Mirror Gloss, water, brush and polishing cloth and have 20 minutes to polish the shoe as beautiful as possible. The winner will also qualify for the Shoe Shining Champion of Champions in Tokyo, Japan, which will take place again in three years’ time, similar to the contest last autumn (read more about it here).
Also, as presented thoroughly in this article, we are once again organizing the World Championships in Shoemaking, in collaboration with the webshop Kirby Allison’s Hanger Project, the book project Master Shoemakers, and shoe nerd Edmund Schenecker. The prize pool is £6,000 (€6,700 / $7,700) and a chance to be showcased for shoe lovers around the world. A contest that has been a huge success, with lots of interest both in the industry and media etc, and with shoe entries that are reminiscent of the most amazing footwear we see in museums. We have had over 90 registered entries, and the shoes that are sent in will all be on display during the day, and at 17.30 at the stage area, we will present the top ten with the three podium positions, including the world champion.
Please follow the Facebook page for the event here where you’ll get all the latest updates, let us know you plan to attend and spread the word. And if you can, do take the time to visit the event, for shoe interested people, it’s not many other places you would like to be more, both considering the shoes shown and for all the people gathering. Take the chance to have a weekend in this great city topped up with the London Super Trunk Show.
And since the event is built on it being worth it for the brands coming, the more shoes that are purchased or ordered at the event, the better is the chance for it continuing being a growing part of the shoe world.
Hope to see many of you in London on Saturday April 25!
Below some more detailed info about all the exhibitors at the event and the scene happenings:
As we’ve called them before, Altan Bottier really is a pearl in the ocean of classic men’s shoe brands in France. The brand was started in the 70’s by the Turkish bespoke shoemaker Sukru Sensozlu who had moved to Paris, who named the brand after his newborn son. Since 1998 they also offered RTW shoes, and they were one of the pioneers with offering shoes with patina.
Today they offer both Blake stitched and Goodyear welted shoe, all made to high standard on really neat, elegant last shapes. All shoes are ordered with a personal patina of choice, where you may choose whatever patina type you can think of. Prices start from £380 / €450.
Bridlen is an Indian factory who have teamed up with the people behind introducing Meermin in Japan (which was their first market), and have been revamping their whole offering. Bridlen will introduce their new top range at the super trunk, which they will focus on for the European market.
What’s interesting with this range is that it’s Goodyear welted shoes, with the welt seam made directly to a full leather insole, the old-school way without gemming (a canvas rib glued to the insole). What’s even more interesting is that they are able to offer shoes with this make at an impressive price of around £210 / €250.
Catella Shoemaker is without a doubt the youngest brand at the event, and perhaps also the most hyped. Since Daniel Wegan, reigning world champion and previously head of the bespoke department of Gaziano & Girling, announced his own brand a few weeks ago, bespoke shoe lovers around the world have been raving and drooling over the few things that Catella Shoemakers has shown. And the client list is already long.
With Catella, Daniel Wegan aims to persuade his idea of the perfect bespoke shoes, with the absolute highest level of making, and a design mixing classic British and more contemporary continental flair. Prices starts at £4,300 / €5,100, plus £600 / €700 for the making of the last at the first order.
CNES Shoemaker is one of Vietnam’s largest manufacturers of Goodyear welted shoes. At home, they are huge, with their own stores in many cities, and they are also established in other markets in Asia such as Singapore and South Korea. Now they have also started to look towards Europe, and when the brand visited the Stockholm super trunk last year the reception was sensational.
CNES has a very wide range of shoes, both very dressy and elegant models, sometimes with patina, but also more casual models and boots. The shoes look a lot more expensive than the around £195/€230, and they also make hand welted shoes for just a bit more.
Mori of Shoemakers
Mori of Shoemakers has a slightly different approach than most brands, in their mission to merge bespoke and factory-made shoes. The brand is founded by Maslow So, and base collection is designed by Hong Kong based shoemaker Masaru Okuyama, and a new bespoke maker will have a small capsule collection launched each year.
The lasts and designs are made by the bespoke makers, while the shoes are made in a Chinese factory. They are hand welted with a handmade sole stitch at the waist, machine at the front, and soles and finishing which are very advanced in their making. Price from £510 / €600.
Norman Vilalta has become an institution in the shoe world. The charismatic Argentinian-Spaniard learned bespoke shoemaking at Stefano Bemer in Italy, and now works from a studio in Barcelona. Bespoke is just one part nowadays though, his RTW collection has been growing steadily ever since the launch.
Norman Vilalta is known for his excellent ways of upgrading and modernizing the classic shoe tradition. His RTW shoes are made in a factory in Spain and cost around £720/€850. At around twice the price he also offers a RTW/MTO range made fully by hand to the same standard as his bespoke shoes, lovely looking stuff.
Paolo Scafora is based in Naples, Italy, a brand that has developed their style in recent years, still distinctly Italian shoes, but with more classically styled last shapes and tighter sole edges. The shoes are hand welted with machine-made sole stitch, and have leather stiffeners both in heel and toe. Superbly made.
Scafora’s prices start at around £830/€980. The MTO surcharge is 20% of the base price, which is relatively low, and the options are endless if you’re interested in making something unique. The brand has gained popularity in recent years with retailers in many places all over the world nowadays.
Septieme Largeur is one of the most successful French brands of Goodyear welted shoes, and has been around for a decade. Run by the legendary shoe entrepreneur Marcos Fernandez and his nephew Mathieu Priess, they have been doing everything right in this rather fierce competition in the domestic market and has also become a large international player.
The shoes are Goodyear welted in Spain, often with rather slim wood pegged waists and elegant sleek lasts. The number of models offered are astonishing, and they continuously launch new interesting models and patinas. Priced at £230/€275
Skolyx / TLB Mallorca
Skolyx is a Swedish based online store, which sells a lot of shoe trees and shoe care, but is increasingly famous for its excellent selection of Spanish-made Goodyear welted shoes. The host Jesper Ingevaldsson of Shoegazing works for the company. Skolyx has a private label range of classic models produced on Mallorca with good specs for the price, things like leather board heel stiffeners and leathers from among other French tanneries Annonay and Du Puy. The starting price only £185/€220.
They also sell TLB Mallorca, who has made a mark since they entered the market a couple of years ago, not least with the top range Artista who pushes the bar for Goodyear welted shoes in the mid-range price segment. Incredibly narrow waists with bevelling going in under the heel, close cut and finely sanded sole and heel edges, tight sole stitching, real leather heel stiffeners, and more. At £360 / €425 TLB Artista offers some of the most bang for the buck on the market, and the regular TLB range at is also great stuff at £310 / €365.
Zeb Shoes is founded by Bojan Zeb in Croatia. He runs the company alongside a regular job, which allows for significantly lower margins, and thus really low prices for the shoes. Zeb Shoes offers very affordable Made to Measure, MTM, which is where standard lasts are modified according to your feet. Normally you measure yourself according to instructions from Zeb, but here he will take the measurements himself which obviously means a greater chance for a good result straight away.
You can choose from six different base lasts in different variants. It’s mainly more casual models that Zeb focuses on, but there is also the opportunity for more dressy ones. The choices for models and leathers are very large. The price starts at only about £425/€500 for suede shoes, and you can get shoes in the famous Horween cordovan leathers for around £680 / €800.
Saphir is one of the leading premium shoe care product manufacturers in the world. The French brand is owned by Avel, which also has brands like Tarrago, Dasco and La Cordonnerie Anglais under their branch. Known for both the high quality of care and protection products, as well as for being very easy to use. The standard Saphir range holds a massive amount of products, everything from your regular shoe cream, wax polish, cleaners, waterproofing sprays etc. to more specialized products like leather dye or leather repair pastes.
For shoe nerds and professionals, the premium shoe care range Saphir Medaille d’Or is the go-to choice. The name comes from the gold medal it received at the International Exhibition in Paris 1925 due to the high quality of the products. Still today the creams and waxes are produced by the same recipe. But since then they have also added a number of other premium shoe care products to the range, and they constantly develop their range with new products. For example, we have Mirror Gloss wax polish which makes it easier to achieve a real high gloss shine on the toe and heel of your shoes, a product that instantly regained high popularity. And just recently they introduced several new specialized leather cleaners to the range. All Medaille d’Or products contain only natural products: beeswax, carnauba wax, the essence of turpentine, lanolin, mink oil, neatsfoot, vegetal materials and so on.
J. Hopenstand was started by the leather craftsman Jaqcues Hopenstand in Paris in 1925. The company was later moved to Switzerland by his grandchildren and is today based in Lausanne. The company’s specialty and iconic piece are their very exclusive double-sided belts, which has a cleverly designed buckle (the logo with the J and H actually) making them possible to use with both sides facing outwards. With a huge selection of the leathers and buckle types available, there’s a great possibility to create a belt that suits your needs. All belts that are made to your own specifications are manufactured in Switzerland and delivered within 4-6 weeks.
Hopenstand also has some other high-quality accessories in their range. Among other things nicely made card holders, also these available to personalize and have made to your own specifications. They also have thin super-soft cashmere scarves, which are the most pleasant thing you can possibly wear around your neck.
Cad & the Dandy
The tailoring firm Cad & the Dandy was launched in 2008 by the two bankers Ian Meiers and James Sleater, together with the experienced tailor John Debois. They wanted to modernize British tailoring and has since the start grown to be the biggest tailor on Savile Row, recruiting experienced tailors from among others Huntsman, Anderson & Sheppard and Norton & Sons.
The main reason for the success is the low prices offered, with three different ranges of bespoke tailoring, from a fully machine made (though still full canvas) range starting at only about £800 / €950 up to the premium bespoke offering made completely according to the Savile Row Bespoke Association’s rules, which starts at £1,300 / €1,500. All garments are produced in one of their three workshops in the city of London.
World Championships in Shoe Patina
The World Championships in Shoe Patina is organized in collaboration with Saphir. Three finalists will have five hours to paint a pair of TLB Mallorca crust leather shoes as remarkable as possible. Shoe patina is something that has grown massively the past decades, and today we have specialists around the world working full time with painting shoes, as well as a lot of shoe brands that offer patina services or has painted shoes as a given part of their standard ranges.
The World Championships in Shoe Patina have a similar set-up as the shoe-shining event. We will start a qualification round next week, where people are to send in images of a pair of painted shoes, where a jury consisting of us organizers, representatives from Saphir and TLB Mallorca, as well as the professional shoe patina makers Tom Beecroft (The Jaunty Flaneur), Neus Benavent (previously Gaziano & Girling and Corthay), Mathieu Priess (Septieme Largeur) and Norman Vilalta. We will go through and pick out the three best patinas. What will be judged is the quality of the patina, the technique and how beautiful it is made. Qualification is open for three weeks.
The three finalists will then paint the TLB Mallorca Artista crust leather shoe during the event in London. They will paint for five hours between 11.15 and 17.15, with one hour break at 14.45-15.45. They will have a number of colors of Saphir leather dye to their disposal and will bring their own brushes and equipment to work with. They will also have Saphir cream and waxes for the finishing touches. The same jury consisting of professional patina makers and shoe experts will judge how beautiful the shoes have been painted, and the quality of the paint job. Winner will be announced at the award ceremony 17.30. The world champion in shoe patina gets the TLB shoes, a shoe care package from Saphir and a glass plaquette, plus the winning shoes will be part of the world tour together with the top trio in the shoemaking contest. As mentioned, more on this when we open the qualification within a few days.
World Championships in Shoe Shining
The very popular shoe shining contest has its given place at the super trunk. At 15.00 during the event day, we invite you to follow the World Championships in Shoe Shining in collaboration with Saphir, where the winner will receive a pair of shoes from Loake, a shoe care package from Saphir and a glass plaquette. In the qualification posts next week you’ll get info on how to qualify by sending in pictures of a well-polished shoe, from these a jury consisting of us organizers and representatives from Saphir and Loake will pick three finalists, who will compete during the London Super Trunk Show.
At the final, one Loake 1880 Aldwych in mahogany is to be polished as beautiful as possible. We’ll not only look at the highest shine, but the most beautiful polish work is rewarded. The finalists will have a can of Saphir Medaille d’Or Pate de Lux in the color of choice, neutral Mirror Gloss wax, water, a brush, a polishing cloth of their own and a nylon cloth, and they have 20 minutes to polish the shoe. Previous year’s winners performed astonishing results in that short time, and have had a lot of attention in Asia as winners of the title. The winner will be titled the World Champion in Shoe Shining 2020 and gets to keep the shoe he (or she) has polished and its sibling receives a glass plaquette and a kit with shoe care products from Saphir. He/she will also qualify for the Shoe Shining Champion of Champions in Tokyo, Japan, which will take place again in 2022.
World Championships in Shoemaking
The World Championships in Shoemaking is organized by Shoegazing and The Shoe Snob, in collaboration with the webshop Kirby Allison’s Hanger Project and the book project Master Shoemakers (the book will be showcased and sold at the venue). More than 90 contestants from all over the world have registered for the championships, and in previous years we are likely to see some amazing shoes made for it. Here in the official call for competition you can find all the details in how it unfolds.
But to summarise it, the contestants will make a burgundy/red-brown longwing derby with a leather sole, hand welted with handmade sole stitch. The criteria that will be judged are the degree of difficulty and the execution of the making, but also the overall design/aesthetics. 1st prize is £3,000, 2nd £2,000 and 3rd £1,000, plus all podium placed shoes will be exhibited at the Isetan Men’s department store in Tokyo, Japan, and at other stores in various locations around the world. As previous years we will create a small exhibition with the top three shoes (plus the patina winner’s pair), which will be on tour around the globe. Which locations this year will be presented later on.
In the jury who will review the shoes are several bespoke shoemakers and professionals within the industry, the preliminary jury members are shoemakers Philippe Atienza (third in the contest 2018, previously head of both John Lobb Paris and Masaro bespoke departments), Nicholas Templeman (previously John Lobb London), Yohei Iwasaki (previously at George Cleverley now back in Japan), Sebastian Tarek (independent shoemaker who previously have done outwork for many of the London west end firms), and Paolo Scafora (both bespoke shoemaker and factory owner) (1-2 more shoemakers will be added to the final jury line-up). But to also add a slightly different view shoe experts Jesper Ingevaldsson of Shoegazing and Justin FitzPatrick of The Shoe Snob are part of the jury, and the three sponsors who are making this contest possible: Edmund Schenecker who is a bespoke shoe customer and shoe nerd, Kirby Allison, founder of The Hanger Project, and Gary Tok, author of Master Shoemakers.
All the competition shoes will be on display at the super trunk show, and at 17.30 at the stage area we will announce the top ten shoes, and hence the podium placed ones and the world champion in shoemaking 2020.
You are very welcome to the London Super Trunk Show on Saturday, April 25, we aim for yet another day to remember! Thanks in advance for all your help spreading the word about the event, share this article and invite people with the Facebook event. See you all there!