The style proved resilient against changing trends - its simplicity providing its longevity. The soft upper is stitched to a teardrop vamp, Henri’s signature “Mr Casual” model then finished with a tiny bow. The style caught on with other makers throughout the late 50s and 1960s, its unfussed appearance and clean lines making it an icon of Mid-Century design.
Lawrence Harvey & Mia Farrow arrive in style
By the 1980s, the Belgian was still a totem of WASP-ish eccentricity, up there with 'Go-To-Hell" pants and the acidicly saturated prints of Lily Pulitzer’s patterns. One style maven drawn to their singular charm was the tailor and author of the essential "Dressing The Man" Alan Flusser.
"Around the period I discovered Belgians," Flusser explains, "Gucci’s horse-buckle loafer was quietly upstaging the classic business Oxford to complete the Wall Street uniform of Turnbull and Asser dress shirt, Hermes necktie, Albert Thurston striped suspenders, and my own Savile Row-inspired inspired suits. Gucci loafers and Belgian shoes both shared a brave new aesthetic, essentially joining that last vestige of English court dress — Brooks Brothers’ elegant silk-bowed, black calf opera pump — as chic tokens of decadence that marked their wearers as style travellers to watch."
Glenn O'Brien, author of 'How To Be A Man'
Brendon Babenzien outside the NOAH store
It was the #fuckyeahmeswear generation of the early 2010s that bought the Belgian back overground, from cult classic to Tumblr staple. Stateside everyone from Throwing Fits’ Lawrence Schlossman to ex-Supreme, current Noah honcho Brendon Babenzien pair them with everything from beaten up old levi’s, to tuxedos to sweatpants. “Belgians are fun, they’re easy. It’s a New York thing for me - you don’t see everyone wearing them” Babenzien told GQ in 2016. Despite his protestations however, their unique ‘Sprezzatura’ has definitely translated transatlantically; the perfect Pitti-friendly companion to the tapered two inch cuff of a Neapolitan tailored trouser. Travel and style writer David Coggins and WM Brown’s Matt Hranek are devotees - donning them sockless all year round.
David Coggins on the Royal Scotsman
Matt Hranek & Yolanda Edwards' inimitable take on black tie
Crown Northampton Brockton Slipper in brown kudu suede
Crown Northampton’s Brockton slipper design is inspired by sketches from the company's archives and historical last shapes from their past. An unmistakable almond toe shape and handmade upper with apron finish, sat atop a mixed leather/rubber sole unit, The Brockton's elegant lines are the perfect combination of aristocratic taste and a century of English shoemaking prowess.
Keep an eye out for our Crown Northampton x AWMS limited run special project, made in collaboration with Anthony W. Madsen Sylvester - Launching at the end of this week, Friday 1st October. More information to follow soon.
View the full Brockton range here