The Hand Stitch Collection is the pinnacle of the Crown Northampton footwear offering. Since the Harlestone Derby was first launched in 2021 as the debut style, an array of customer and expert reviews have put the Harlestone through its paces - dissecting and scrutising all aspects of materials, build, and wearability. With all feedback and reviews in hand; we are pleased to report that more often than not, the Harlestone has found itself at the very top of the tree when pitched against rivals in the dress sneaker and minimal sneaker category.
We understand that this may sound a little boastful and maybe even a little arrogant, but that’s because at Crown Northampton we strongly believe in our factory processes and the unrivaled level of high-quality materials that we source to make all of our footwear, but especially the Hand Stitch Collection.
Our products are considered to be in the higher price point bracket, but with our made-to-order, direct-to-customer business model it's all relative. You can be sure that for the price you pay, you will receive the very best materials handmade in Northampton, England footwear construction with no expensive marketing budgets to cover or wholesale margins to build in. We pride ourselves on offering the best possible footwear available, with fair and honest pricing to you - the customer. These commitments are unbreakable, and one of the main reasons that we generally steer away from wholesale stockist distribution, as our sourcing costs and margins simply don’t allow it.
Onto the newest addition to the Hand Stitch Collection - The Everdon Wholecut Mid Boot. When deciding what style we were going to design next to add to the collection, we considered customer feedback and what would best complement our existing Harlestone Derby model. This led us toward a hi-top model but we also wanted to explore different options.
Creativity, fresh ideas, and experimentation are crucial to all aspects of Crown Northampton from the design process to the factory floor. A new way of looking at a situation can often bring unexpected results. The beauty of working in our own factory means that everyone works under one roof and they can add their input and ideas in real-time - and this is how the Everdon boot first came about.
Two of our most experienced makers Lee and Kerry were having some, let's call it, 'creative time', during their tea break one day. They pulled on a discarded spare upper that they found laying around the factory floor to a Harlestone Hand Stitch last then added some Lactae Hevea soles. The upper was from a hiking boot style that we developed from one of our archive models - specifically for one of our Japanese clients - and the end result was very interesting. So interesting in fact, that we decided to redirect from our original plans and focus on the new hybrid adaptation of the original hiker boot. We all agreed that we could be on to a winner, so Chris dived into the mid-boot pattern and continued with the next stages of sampling. At times, when the next new updated sample was complete, we thought we were nearly there. But some areas were not quite in line with our design ethos of the Hand Stitch Collection so we continued to boil it down until we arrived at the final sample that we were happy to sign off on.
This entire process of sampling > trialing> re-sampling > re-trialing can last several months and sometimes a year or two but the Everdon came together quite nicely. One of our core design drivers is to only include visible stitchwork where absolutely necessary, so all details are functional first and never purely just decorative. Falling back on this agreed brand framework has helped us build the 'Hand Stitch Collection'. With a design and build that works to a tried-and-tested process alongside a clear and concise direction.
One particular design feature of the Everdon that demonstrates the above concept is the row of four individually sewn hand stitches to the interior side of the tongue. As the Everdon features a wholecut construction that uses just one piece for the upper, the tongue has to be sewn at the bottom in one place (as opposed to a derby construction where the side quarters are sewn onto the vamp). The four hand stitches are therefore sewn through the interior side of the tongue and onto the one piece upper so that the tongue remains in place and doesn't slide to either side when on foot. The outcome is function first and decorative second - And where the hand stitches are visible, we think they look rather nice.
Apart from the Everdon's unique wholecut appearance with French bound finishing, the mid-boot design features full natural leather vegetable tanned lining footbed as standard, oak bark stiffeners throughout, a cork-filled Lactae Hevea sole unit for extra comfort, discreet Crown branding, and waxed cotton laces. Ultimately, the Everdon delivers a silhouette that can be effortlessly styled with a wide range of smart or casual outfits. Therefore continuing the 'Dress Sneaker' direction that the 'Hand Stitch Collection' has become known for.
Initially launching in a selection of Scottish deer suede, Horween Chromexcel leather, and Horween buffalo leather. We took a few pairs out and about on a crisp Sunday morning with our good friend Justin Portess. The location was the Kenwood House. An English Heritage site with grounds that merge into Hampstead Heath, North London, for the perfect mix of period buildings and rural Spring settings.
The Everdon Mid Boot is now available to order. View the full collection here.
Model - Justin Portess
Photography - Alex Natt & Ben Lloyd