Whether his style is on point or he is in dire need of a visit from the Queer Eye team, consider investing in some eye-catching, business-casual attire for a special man in your life this December. Rather than chasing down flashy, flavour-of-the-week styles, why not opt for classic brands whose pieces will look just as good in 2030 as they do today.
For now, let’s start with the feet, and examine an over 30-year-old business whose legacy is undoubted: Oliver Sweeney.
In 1991, GQ called Oliver Sweeney “the must-have shoes of the early ‘90s.” At that time, the London-based company had just expanded to manufacturing a full range of high-end shoes, all named for acting greats. The love of the craftsmanship and the acuity of the style was a tribute to Oliver Sweeney himself, the company’s founder, and his long family legacy of high-quality shoemaking.
Eventually, they were regularly spotted on the feet of celebrities like Brad Pitt, Will Smith, Noel Gallagher, and the entire England Rugby World Cup team in a portrait with the Queen, no less. Today, the company is celebrated for more than their footwear, thanks to a rich selection of clothing, luggage, accessories, and much more. They regularly collaborate with influential creatives, from athletes to world class chefs to explorers, to showcase their new products, and even teamed up with their favourite whisky brand.
Though Oliver Sweeney’s business is steeped in tradition, the company and its current cobbler-in-chief Tim Cooper are equally passionate about pursuing challenging new design directions, innovating new cobbling techniques, and generally making sure every aspect of their business is up to date.
“As a company, we believe in traditional craftsmanship, but we love to bend the rules”, Cooper writes on the company’s site. “It gives our shoes a unique and original British twist each time, so there’s always an element of surprise for our customers”.
As always, the company’s eternal focus on “bending the rules” is expressed in their diverse spread of designs, first and foremost. The company’s factories in Italy’s Marche region, Guimarães in Portugal, and by Bay of Bengal in India each have distinct areas of expertise, demonstrating the designers’ commitment to both experimental designs and evolving traditional looks.
But the most unique aspect of Sweeney’s current business is their celebrated shoe-tattooing service. They first experimented with the unusual practice seven years ago at a pop-up shop in London, with artists taking up a tattoo gun to personalise Oliver Sweeney footwear permanently for its owners. Now, Oliver Sweeney inks up more than 500 items every year, with pop-up parlours in cities across the world.
Crucially, the company also refuses to fall behind the times when it comes to their digital presence. Their personalised online store is rigorously organised to satisfy both casual shoppers looking for direction as well as connoisseurs seeking to triangulate their perfect new outfit. But the most useful and singular aspect of their web presence may be their blog Tales of Obsessions, which includes style guides, boot finishing guides, home repair recommendations, and more.
Oliver Sweeney also offers easy, swift, and secure checkout for online customers by using Amazon Pay as one of its digital payment options. Check out Oliver Sweeney’s sprawling catalogue here.
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