The first London Super Trunk Show was successfully held this Saturday, with around 800 visitors and shoes sold or purchased for about €62 000/£53 000. It was a great atmosphere during the day, and both exhibitors, partners and visitors was very pleased. Here’s a summary of the day with a lot of pictures.
Me (Jesper Ingevaldsson of Shoegazing) and Justin FitzPatrick of the Shoe Snob started talking about doing a super trunk in London about 1,5 years ago. The Shoegazing Super Trunk Show in Stockholm had been a great success, and to make an even bigger version in sort of the capital of classic shoes was something that both of us was tempted to try doing. Last fall we started working with it more properly, and it’s been a lot of work since then to get this done. It’s always great when all efforts have been worthwhile, which really is the feeling after this weekend.
It was a steady stream of people coming into the doors of the Music Room in the middle of Mayfair, talking to each other, talking to the exhibitors, and of course looking at a lot of shoes. 11 exhibitors, Italian Barbanera, Carlos Santos/Skoaktiebolaget, Caulaincourt, Hiro Yanagimachi, J. FitzPatrick Footwear, Norman Vilalta, Ramon Cuberta, Stefano Bemer, The Sabot (Meccariello, Yohei Fukuda), Vass and Yanko/Skolyx. What was great to see was that there were people at all tables during large parts of the day. All these brands aren’t available to buy in England, and many was keen to have a closer look all these makers of fine shoes. The event was made possible thanks to our main partner Saphir, who showed and sold a wide range of their shoe care products at their table, and the partners Carl Friedrik displayed their Italian made leather bags and accessories and Fred & Matt showcased the modern overshoes they produce.
One of the highlights of the event was the first World Championship in Shoe Shining, organized in collaboration with Saphir. Three finalists had been qualified, Pete Bultitude from England, Anders Ericson from Sweden, and the Japanese Yuya Hasegawa. They had 20 minutes to polish a Loake 1880 Aldwych tan as beautiful as possible. A big crowd followed the competition, and the contestants all achieved an impressive result for having such a short time to work on the shoe. The jury consisted of me, Justin FitzPatrick, Filip Hallerfelt, Scandinavian Agent for Loake, and Marc Moura, President of Avel who makes Saphir shoe care products. After some discussions we came to the unanimous decision that the first world champion would be Yuya Hasegawa. He was very happy to win the title, shoe care products from Saphir and the Loake Aldwych pair. Yuya runs three shoe shining bars in Japan, and has been polishing shoes for 10 years time, which evidently has gained him some great skills.
To round of the day a panel discussion about the future for classic men’s shows was held. In the panel were Tony Gaziano, co-founder Gaziano & Girling, Chris Than, Store Manager Crockett & Jones 69 Jermyn Street, Sarah Nelson, co-owner A Fine Pair of Shoes. Unfortunately Simon Crompton of Permanent Style couldn’t come, so I chaired the session instead. Also at this time a large crowd followed the session, and several questions came in from the audience. It was an interesting talk, where all members of the panel had a positive view of the future for the industry, though there are challenges like the increasing leather prices.
What I was maybe most happy about was the fact that the super trunk became such a great meeting place for shoe people both from England and other parts of the world, both people working in different parts of the shoe business as well as with shoe nerds and just “regular” people. As an example towards the end of the day many employees from the West End bespoke shoemaking firms, freelance makers and the international exhibitors working with bespoke gathered up in the venue and had a great time talking, discussing and learning from each other. Even for the domestic bespoke shoemakers it’s quite rare to meet each other in larger numbers like this, and many kept on long into the night after the event in pubs and cocktail bars. It’s also what most people commented on, the fact that it was such a great gathering of people, as well as of course of great shoes. We hope that the London Super Trunk Show will return.
For those who can’t wait for that, the “original” super trunk show in Stockholm will be held on Saturday September 2. Albeit a bit smaller, it’s also a very nice event for those into classic men’s shoes. A lot more info soon. Hope to see some of you there!