Tomorrow, October 25th, on the shoemaking saint Saint Crispin’s day, British bespoke shoemaker Foster & Son opens its new RTW factory, becoming the first new shoe factory in Northampton since 2006. This is part of increased international ambitions for its RTW shoes .
Foster & Son started its operations in 1840, nowadays it also incorporates the brand Henry Maxwell, and has its store and workshop on Jermyn Street in London. Since 2006, the company is owned by businessman Richard Edgecliffe-Johnson. Fosters has for many years also had RTW shoes in the offer, two-three price ranges made by mainly Crockett & Jones and Edward Green. Supposedly, one has been inspired by how Gaziano & Girling managed to combine a successful RTW factory with bespoke, when Fosters now opens the first shoe factory in Northampton since the mentioned G&G opened the doors to theirs. Owning your own factory, you have significantly better control of both production and final results, and have better margins on the shoes.
Tomorrow on Saint Crispin’s Day, the factory will be inaugurated, at the appropriate address St James Mills Road in an industrial area just southwest of Northampton’s city center. The factory is brand new, with eight employees now initially, but plans for a kind of apprenticeship to train a few more. The first time will go to trim the factory, and at the turn of the year, the plan is that the first shoes to be sold will be packed in shoe boxes. The ambition is to get the brand out to new retailers around the world.
It is true premium RTW they plan to produce here, the price level is estimated to be around €1,200 (£ 1,000). Will be very interesting to see the finished shoes. Foster & Son has had a rougher period for its bespoke, hopefully this ambitious venture with its own factory and new premium range can also mean a boost for the bespoke side, and a turn for the fine old firm.