These very old Foster & Son bespoke shoes are not the classic black bleached ones the brand is known for, but the bleaching from the original colour is even more than those examples. It’s not much left of the original dark brown colour, mainly due to many decades in their shop window.
If there’s one thing that’s really harsh on leather, it is indeed the sun. Even if windows take away some of the stronger rays, having leather shoes stored close to a window will inevitably mean that it will be bleached and dry out. I know from my own experience, where we at Skolyx who I work for have a constant battle against the sun in our showroom to make sure the shoes there stay looking decent, moving around stuff to make sure not the same ones stay in the areas where the sun reach, cover the windows when we can, and go over them with pigmented cream on a regular basis. So not weird that shoes like the Foster & Son ones pictured here, who’ve spent decades in a shop display window, will have turned into something other than they once were.