You may remember a recent post at Put This On about Singaporean shoemaker Edwin Neo’s Ed Et Al brand. I was so excited by the prospect of relatively affordable custom shoes that I immediately got in touch with Edwin and we got started working on a pair. The order was finalized this week and here a little bit about the process.
While there is a wealth of made-to-measure tailoring, there are relatively few custom made, non-bespoke shoes on the market. A few top of the line brands, like Gaziano & Girling, Edward Green, and Alfred Sargent will do custom orders, but really nothing sub-$1000. Enter Edwin Neo.
Ed Et Al offers custom shoes starting at just under $500 USD, and offers a wealth of options and knowledge for that price. You choose an existing last, the correct size/width (which Edwin verifies by having you send him tracings of your feet), and then design the shoe along with Edwin and his team.
I really liked the general look of a butterfly loafer Ed Et Al did as part of a capsule collection for Courvoisier, but wanted to put my own touches on the basic shape. Instead of a burnished leather upper, I decided to go for a mid-brown suede, with just a hint of tonal leather trim around the opening. We decided to keep the chiseled toe and add a fiddleback waist to augment the sleek look.
After discussing all these details, sending in my foot tracings, and showing Edwin and Candy (the designer) a few images of shoes in the approximate color range, Candy sent me back a sketch of the shoe along with a handful color swatches to choose from. Since we’re doing all of this at a distance, I found these two steps really helpful. It’s a bit more work for them, but it ensures that I end up with exactly what I want, which is appreciated. You’ll notice on the sketch that the color was originally something different, but after seeing the swatches I decided to go a shade darker – much better to know this now than after the shoes are finished.
We’ve settled on the Snuff Repello color and I’ve ok-ed the sketch, so now it’s just a waiting game for me while the craftsmen in Singapore get to work.