A new men's shoe line debuts at New York Fashion Week and proves old-school can still be young at heart. By Jason Wilson
No well-dressed guy wants to wear shoes that appear to have been pinched from his dad (no matter how dapper he is). The young dude dress shoe is an elusive sort, especially the kind that still fits in perfectly with denim and a pea coat at Sunday brunch.
Thankfully, designer Wells Stellberger knew exactly what was missing in the men's footwear category, and his response—a small line of footwear called Heutchy—immediately piqued the interest of childhood friend Sam Shipley, one half of the new men's and women's wear collection Shipley & Halmos. "We started our first T-shirt company together when we were 13 years old," the designer says in regards to Shipley, who recently asked his old school chum to provide the footwear for Shipley & Halmos' latest presentation at New York Fashion Week.
Both natives of Crest Butte, Colorado, the designers were happy to join forces again. "Working with Sam and Jeff [Halmos] has been a wonderful experience," Stellberger says. "Both lines are aesthetically on the same plane."
For its inaugural collection, Heutchy offers a limited selection of styles that convey a perfect balance of simplicity, comfort, and originality. "This collection's focus is on clean, simple shapes and interesting materials to create a staple shoe for every man's wardrobe," Stellberger says. The fall '08 line features five styles (including one exceptionally cool short boot), all produced in Spain, and constructed from fine Italian leathers and matching Japaneses canvas available in black, gray, and a stormy dark blue. "We want these shoes to have character, and become more beautiful each time you wear them," the designer adds.
When asked about his customer, Stellberger refers to a gentleman somewhat like himself. "He's a guy who buys pieces knowing he'll wear them for a long time," he says. So maybe, his worn-looking shirts are tailor made. His old paint-splattered jeans are crafted from of a rare selvedge that only a denim connoisseur could find, and his shoes are Heutchy. "The truth is," Stellberger says, "this is a guy who actually knows what he's doing."
A new men's shoe line debuts at New York Fashion Week and proves old-school can still be young at heart.