Rough ’n’ ready: tackle the great outdoors with Crockett & Jones’s new high-performing silhouettes
For its latest campaign, the historic shoemaker heads to the dramatic landscapes of Scotland’s Trossachs to showcase its latest selection of hardy footwear
For the summer just gone, makers of high-craft footwear Crockett & Jones looked to the French Riviera when it first sought inspiration to create its collection of buttersoft, featherweight loafers. Now, with the days turning darker and the weather heading towards more unforgiving conditions, the storied brand’s offerings are, naturally, shifting in line with the rhythms of the seasons.
So, for its AW23 campaign, Crockett & Jones has taken to the lush, dramatic landscapes of Scotland’s Trossachs in order to showcase a new bevy of hardy footwear, one which comes as the result of decades of manufacturing mastery and simply adds further options to the label’s hinterland of winter-appropriate creations.
With deep roots in Scotland, where it once had a fruitful wholesale market during a rebuilding period, Crockett & Jones made a considered choice when deciding on where to shoot its latest collection, with the bucolic topography – replete with tranquility, plunging hills, deep lochs, mossy greens and dry yellows – not only exemplifying the type of terrain that’s ideal for cold-weather walks and adventures, but also reminding the label itself of the kind of great-outdoors scenery that had influenced past collections – ‘Collections that our forefathers once regarded as “practical footwear,” so says the brand.
This year, Crockett & Jones builds on its past by imbuing its newest models with two high-performing leathers – Rough-Out Suede and Hurricane Hide – whose solid yet casual silhouettes provide options that go beyond the usual high-shine penny loafers and Oxfords that are available all-year round.
With the former material, the suede around which it is based is wax-impregnated and has a tight fibre structure – the result, therefore, is something that is incredibly tough, fully waterproof and, like a pair of immaculately crafted selvedge-denim jeans, roughs up with larger folds over years of wear – features that lend themselves to exploring throughout the year’s bitter periods.
Highlights within the Rough-Out Suede options include the iconic Islay full-brogue Derby boot, made with a Vibram cleated sole, storm welt, and a high leg – when dovetailed together, these details simply inject further sturdiness to the design’s already tough structure – with the model’s backstory already heavily charged with action and adventure, having been laced up by Daniel Craig in the Scottish Highlands scenes in Skyfall.
For those who prefer slip-on footwear, the Chelsea 5 facilitates a fuss-free experience, and is created with a Natural Rough-Out Suede, making it the model’s first light-hued option (and is ideal to wear with denim as the combination evokes images of the Wild West).
The eight-eyelet Kelso offers a lower-leg model, and its broad round toe makes it a versatile piece that’s easy to pair with myriad items, from flannel shirts to unembellished T-Shirts, wool trousers to cotton chinos. Then, the Lanark 3 – with its plain front and blind-seam facings – gives fans of Derby shoes a silhouette to fall back on.
Defining the other half of the collection is Hurricane Hide, what Crockett & Jones calls a 2mm-thick ‘oily pull-up leather’ derived from either Spanish or Portuguese bulls, the result of which is a material with a compact structure, ideal for chunky, elements-ready footwear. Moreover, having been dyed and tanned with oils, the Hurricane Hide is not only incredibly water-resistant, but develops that much-coveted light-and-dark patina over years of wear.
We’re particularly drawn to the Coniston, the label’s signature Derby boot that, here, is crafted in a lightweight Sand colourway, and has long been feted for its timeless, simple aesthetic that owes largely to the 325 last that gives the model its medium-round toe. We like to combine this particular shoe with some thick chinos, a parka, and a cashmere jumper.
Also in Sand – as well as a darker Coffee – is the Harris, the Chelsea boot counterpart to the Islay, whose two-and-one-punching, medallion and leather back strip provide elegant details to a robust build.
Then, rounding off the selection is the Cornell, a five-eyelet Derby that is essentially a country-style iteration of the Ivy League Blutcher, from last summer. Thanks to its production on the 378 last, this build has a significant toe depth, which is best angled for either those with a slightly wider foot or those that opt for chunkier lines purely for aesthetic reasons.
High-performing yet imbued with the elegance so typical of Crockett & Jones, the new AW23 collection presents stylish, reliable treads for the coming months.
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