Last week, a new shoe store hit the centre of Amsterdam; Jeffrey West. A sophisticated, yet very extravagant men shoe brand with an edgy London twist. For all the dandy men out there who are looking for something fresh after brands like Santoni.
The first Holland based store of Jeffrey West is located in the Runstraat in the centre of Amsterdam and is also the first store of the shoe-brand outside the UK. (yes, we can be a little proud of that!) The key-colours of the store are dark grey and black, with a lot of shiny crystal chandeliers and giant velvet seats in Bordeaux red. Very burlesque, very sexy, very dark. Just like the signature of Jeffrey West. Think red painted soles with poems, snakeskin leather boots, extravagant details such as cobra heads, spiders, skulls, vampires and even the devil and of course the famous ‘split’ heels. Also the colours of the shoes are a little flamboyant: dirty-white, dark purple and metallic bronze.
Besides the shoes, you can also find belts with big, chunky buckles on it, cufflinks, umbrella’s and even black walking canes with the same Cobra heads and skulls. To be honest; that scared me off! I don’t like men with canes. Do you?
To celebrate the launch of the new store, they organized an intimate dinner party with some very eehm…well, let’s call it special, snacks on the menu: Grasshoppers and maggots. How they tasted? I really have no clue! I’m a pussy…yes I am! But my future husband can definitely wear Jeffrey West shoes…It won’t scare me off at all!
About the brand
Born and bred in Northampton, the historical centre of the British shoemaking and leather industries, childhood friends Mark Jeffery and Guy West were surrounded by tradition and history from the word go, even more so for Jeffery as his father ran the family owned shoe factory in the town. Perhaps not a surprise therefore that they would go on to become shoe designers, but the fact that they began their first business at 16 year olds, designing and selling their own shoes at markets in Northamptonshire and also at Kensington Market in London, shows remarkable prescience and motivation. At first, as Guy West explains, “Mark and I would buy rejects and ends of lines from his dad’s factory and other factories, customize them and sell them on.” They quickly moved on to having their own designs made up but, as West says, “because we were so young nobody would take us seriously”. In 1987 they started up their own label called Jeffrey West and 13 years later they have 75 selling points and five own stores in the UK.