EG X ALDEN - WHOLECUT OXFORD - RELEASING 04.27.23
Introducing the Engineered Garments x Alden Wholecut Oxford, a special make-up that combines unconventional EG style with the deep American heritage of Alden. Releasing exclusively at Nepenthes New York on Thursday, April 27th.
When Charles H. Alden founded his company in 1884, he was among the hundreds of shoemakers in the American Northeast. His company’s commitment to quality, craftsmanship, and comfort allowed Alden Shoe Co. to survive in Massachusetts for nearly 140 years. In the meantime, designs like the Leisure Handsewn Loafer, Indy Boot, and Plain Toe Blucher became icons, beacons of traditional American style.
The latest collaboration is the Oxford, one of the best-known and most formal men’s dress shoe styles. The style rose from the tall leather riding boots worn by gentlemen during the Regency Era of British history (1795 - 1837). Once full trousers gained popularity during the mid-19th century, a low-cut version of riding boots - the Oxford - was born.
The Engineered Garments Alden Oxfords retain the hallmarks of the style, starting with the lacing system. Known as “closed lacing,” the shoe’s facings attach fully to the upper, opening just slightly for a “V” shape, while the blind eyelets and 1⅛” heel provide a sense of refined simplicity. These are made on the Barrie last, which provides a full fit.
The most remarkable part of these shoes is the wholecut construction. Unlike most Oxford uppers, which are made by stitching together the quarter, vamp, and toe - the uppers on a one-cut Oxford come from a single piece of leather. The finished pair sports a single seam on the heel. Not only does this process require a large portion of pristine leather (which dramatically reduces the hide’s yield), but it necessitates the hand of an expert craftsman, as even the slightest blemish will reset the construction process.
Sporty elements temper the ultra-formal characteristics of the wholecut Oxford style. Engineered Garments’ designer Daiki Suzuki integrates a chunky Goodyear welt and a Commando sole, featuring rubber heel and toe pieces with star medallions for increased traction. And as with all Alden shoes, these are outfitted with a triple ribbed tempered steel shank for support.
The Engineered Garments x Alden Wholecut Oxford is available in Black Calfskin, Burgundy Calfskin, and Tan Calfskin Suede. The calfskin comes from European tanneries., and the suede comes from English tannery C.F. Stead, colored by 100% aniline dye and treated with Scotchgard™ for protection against water and stains.
This unique release takes the best of Alden and Engineered Garments, uniting elements of a classic dress shoe with a rugged sensibility for an Oxford that looks great and can go anywhere. Available only at Nepenthes New York.