The London Trunk Show From A New Perspective
Welcome to my quick report of the Shoegazing London Super Trunk Show 2023.
An always excellent event that gathers some of the best shoemakers in the world and brings together shoe afficionados from all over the world.
This time, I was also an exhibitor so I can show a different perspective.
With many brands, events and competitions it was yet another successful exhibition.
Let me help you be a part through some pictures.
Exhibitors & Updates
If you want a more in-depth explanation of all the participants, you can check the preview article here.
However it is worth mentioning that two of the participants did not make it to the event for different reasons.
Cobbler Union pulled out last minute for reasons I will not disclose.
Very unfortunately Paul Sargent also were forced to pull out on the day prior, because of some corporate dingleberries that like to threaten people.
Luckily I met them in person and they even gave me a pair of shoes to review.
First Time Exhibitor Reflections
This was my 3rd time participating in the London Trunk Show and something like 6th overall.
However it was the first time I went there as an exhibitor via The Noble Shoe.
It was a new experience that required much more energy, leaving me exhausted the next day.
Nonetheless, it was all worth it to meet so many friends in the industry but also interact with clients and new interested parties.
The only thing that was a negative, was the fact that I had to stay at the booth and could not browse the others too much!
Luckily my friend was there and provided me with some needed photography for the article.
Some pictures were not good enough to make it in the article due to the artificial light, but you are not missing much.
The Noble Shoe Booth
The Noble Shoe now represents a plethora of different brands.
Carlos Santos, Enzo Bonafe, Paolo Scafora, Crockett & Jones and the recently discontinued Norman Vilalta.
I suppose I can also officially announce that I am developing my own private label, due release end of the year.
The burgundy grain boots you see there are the first sample.
There was a lot of interest in most brands and the perfect opportunity to honor the late Enzo Bonafe by displaying the latest upcoming collection.
Many people loved the special sole of the suede loafers and of course the shark skin monk straps.
Thank you to all of you that visited, talked to me and gave me words of encouragement.
I did not know much about Raymar before the show, but I can tell you they are wonderful people.
I chatted a lot with the owner about his journey, which is similar to mine.
Turning from an engineer to a shoe store, with the difference that he is on his 10th year as opposed to my 4th!
Their shoes are very affordable and very classic with a much more British looking shape.
There was quite a bit to choose from and the prices are very affordable for Goodyear and Handwelted shoes.
Another very interesting entry was Attila from Hungary.
There was a heavy emphasis on exotics and other materials but also creativity and customization.
The shoes looked better in person than what I expected from certain website photos.
I wish I had more time to talk to them but they are definitely worth checking out.
Bresciani & Saphir
Bresciani make some excellent socks, while Saphir shoe care products need no introduction.
Very nice well-polished booths (pun intended) by both with very professional presentation and helpful personnel.
There was also a dedicated free shoe shining service which I wish I had time to use.
Arterton, Yearn & Bridlen
I will include all these together, since essentially Arterton London represents them and carries them.
Despite that, both brands had their own people in the exhibition as well as tables.
Both offer something different, with Bridlen focusing more on the British classic aesthetic while Yearn has a more modern, sleek design and approach.
The quality seems to have improved and the people behind each brand are welcoming and helpful.
Arterton carrying the shoes also means that it is more accessible in a city like London for those interested to find their fit and feel the shoes in person.
Either due to the lack of good photos or because I have met them a bunch of times, I chose to talk about the rest here.
The exhibition felt really lively with a constant flow of people and no dead time.
CNES was there as usual and so was Acme (whose shoes I was wearing) and Catella Bespoke.
A lot of interest was around the used shoes section of Abbot Shoes with some really good deals going on.
The organization was as always excellent and on point while the staff at the venue is friendly and awesome.
Of course Kirby Allison and his bespoke entourage was there and while we locked eyes a few times, he didn’t talk to me.
I think he probably knows what I wrote about him in my videos and articles so that’s fine.
Shoe Patina Championship
The three finalists of the live shoe patina championship did an amazing job, but it is clear to me who was the winner.
Philip from my friends at Septieme Largeur made an amazing green shoe, while the other efforts from Corthay and Alberto Suastez were admirable.
This is a very long competition spanning hours and hours and to watch it from the conception to the finish line is nothing short of amazing.
I do wonder what kind of music they were all listening to!
Shoemaking Championship & Shining
The winner of the Shoe Shining competition was Naoki Hayashida followed by Albert Gjukaj and Paul Black.
Jesper or Justin will make sure to cover this in their report and this is true also about the shoemaking championship.
This year it was the first time they were asked to make a boot and in particular a black balmoral.
Some entries were mindboggling as usual with ridiculous (in a good way) constructions, details and innovations.
I cannot do them justice through just one or two pictures.
Congratulations to the winners, Athanase Sephocle (Berluti), Victor Vulpe and Louis Lampertsdörfer.
This is the end of the report from the Shoegazing London Super Trunk Show 2023.
It was once again an event to celebrate all about shoemaking and be around people passionate about good shoes.
For me it was a new experience as well, since it was the first time I was an exhibitor.
An important one as well, since it means my “little” store is not so little anymore and well-established globally.
Once again, thank you all for coming, visiting and talking to me.
I will see you in New York hopefully this October.
Thank you for reading,
I was there at that event. Literally heard about it two days before it was about to commence. I was the guy in the winchester shirt, purple polka dot tie and a navy suit. Maybe you may have seen me lol. Oh and the shiniest but somewhat ill fitting loafers. I still cringe but sometimes you just have to let it go.
I only came there for the Bridlen brand, but when I first heard of Arterton I was pleasently pleased. I have never heard of them ever in my life, which has allowed me to buy four of their Yearn shoes. And just one pair from Bridlen. And why did I buy so many? Honestly, I have hardly any shoes and I already made the mistakes I need to make, in order to properly look after expensive shoes.
I may even appear in the background of the Kirby Allison video at the very start if he shows it. And yes, I have read on what you think about him lol. I honestly found myself somewhat bewildered when I first saw him as I didn’t realize why everyone was starting at all these black boots. Then when I had the chance to have a looksie for myself, there I was. Kirby, right before my very eyes. I’m technically an internet celebrity now. I would have said hi, but I think that’s the last thing you think of doing when there’s cameras on you.
Also come to think of it, I must have seen you. But I didn’t know who you were until weeks after this event. You do have to forgive me as I am literally 22 and still very much a noobie.
I even got to shake the hands with shoegazing guy, but I didn’t even know who he was either lol.
I’m pretty sure you saw me, as I was an exhibitor. Glad you enjoyed the show!!