Kurt Geiger is arguably the UK’s first international designer shoe brand. Naturally it’s not that there are not many other brands that are far older than Kurt Geiger and, indeed, many of these older ‘heritage’ brands have re-emerged into the limelight of international fashion in recent years. But, when the savvy Austrian shoemaker first opened his store in London’s Bond Street in 1963, there was a certain breath of fresh air about it, a wind of change entirely in keeping with the times. One might even say that Kurt Geiger is symbolic of a very special time for British fashion, a time when the jingoistic aftermath of the Second World War was ready to be finally forgotten as Britain, teetering on the edge of the Swinging Sixties, was preparing to never have had it so good.
The timely arrival of Mr Geiger was entirely fitting for the time when a new generation of well-heeled trendsetters were looking for something that retained the old British value of craftsmanship whilst breaking with the stifling social codes of the past. At exactly the point when the UK was eager to look beyond the restrictions of its own culture, the Austrian craftsman took up residence in London, conveniently bringing a bit of the continent to an England eager to make a fresh start. Kurt Geiger’s elegant and daring shoes were simply demanding to be snapped up by eager customers ready for a whole new attitude and feel to fashion and life.
Nearly fifty years on, the brand is both a business success story and one of those rare examples of a label that has managed to diversify and expand to a truly global presence without downgrading the value of its product, retaining an identity as a desirable luxury consumer item.
KG Kurt Geiger is part of this bigger picture; the more relaxed casual and fashionable line that sees the slick styling that has always been associated with the brand letting its hair down and relaxing or partying a little. And it’s a good thing too because amongst KG Kurt Geiger’s seasonal men’s offer are some funky yet practical models that are likely to appeal to many men.
In amongst the numerous shoe styles showing off the soft profile in fabrics -like coloured suede- this season is the Detroit lace-up boot. With a nod to the legendary Midwestern car production city, it has an air of the industrial about it, something that hints at rugged engineering activities with its sturdy manufacture. But don’t be fooled: the Detroit is very much about comfort and practicality. Made out of ‘breathing’ materials –such as leather and canvas- its padded sides offer good ankle support and insulation in the cold but remain supple and comfortable whether on long walks through the autumnal countryside or much more urban environs.
Those with a little more daring might want to opt for the contrast of mid-brown and plaid or the navy and red combination whilst those who prefer a more restrained wardrobe will probably opt for the brown or black palettes. Either way, the Detroit’s sporty good looks are likely to put a spring in any wearer’s step this autumn.