Sounds odd, surely we are all individuals, right? Of course we are, but sometimes we get dragged down a particular style route. That’s what the fashion industry is all about. Whether it is a style or a brand, there is comfort in being part of the pack and not standing out from the crowd.
We have noticed that Herring customers tend to be leaders not followers and make footwear choices based on different criteria. In this sense, they do not stand out as dedicated followers of fashion but as knowledgeable shoe and boot wearers. They are looking for extra quality and craftsmanship not just a name… and that’s what Herring is all about. You may not be wearing a famous label, but you will be wearing exquisite footwear. To our core customers that is more im- portant than the logo on the sole and insole.
Herring Shoes is not a household name. Unless you are seasoned shoe-lover, you may not have even heard of us, but lots of people would recognise the Church’s, Loake, Barker, etc. brands we sell. We are an online business and while you may have discovered us via a social media or search engine advert, most interest is generated via recommendations from existing customers to potential new ones. That’s not to say we would don’t aspire to be as well know as Church’s, Loake, Barker, Cheaney or Tricker’s, but we are happy to doff our cap to them as the original Northamptonshire shoemakers that are steeped in history and, there- fore, deserve their status. This is why we sell their footwear from our online store. While Herring is not a manufacturer, many of these esteemed shoemakers make shoes and boots to our designs for us, so we can offer quality footwear from the same expert craftsmen but with the extra Herring DNA.
Where we have used other manufacturers to produce our shoes, we have always made very considered choices. Cheaney, Barker, Loake, Trickers and Sargent have all made shoes for us, but one of our most recent manufacturer relation- ships has been with Norman Walsh in Bolton. They have a rich sporting history in athletics, cricket and rugby league, so know their stuff. They continue to make fell-running trainers but also create stunning leisure shoes. We have made the most of their expertise with the range they have made for us. See the Horwich and the Voyager.
The same is true of our Handgrade selection. Have a look at the Markham two- tone Oxfords. They are Goodyear welted so are repairable and have all the fea- tures of a bespoke shoe without the wait or the cost. They are hand-finished to create a great shine and depth of colour. In short, they are absolutely stunning! The Munster brogue is another example from our Handgrade range. Again, hand- made by the men and women of the Carlos Santos factory in Portugal, and they are gorgeous.
We apply the same care when we choose our clothing partners. We do not look for clothing that is adorned with logos, we look for pure quality. See our range from Peregrine. These are well-made stylish staples that will last you for years and are wholly made in the UK, which is not something many brands can say. If you are reading this journal, then you will probably know about Herring al- ready. You may wish to keep us to yourselves as a coveted secret rather than spread the word, but if you recognise a fellow follower of quality and craftman- ship, rather than labels and fashion, you may want to tip them the wink.