Loake (who have a Royal Warrant from HM The Queen) for their men’s footwear recently opened their Brighton store at 40 East Street. To find out more about the timeless British brand and hear more about the team, we met store manager George:
Hi George. First things first, how long has Loake been operating?
Starting back in 1880 the Loake brand was created by three brothers Thomas, William, and John Loake. We are still producing our fine handmade footwear out of the same factory in Kettering, Northamptonshire which was built in 1894. What is so wonderful about our brand is that we are still family run, our managing director Andrew Cory is the fifth generation of the Loake family to be at the helm of the Loake brand. In 2007 we were granted a Royal Warrant by Appointment of HM The Queen for the manufacture of Men’s Footwear. A Royal Warrant of Appointment is granted as a mark of recognition to people, companies and craftsmen across the sectors who have regularly supplied goods or services to either HM The Queen, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh or HRH The Prince of Wales or their Households, and Loake is exceptionally proud to hold this accolade.
Why did you want to be the Brighton store manager?
I have been coming to Brighton for many years ,as family have lived here in the past, and I just always loved visiting. Being originally from a small town in Shropshire having the opportunity to live by the coast has always been a dream of mine, as I so rarely got to see the sea growing up in the sticks, so this was something that made my decision a lot easier. Brighton is for me the most exciting city in the country as it has so much to offer and the friendliest people you could ever wish to meet.
We couldn’t agree more! Can you tell us about the range of styles in store?
We have so many different styles of shoes and accessories. We have everything from classic oxfords to lovely, tasselled loafers. More recently the business has developed a more casual sneaker collection which is incredible and proving very popular with our clients.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I love interacting with clients and hearing their stories about their Loake shoes. I had a gentleman in recently that had bought a pair of Loake shoes the year his son was born which was 37 years ago which really goes to show the incredible quality of our products. I also really enjoy being able to offer our clients our incredible repair process which restores their Loake shoes in our factory. Our skilled factory staff rebuild the shoes using new long soles and heels, to the original factory specification. Seeing the results and seeing clients faces when they get their shoes back and how happy they are gives me a lot of satisfaction.
That’s so lovely! What’s your day-to-day routine like?
My day-to-day routine consists of trying to offer an unforgettable experience in store and trying to build long lasting relationships with our clients. For us establishing the correct fit is imperative as well as sharing our knowledge about everything Loake from how to take care of your Loake shoes to discussing the goodyear welted construction that we have been using for over a century. I have multiple operational tasks that need to be completed as well as providing trainings to my colleagues. No day is the same at Loake as there is always plenty going on.
Which style is your bestseller? Why do you think that is?
Our best-selling style is the Aldwych black toe cap oxford. I think it is our bestselling style because it is an essential item of clothing that belongs in any gentleman’s wardrobe. The Oxford toe cap is the perfect style for any formal occasion whether that is a wedding or simply to go to the office. You just can’t go wrong with it.
Before we let you go – when you’re not working, what do you like doing in Brilliant Brighton?
I love exploring the incredible different restaurants on offer as well as the pubs. Whatever you’re craving in terms of food you can find it here in Brighton. Oh and of course it’s great to visit the beach!
Find Loake at 40 East Street, Brighton, BN1 1HL
For contact details and opening hours, please visit www.loake.com.