Shoemaker and collector
J.M. Weston was both a shoemaker and avid shoe collector, collecting endless pairs of all kinds of shoes whether it was reasonable or not. A number of now iconic styles are the subject of this creative, artisanal project. The 180 loafer, Golf, Hunt and Half-hunt derby, Cambre ankle boots and Jodhpur riding boots are just a few of the styles which trace the unique story throughout the 20th century of this shoemaker whose activities date back to 1891. We all know of Edouard Blanchard’s ambition, initiatives and desire to achieve excellence. His participation in the International Exhibition in Brussels (1910) and Turin demonstrate his ambitions, and his efforts were rewarded with reputable awards. In 1922, leaving behind the Blanchard name to adopt the much more distinctive title of J.M. Weston, the founder’s son turned the Parisian company into an international brand. The story continued thanks to the successful, timeless styles released each decade and which never conformed.
J.M. Weston still preciously guards the archives of its elegant past, allowing the original versions of the 180 loafer or Golf derby to be admired as they once were.
A collection acquired from a collector, who was also a shoemaker and pattern maker, serves as another source of knowledge and inspiration. The hundreds of exceptional and ordinary everyday styles illustrate the art of shoemaking. They serve as inspiration and sometimes as models. Whether from China, India, Turkey, North Africa or Europe, these shoes from all over the world embody eternal know-how. Curiosities, examples of folklore which have disappeared or are still used today, little snippets of fashion, shoes of all types and from all eras have been pulled together for the first time in this exhibition. The strict selection process brought together geographical regions and uses, regardless of shape or origin, dividing styles into three chapters: formal and occasion wear, everyday styles and walking shoes. The universality of the styles reflects the universality which J.M. Weston always sought to achieve in its creations..