The Duke of Windsor's shoe wardrobe

Duke of Windsor Shoe Wardrobe

Duke of Windsor is the title received by the British King Edward VIII after his abdication. He ruled for a short time, from January 20th to December 10th, 1936, and decided to abdicate in order to marry a twice-divorced woman named Wallis Simpson. After the abdication, Edward and Wallis travelled around Europe for a while, and then settled in France, where the Duke died in 1972 at the age of 77.

While still a Prince of Wales, that is, the heir to the British throne, Edward became famous for his ability to dress elegantly and in and interesting manner, often violating certain traditions, but not stooping to vulgarity.

As the English fashion historian Kelly Blackman writes, “Edward VIII was considered to be the most elegant man in the world, so during his trips, especially to America, his outfits were carefully examined, and the close attention was paid to the smallest details of the design of his suits, shoes and how his tie or neckerchief were tied”.

Since the Duke of Windsor had a weakness for informal items, he began wearing brogues in the city when he was the Prince of Wales, which was new to that time. Josh Sims, author of Icons of Men's Style, writes: “The brogues were strongly associated with the countryside, so when Edward, the Prince of Wales, once again violated the strict etiquette, the model with spikes on the sole became golf shoes. The prince had a huge influence on fashion, especially in the 1920s, and in Europe his radical ideas formed the basis for the new style. ” Sims adds further that the Prince of Wales “introduced half brogues to the world and brought them into fashion with the city people”.

Bernhard Roetzel, author of the best-selling book Gentleman, notes that thanks to the Duke of Windsor “now it is considered to be right to wear brown suede shoes with a blue suit — it always looks interesting, and it is said that the prince introduced it.” It is curious at the same time that, according to the classic men’s style expert and founder of the Genteman's Gazette, Sven Raphael Schneider, Edward VIII's father scolded him for such a combination.

In addition, the Duke of Windsor was very fond of two-colored shoes, spectators (spectator shoes). In his wardrobe there were both two-colored penny loafers and lace-up shoes (derby). The colors are the most classic, white and brown.

You should not think at the same time that the Duke of Windsor did not wear stricter shoes at all. He just wore them less often than other British aristocrats of that time. Of course, there were black shoes in his wardrobe, for example, black cap toe oxfords which he wore with a morning coat.

What brands did the Duke choose?

Now a few words about brands. It is known that the Duke of Windsor was one of the customers of Edward Green, and this company even named one of the penny loafer models in his honor — Duke. Another brand whose client was the Duke of Windsor is Berluti; Caroline Cox, author of the book Legendary Fashion Houses, points out that he “wore these shoes throughout the 1920s.” The famous English company John Lobb also created shoes for Edward VIII.
To conclude, we can cite the following words of Bernhard Roetzel about the Duke: "from the modern point of view, his fashion philosophy would be more correct to call avant-garde, and many of his ideas anticipated today's development of fashionable men's clothing".

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