Ninety years. Long time that isn’t it? Fats Domino, Andy Warhol and Che Guevara were all born in 1928. Significant. Iconic. And while they’re not claiming to be quite as significant and iconic as these people (though they definitely are), Goodwin Smith are celebrating the same birth year. Yes, believe it or not, Bucking Good Shoes were born in a time well before Instagram, the internet and finely sliced bread.
This was a time when shoemaking really found its feet in the UK - enjoy that pun. A time when Goodwin Smith developed their eye for true craftsmanship and groundbreaking style - two things they still hold important to this day.
Speaking with the MD and heir of the Goodwin Smith dynasty, I managed to grab a few words with Timothy Smith himself. He was busy observing the performance of some new concept brogues in a wind tunnel. Why? Who knows. He nodded approvingly though, so that’s a good sign.
“Men’s fashion has evolved so much over recent years let alone recent decades. When it comes to footwear we’ve seen a movement away from the more traditional styles of the classic brogue, as men now look for something that can be worn in a more casual way.”
Asking specifically what he meant, he continued “well, the likes of the Plimsoll and the Chelsea Boot are firm favourites at this moment in time, so we try our best to accommodate this trend. But there will always be a place for a classic tan brogue in any gentleman’s wardrobe!”
Clearly they’re doing something right when it comes to accommodating trends, as Goodwin Smith have recently sold footwear to the likes of Lennox Lewis, Conor McGregor, and some bloke called Barack Obama.
With the recent escapades of Elon Musk, sending his Tesla into space, I asked Tim what shoe he would put on the moon to best represent humanity. He thought about this for a second - perhaps taking it more seriously than initially intended.
“We aren’t sure we’d like to claim one of our styles could represent the human race. But if we had to put something up there to represent the brand, then we’d have to say the Wilpshire Chelsea Boot. Why? Because it oozes class, sophistication and plenty of attitude.”
Goodwin Smith is only ten years away from getting a birthday card from the Queen. Until then, I wondered what the immediate future holds for the brand.
“We’ve some really exciting plans lined up for the brand - most we can’t reveal just yet. However, one big movement we will be making in 2018 is in our product offering. We’ve been known for 90 years as the guys who bring Bucking Good Shoes to the market but we want to do more. So Autumn/Winter 2018 will see the brand deliver its first ever clothing line!”
When pushed for more detail on what a Goodwin Smith clothing line might look like, Tim just kept repeating words like ‘top secret’ and ‘watch this space’.
We ended our chat by asking how the brand manages to keep introducing refreshing new styles to its roster, and how they manage to stay so relevant in such a fierce market?
“Our shoes are products of our ears. No we don’t mean they are made from ears, that would be weird and wrong. What we mean is... we listen to our customers. We listen to their feedback, their style needs, their ‘I wish I had a pair of shoes that looked like this’ comments. Then we deliver. Customer service to Goodwin Smith isn’t just providing fast delivery and complimentary condoms. Customer service is about giving our customers a say in the future product lines. Then, when we do make all of their dreams come true and they can’t decide which pair to go for, we always advise going for both.”
And why wouldn’t they? Happy birthday Goodwin Smith. Cheers!