Over the shoulders of Ettinger and Gaziano & Girling’s master craftsmen

Gaziano & Girling’s bespoke shoes and Ettinger’s luxury leather goods showcase the very best of traditional British craftsmanship. Now the two brands have revealed a jointly created piece, which will tour the world as part of the GREAT Britain campaign. We were at the launch on Savile Row…

An intricate initiative

We’re at Gaziano & Girling’s flagship Savile Row store (the first shoe shop to open on the famous street) during London Craft Week, for the unveiling of the brand’s GREAT Creation, designed in collaboration with Ettinger. Comprising a coat wallet, a document holder and a pair of brogues, the creation celebrates the two brands’ shared artisanal values, and British craftsmanship at its very best. “It uses Gaziano & Girling’s wonderful shoe leather for our products, which have then been meticulously hand-painted and polished to create this stunning green patina.” explains Robert Ettinger, CEO of the luxury leather company and former chairman of the British Luggage and Leathergoods Association. 

Tricky techniques

The skilful techniques required to make shoes and small leather goods are vastly different and finding ways to combine the two was no mean feat, as Tony Gaziano, co-founder of the bespoke shoemaker, explains. “It was always going to be a document case, and the difficulty was in incorporating elements of our shoes,” he says. “The brogue detailing was the obvious feature, and the colouring and patina in which we also specialise. You can see the seamless transition of colours from the yellow into the green – we’ve only ever done it on shoes before, and doing it on such a big base was really quite difficult.”

Flying the flag

Working with British embassies in major cities, the GREAT Britain campaign will see these creations travel the world, together with a host of other British-made products that promote the best of the UK. “We wanted to do something for London Craft Week,” comments Ettinger, “and then we found out about the GREAT campaign, which helps British companies to export their wares. It’s going to help two British craft companies – and there aren’t many of those which actually make things anymore – grow our niche brands internationally.” 

Tim Brown for Classic Driver © 2016