...I made shoes
I've never really made shoes before, but it turns out I know how.
I've thought about shoes a lot, from wishing we were allowed to wear them inside the house when I was a kid,
to smashing/cutting/ripping up pointe shoes in those dancing years.
Shoes change the stance, the posture, the attitude.
And while it's counter-intuitive, now is the perfect time for new shoes. Here in America, none of us can stray very fair from home, if at all. We're still under semi-lockdown in NYC, but everyone is taking their daily walks.
It's a great time to break in leather shoes.
Walk around the house first - these are very quiet! You won't piss off the downstairs.
Once you feel sit soften up, take it on your short errands and neighbourhood strolls.
Stroll, stroll, stroll.
And by the time it's safe to be out in the world again, your shoes will be fully broken in, ready for whatever lies ahead.
I know, not the most exciting topic but allow me to momentarily sing its praises, because our thread is the perfect thread.
It's not the stuff Hermès uses (we don't have 25 apprentices, we don't have time to faff around with twisted linen).
It's not the stuff Céline uses (they primary machine stitch, but hey, respect the é).
Our perfect hand-sewing thread is a flat polyester tape from Germany. Essentially a woven material, the thread can double-lock onto the needle - locking prevents the thread from slipping out of the eye as we sew, which is very annoying and time-consuming. It's embedded with wax, which coats the inside of each hole to further protect against future rot. It's available in a thickness that is wide enough to highlight the hand-sewing without looking DIY.
It's smooth texture is gentle on hands.
It makes a lovely "zzzzip" sound when pulled through the stitching hole with gusto.
It will last forever.
It is also expensive. So like our ancestors before us, we hoard.
Or to put it more generously, we rely on good old frugality.
We save the thread.
You might recall that saddle-stitching is done with two needles on one piece of thread, so we're always left with two ends. It's also important to over-estimate the amount needed to get a clean stitching line, therefore we're often left with tails of excess thread at the end, about 6" or more. We literally save all of these tails in a little nest to be used on smaller projects like holes, key rings, or strap ends. That's right, we save 6" of thread. Yes, it's fanatical, but it's one of a few gestures that enables a small, self-funded enterprise to afford the best materials. It's a little extra effort that allows our business to be guided by cost-saving rather than cost-cutting.
Our thread nest looks like a pile of rubbish, but it's just how we prefer to work:
Put in a little effort to afford what we really want.
Get what we love, not just what the Big Boys have.
Get the good stuff and use it well.
Bartleby Objects Small Silk Knot, Ivory
Featured in T Magazine
Luxury Gift Guide
Magical Gifts Inspired by the Elements But Shaped By Hand
Last Chance to Pre-Order AW18 (20% off!)
Thursday, June 14 - Sunday, June 17 2018
Aren't things supposed to go on sale at the end of a season?
Isn't everything on flash sale or seasonal sale all the time anyway?
What's the point of offering discounts on the new stuff?
We do business a little sideways. Most of our Continuity Collection (styles available season after season) is made-to-order: we only cut what we've sold, in an effort to reduce waste and avoid adding to the incredible amount of fashion overstock that ends up on the bargain rack or in a landfill. As a result, our Continuity Collection is rarely on sale - we don't have inventory to get rid of and we don't have manufacturing costs to recoup.
So instead, we offer two chances to Pre-order (that's reserve, to the language sticklers among us) the upcoming season's styles at a discount. We know this is counter-intuitive but for us, it makes a lot of sense. Quite simply, it's better for everybody in the chain. It helps us get a sense of how much material to order so we don't run out and be forced to extend lead-times. It helps our tanneries fulfill our order more efficiently by preparing the leathers all in a bigger lot. It helps the environment by saving on fossil fuel expenditure, since the fewer trips our materials make from tannery to us, the less carbon is produced. And of course, it's a way for us to say thank you to you for supporting our work and our sideways business model.
So go for it. Send our tanneries off on their August holidays with a nice strong order, and get the goods before the cool weather is upon us.
Use the code AW18LASTCALL at checkout for 20% off next season's styles
With our thanks!
We're adding seasonal collections to Bartleby Objects, starting Spring 2018
In addition to our perennial Classic Collection, we'll begin introducing a new few styles to address the current season.
We usually like the spaces in between things, to add nuance to the fashion/craft scene, to complicate the conversation. But frankly, 2018 is complicated enough. Our Spring 18 collection is here to simplify the idea. A tote is definitely a tote. A cuff is a cuff. In a time when little is what it purports to be, we've distilled forms to be exactly what they are, made with the same level of attention we apply to all our work. Simple? Yes. Common? No.
Starting with our Morris Tote in two brand new Italian leathers, Natural Aged and Oiled Slate.
Lighter in weight, and oiled to supple finish, Morris can be rolled up to be packed for your next trip, while being sturdy enough for everyday. Detailed without the kitsch, clean without the cold.
Then there's our ethereal Essida Mesh Bag feather-light, practical, and perfect for days on the beach. It's a true mesh, Leno weave pattern, in a delicate scale without too much stretch.
And our forays into items worn on the wrist or neck...not quite jewelry, but a distillation of the concept with minimal makerly intervention.
Housekeeping: keep your eye out for some changes in how you can order our made-to-order items. We had such a great reception to our pre-order offer that we're working with the e-commerce developers to extend the programme to all of our made-to-order items. More on this soon...
In the meantime, we wish you a very happy Spring!
Join us for the debut of our collaboration with the excellent Jane D'Arensbourg!
A trio of limited edition belts, that re-contextualise fine jewelry for the modern wardrobe.
We'll have just a few of each style available at Quiet Storms, this Saturday (2pm-4pm).
They'll be gone in a flash, so don't miss them...
142 Grand Street
We regularly post short process videos on Instagram Stories. Follow us @studiobartleby to see how it’s done.