We’re just coming out of a long, dark, depressing Covid-laden winter of discontent that probably saw us all wearing far too much black. As the days are now getting a bit longer, it is the perfect time to start transitioning into spring with a softer, more relaxed look. I like to try a bit of neutral brown suede in my footwear to lighten up my workwear and soften up my weekend wear. In this period, I am talking specifically about a brown suede derby.
I may be a bit biased, but I think I make one of the most perfect brown suede derby shoes in the business. There…I’ve said it.
Let’s consider the brown derby…
Known as “Blucher’ to the Americans and sometimes a ‘Gibson’ lace-up here in jolly ol’ England, a classic derby lace-up is (in my humble opinion) the most versatile and modern design of the classic men’s shoe silhouettes. A derby design consists of a plain toe base with two overlays for the lacing system. These overlays are referred to technically as the ‘bluchers’, which is where the Americans get the general term for this design. The plain toe area, devoid of any cap, wing design or stitching, creates a clean, sleek look to the foot and always looks modern compared to other patterns.
At Martel+Ram we make 4 variations of the Brown Derby: Dark Brown Suede with a White Vibram sole, The new Tundra Suede, Dark Brown Calfskin and a lightly burnished Tan Calfskin. All of these styles are built on the same soft, rounded toe shape which lends this style to both workwear and a more casual weekend look when needed. The ultra-lightweight Vibram Morflex sole adds sporty comfort and durability.
On a side note: there was once a famous restaurant on Wiltshire Boulevard in Los Angeles called the Brown Derby that was popular with the Old Hollywood set – but that Brown Derby was hat. There was also a silent film called The Brown Derby (1926), a liquor company in the US state of Massachuetts and even a cocktail consisting of bourbon, grapefruit juice and honey syrup (…sounds vile…).